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 is more limited, with a small number of institutions receiving funding mostly in the form of support for its Schubert Scholars, Shubert Internship and Shubert Fellowship programs for graduate students in theater programs at select universities.
IP TAKE: The unrestricted dance and theater company grants for which Shubert is best known are off the table for institutions of higher learning, but Shubert is nevertheless an important funder for the few-and-far-between scholarships available for grad students in theater.
PROFILE: The New York-based Shubert Foundation 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.” To that end, it gives “general operating support to not-for-profit, professional resident theatre and dance companies, as well as some arts-related organizations that help support their development. As of this writing, its annual giving has increased for more than 30 consecutive years, reaching $24 million in a recent year.
For dance and theater companies, support comes mainly in the form of support for Shubert Scholars (read the IP article here), which the foundation classifies under its Education program. Started in 2014, the program supports a handful of “graduate drama departments of private universities,” which have been “evaluated principally in terms of their ability to train and develop theatre artists.”
The investment is part of the foundation's bigger strategy to put the theater arts on a better financial footing. Bolstering theater organizations is one way to do that; increasing with the economic security of the young people coming into this field is another way.
Universities on Shubert’s giving list in this area include 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.
In a recent year, total giving from Shubert’s Education program reached close to $750,000. Giving by year can be reviewed in the education section of the foundation’s Annual Grant Reports.