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    Marci Tate
    Manager of Public Relations
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    Nationally Ranked Wine Auction Kicks Off 17th Year

    ATLANTA, September 17, 2008 – The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction kicks off its 17th year celebrating "The Genius Inside: Wine + Food + Art." Beginning Thursday, March 26, and continuing through Saturday, March 28, 2009, the auction will again raise its trademark big-top tents in Atlantic Station. The Wine Auction is the largest fundraising event for the High Museum, with net proceeds breaking $2 million for the past two years. Ranked as the number five charity wine auction in the country, proceeds from the auction are a vital part of the Museum's acquisition, exhibition and education plans.

    "We are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Harris to our team as the new Wine Auction Manager,"says Woodie Wisebram. Wisebram is the former Wine Auction Manager and was recently named Senior Development Manager for the High. "I look forward to working with Elizabeth, co-chairs Karen Hughes and Crystal Cox and the entire auction committee as we toast the genius of wine, food and art with special guests and incredible auction lots, ensuring another successful year of supporting the High's ambition of bringing great art and programming to Atlanta!"

    The 2009 auction events include a Trade Tasting and 15 Winemakers' Dinners to be held on Thursday, March 26. Events on Friday, March 27, include Premier Tasting Seminars and a Gala Dinner Dance. Saturday, March 28, features the Vintners' Reception and Live Auction and concludes with The Big Finish, a wine weekend finale for the next generation co-sponsored by the Museum's volunteer organization Art Partners. For more information about specific events, please visit www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

    The 2008 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction reached a Live Auction total of more than $1.5 million. Silent auctions on Friday and Saturday and a Paddle Raise during the Live Auction brought the total to more than $1.76 million in auction sales. The auction total, along with event ticket sales, brought the net profit for the 2008 Wine Auction to $2.1 million, marking only the second time in its history to have raised more than $2 million. The largest fundraising event for the High, the Wine Auction ranks as the top charity wine auction in the country benefiting the arts, and was named number five in a national ranking of the top ten charity wine auctions in the United States by Wine Spectator magazine in 2008. The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction annually draws prominent winemakers from the U.S. and around the world.

    High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
    Founded in 1993, the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the single largest fundraising event for the High Museum of Art. Each year, it is one of the top charity fundraising events in Atlanta and continues to remain within the top five charity wine auctions in the United States. The funds generated by the Wine Auction, which amount to more than $14 million over the last 16 years and $2.1 million in 2008 alone, are a significant contribution to the Museum's acquisitions, exhibitions and educational programming.

    High Museum of Art
    The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High's Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum's size, creating a vibrant "village for the arts" at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org.

    The Woodruff Arts Center
    The Woodruff Arts Center is the largest arts center in the Southeast as well as one of the four largest in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines five 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.

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