14 secrets of Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center

The recently completed $100 million “Transformation Campaign” at the Woodruff Arts Center will pay for a $22 million renovation of the Alliance Theatre, as shown in this illustration. While the building is being ripped apart, the theater group will put on productions in 12 different venues around the metro area. CONTRIBUTED BY WOODRUFF ARTS CENTER

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The Woodruff Arts Center is one of the largest art centers in the world, and it is one of the only arts centers in the U.S. to host both visual and performing arts on a single campus. Home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Woodruff supports programming, events and education for each venue, as well as shared programming across the entire Center.

Woodruff is more than music, Monet and monologues – so much more. Here are 17 things you need to know about Woodruff Arts Center. And now that you know, add it to your calendar.


CREATE ATL. A $6.6 million grant supporting a three-year initiative dubbed "Art From the Start," was designed to make the arts and art education more accessible to Atlanta families. Through this grant, visitors will enjoy Family Fun every Sunday, featuring live music, play spaces, pop-up theater performances, story times and more. Don't miss a Grab & Go Picnic from Table 1280 while you play.

Meeting spaces and weddings. There are plenty of spaces to rent at Woodruff for your next event. Need to have a meeting, host a reception or arrange theater seating? Not a problem, You can even get married here!

Panthers at Woodruff. Students of Georgia State University can enjoy the arts for less with the Panthers at Woodruff (PAW) program. Purchase a $25 annual pass for free admission to classical concerts at ASO, admission to the High Museum and most Alliance productions.

Gifts galore. Both the ASO and High Museum offer unique gifts for music and art lovers. Museum admission/concert tickets are not required for a visit. You'll find books, tchotchkes, clothing and more for birthdays, anniversaries and 'I Love Yous.'

Alliance Theatre

NOTE: Very important! The Alliance is currently undergoing a renovation, so none of its venues are being used. Alliance productions are being produced at various places around town. Performances will return to the theatre "approximately January, 2019."

Three stages. You might be familiar with the larger 770-seat Alliance stage, home to the annual festive event, A Christmas Carol, but there are two other stages as well. The Hertz Stage seats 200 guests in a more intimate setting. Here you'll typically find newer productions. Black Box Theatre seats 65 and is primarily used for children's theater and educational settings.

Theatre for the Very Young. Kids 0 -5 years old and their older siblings can't help but fall in love with the children's programming offered through TVY. Little ones enjoy a performance specially designed for kiddos, which allows them to become part of the experience.

Rush tickets. Ever decided to see a show on a whim? The Alliance accommodates those last-minute plans by providing $20 rush tickets for purchase right before a show (although they're subject to availability).

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Open rehearsals. ASO subscribers receive a series of benefits including pre-paid parking and significant discounts, but the pièce de résistance might be the open rehearsals, backstage tours and concert previews – all free.

Dinner and a Concert. For the perfect date night deal, try the ASO's "Dinner and a Concert." A single purchase, usually very reasonable, affords you dinner at a select nearby restaurant and a ticket to the evening's show.

ASYO. See how the next generation of talented musicians sound via the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Series. If you have a budding musician at home, consider applying to audition.

Chastain and Verizon. Management and programming for Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and Delta Classic Chastain reside with the ASO. Who knew?

High Museum of Art Atlanta

Second Sunday Fun Days. On the second Sunday of each month, families (and everyone else) can visit the High for free between 1 and 4 p.m. and enjoy special family programming. Try free docent-led family tours, family art-making workshops and more.

DiscoveryPacks. Check out a backpack from the coat check area, free of charge and spend 30-45 minutes exploring the museum with your little one in an entirely different way. Art projects, books, games and more help children connect with art while guiding parents through the adventure.

Friday nights are the best. Plan to spend an entire evening at the High Friday nights. Start with dinner at Table 1280. Enjoy art, drinks, and live performances on the first Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On the third Friday of each month, visitors can listen to live jazz and have a drink or two.

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