The gift comes from the proceeds of Woodruff's sale of its 14th Street Playhouse to the Savannah College of Art and Design for $1.9 million. To be launched later this year, the new fund will provide competitive grants to nonprofit performing arts organizations and/or performance venues to help offset rental costs for performance spaces — with a focus on theatre and dance companies like those that performed at the 14th Street Playhouse.
The center will use the remaining proceeds from the sale to create programs featuring local artists across multiple artistic disciplines. The 14th Street Playhouse, which was donated to the Woodruff Arts Center in 1990 when the previous owners faced financial issues, houses three theaters of different sizes and has been leased periodically by various organizations. SCAD will use the facility in concert with its new degree offerings in film and television and for special events such as the aTVfest, a celebration of television and new media.
"Using the proceeds of this agreement in this way speaks directly to the mission of the Woodruff Arts Center and is consistent with the original intent of the gift of the property," said the center’s president and CEO, Virginia Hepner. "It's good stewardship of a community asset and the right thing to do for the arts."