The Woodruff Arts Center has received a $5.1 million grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation to continue a program that provides free programming for children and their families.
The “Family Fun at the Woodruff Arts Center” series launched two years ago with programs that give free access to the facility’s programming, ranging from the High Museum of Art’s Second Sunday to the Alliance Theatre’s series for youth and families to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Family Concerts series.
The program started in 2015 with a $6.6 million grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. The new grant will allow the program to continue for another three years.
“This gift from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation is a wonderful endorsement for this remarkable program,” Janine Musholt, senior vice president of advancement for the Woodruff Arts Center, said in a press release. “Thanks to the generosity and support of the foundation, we can continue to provide free world-class artistic programming to the families of Atlanta.”
Since “Family Fun” began, more than 160,000 children and parents have taken part in the programming. Of those, more than 27,000 were first-time visitors to the Woodruff campus.
The programs have included such activities as “Composition Quest” with the ASO, which gives families the opportunity to compose their own music with help from guest artists. The High has used master storytellers and puppets to bring children’s books to life. And the Alliance used a children’s book as the basis of The Dancing Granny, a world premiere play that was seen by more than 9,000 people.
The grant will enable the High to continue its Second Sunday program, which includes family-oriented special events and free admission for all visitors from noon until 5 p.m.
The Alliance’s Theatre For Youth and Family series produces plays each year that are geared toward families and kids. One play is produced on the main Alliance stage for elementary school children to give them their first taste of theater, and other plays are chosen to appeal to the concerns of young people.
The ASO’s Family Concerts series include concerts that include a “Petting Zoo” for instruments, opportunities to meet the musicians and themes that will appeal to kids. The next concert is “Seuss at the Symphony” on March 4.
In addition to the core programs and family festivals, the program has helped expand early learning experiences for very young children, brought greater activity to the Woodruff campus and provided new opportunities for collaboration between the center’s artistic divisions.