John Yates of Morris Manning & Martin will chair the Woodruff Arts Center’s annual corporate campaign this year, as Atlanta’s flagship arts institution marks its 50th anniversary.
Woodruff Arts Center, located in the heart of Midtown on Peachtree Street, houses the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Each year, it hosts more than 800,000 visitors.
“Even though it is the third-largest arts center in the U.S., the Woodruff gets just one percent of its revenue from public funds,” said Yates, the longtime head of Morris Manning’s tech practice, in a statement—a fraction of the government support for many of its peer institutions.
Yates added that the Woodruff is important to Atlanta’s economy. “A community’s cultural image is critical to attracting new companies, young professionals and tourists,” he said.
The annual corporate campaign, which reaches out to Atlanta companies and their leaders, is crucial to the arts center’s ongoing operations. This year’s fundraising goal is $13 million, which will support operating expenses, program funding and educational outreach.
“As a respected leader both here on the arts center campus and throughout the Atlanta community, John will set our volunteer team on a path to success,” said Woodruff’s president and CEO, Doug Shipman.
Yates and his wife, Ellen Yates, are active Woodruff Arts Center supporters. He received its Charles Yates Trailblazer Award (no relation) last year for his work as a board member on its 2017 corporate campaign, while Ellen Yates is a leadership member of the nonprofit’s Women’s Giving Circle.
Yates has been good at getting his law firm to give, as well. Earlier this year, the Woodruff gave its Employees for the Arts Needle Mover Award to Morris Manning for the largest percentage increase in donations. The workplace giving program makes up about $700,000 of the arts center’s corporate campaign goal, according to the organization.
Yates also serves on boards for the Carter Center, Furman University, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute and the Atlanta Master Chorale. The Yates family received the inaugural Ragab Spirit of Hope Award this year from CURE Childhood Cancer, another nonprofit.
Yates will speak at the Woodruff’s annual State of the Arts Breakfast on Oct. 23 to get the corporate campaign rolling. Donations to the Woodruff can be made via its website.