Shubert Foundation: Grants for College Performing Arts

OVERVIEW: The Shubert Foundation is one of the largest performing arts funders in the country, providing unrestricted grants to theater and dance companies. Its higher education focus prioritizes a small number of institutions falling under Arts Related Organizations, as well as the Schubert Scholars program for graduate students at select universities.

IP TAKE: Shubert notes on its website that its funding for universities and art schools is less than its funding for theater companies, but there are still many opportunities.

PROFILE: The New York-based Shubert Foundation, founded by Lee and J.J. Shubert in 1945, is focused on “sustaining and advancing the live performing arts in the United States, with a particular emphasis on theatre and a secondary focus on dance.” Its principal goal is “to support not-for-profit, professional theatre and dance companies in the United States.” To that end, it generally provides “unrestricted grants for general operating support, rather than funding for specific projects.” Across its grantmaking, Shubert invests in the arts, dance, theater, education, and human services.

Shubert supports graduate drama departments through its Education program. Universities applying for funding this way are  “evaluated principally in terms of their ability to train and develop theatre artists,” but the bulk education funding goes to the Shubert Scholars program, started in 2014, which provides scholarships to graduate students at the following seven universities: Pace University, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the California Institute of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, the Juilliard School, New York University, and Yale University. The foundation gives no indication that they intend to expand the reach of Shubert Scholars. Some schools may also receive grants from Shubert by applying as an Arts Related Organization. For instance, the Harlem School of the Arts received $60,000 in 2018.

Grants typically range from $10,000 to $325,000. In 2018, Shubert’s total funding for Education and Arts Related Organizations totaled over $3 million. Shubert accepts online applications, but they do not  allow applicants to contact them by email. The deadline for applications in 2018 has not been posted, but typically falls in October.

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