Which Arts Groups Does the Shubert Foundation Support in its Hometown, NYC?

Although the Shubert Foundation is headquartered on West 44th Street in New York City, its annual grants extend to advancing live performing arts all across the country. Regardless of where you’re located, this is an ideal funder to know for theater and dance groups because it sticks to unrestricted general operating support, a highly coveted rarity in the nonprofit arts world.

But what types of groups catch Shubert’s support locally in the foundation’s hometown of New York City?Fortunately, this funder recently announced its latest round of grants to shed some light on the answer.

In 2016, Shubert awarded a record number of grants—$25.6 million spread across 506 performing arts nonprofits. There were 146 New York City grantees in this cycle, plus seven in Brooklyn, 1 in the Bronx, and 1 on Long Island. So across the five boroughs, New York secured over 30 percent of Shubert’s overall grant commitment. For comparison, Boston groups received 10 grants, Philadelphia groups received 12, and San Francisco groups also got 12.

What do all these facts and figures tell us?

That Shubert support for the arts in New York City is as strong as ever, and rightfully so. The fact that there are so darn many theater and dance companies here to choose from certainly doesn’t hurt either. New York dance and theater companies shouldn’t be intimidated by Shubert’s broad geographic approach because it still has a soft spot for local groups. New York theatre and dance companies should simply focus on developing and producing new American work to catch Shubert’s attention.

Overall, the funder’s biggest focus is on theater, followed by dance. But what’s interesting is that many of the largest local grants didn’t go to dance companies or professional theatre training programs at all. They actually went to arts-related service agencies like these:

  • The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York—$130,000
  • Fund for Public Schools, Theatre Education—$260,000
  • Fund for Public Schools, Broadway Junior—$280,000

But Shubert is active on the New York City arts in other ways too. For example, its funding helped over 100 New York City high school students get on a Broadway stage this past spring for a theater festival. Playbill noted that funding for this festival and other programs in New York City public schools was coming from this year’s grant of $540,000. Over the past decade, Shubert has provided more than $3.7 million to the New York City Department of Education for arts and theatre programs.

Grants ranged in size between $10,000 and $325,000 nationwide. The Shubert Organization, Inc. owns and operates 21 theatres: 17 on Broadway, one Off-Broadway theatre (The Little Shubert), and one each in Boston and Philadelphia. Learn more about this funder in these IP arts profiles: