The Woodruff Arts Center

Using Data to Change Legislation, Save on Taxes and Secure Donations


The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta undertook a $110M Transformation Campaign and as part of that campaign built a brand-new, state of the art theatre. The cost of the theatre was over $32M and it attracted sales tax on the building materials cost – almost a million dollars in taxes. As a non-profit, The Woodruff needed legislation to give them a tax exemption on the building materials. The Woodruff is in Midtown Atlanta, making it difficult for legislators from rural counties in Georgia to vote in favor of something that benefitted the “big city.”



The Woodruff turned to Alexander Babbage for data to support the legislative effort. Through TruTrade, Babbage was able to empirically prove that residents from over 90% of the counties in Georgia had been to The Woodruff in the past 12-months. This was delivered back in visual aids, maps and data to integrate into the effort.



Knowing that their vote was now benefiting their constituents, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 265 which exempted the Woodruff Arts Center from sales tax on building materials used for renovating the Alliance Theatre. This saving was material in keeping the project on budget.

Through continued research, we also determined families were an underserved segment at the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC). To access the situation, we quantified the size of the opportunity, determined why families weren’t coming, and discovered where and how to reach them with TruTrade.

As a direct result of this research, The Woodruff Arts Center received a $6.6 million grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundations to support ‘Family Fun @ Woodruff Arts Center’ – a three-year program designed to provide families greater access to the Arts Center’s core art and arts education work.

We then supported with analytics to show that the program was effectively expanding diversity, demographics and geographic reach. As a result, Lettie Pate Evans Foundation agreed to renew the grant for a further three years.

Case Studies

Alliance Theatre

Increasing Revenue Through Ticket Sales and Subscribers


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High Museum of Art

Frida and Diego Exhibition Study


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Oakland Museum of California

Segmenting and Targeting New Audiences

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