Woodruff Arts Center is the largest arts center in the Southeast as well as one of the largest in the United States. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.
The Memorial Arts Center, as the Woodruff was originally known, opened October 5, 1968. It is now known as the Woodruff Arts Center (renamed in 1982 to honor its greatest benefactor, Robert W. Woodruff.) The art center also included the Atlanta College of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. All three entities were combined into one corporation, then as now, unprecedented in this country. The Alliance Theatre was added in 1970 as the fourth division of the Woodruff and thirty-five years later in 2005, a fifth division was added when Young Audiences joined the center. This addition ensures the Woodruff’s PreK-12 programs now reach more than one million children annually, the largest base of any arts center in the country.
On November 12-13, 2005, the Woodruff introduced its largest expansion since opening in 1968. The new addition features two new exhibit buildings and a new administrative and curatorial building for the High Museum of Art; a residence hall and sculpture studio; a full-service restaurant — Table 1280 at the Woodruff — as well as a public piazza and a new parking structure. This new "village for the arts" was designed by another Pritzker Prize winner, Italian architect Renzo Piano.
The Woodruff’s village currently includes the Grammy-award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the south’s premiere regional theatre, the Alliance Theatre; the leading art museum in the southeast, the High Museum of Art; and Young Audiences, the largest provider of arts education in Georgia.