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The Shubert Foundation Awards $32.1 Million in 2021 Grants

Stage Directions • Industry News • June 9, 2021

Following the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts, The Shubert Foundation announced that it is awarding a record $32.1 million in 2021 grants to 575 not-for-profit theatres, dance companies, professional theatre training programs, and related service agencies across the United States.

The grants, which range from $10,000 to $325,000, benefit the broadest possible spectrum of theatre and dance organizations—from large to small, from urban to rural—including groups that provide crucial early arts exposure to young audiences. The announcement comes as many longtime Shubert grantees have been fighting for their survival.

Shubert Foundation funds have always been allocated as general operating support based on the belief that grantees know best how to prioritize their needs. To ensure support to the widest range of recipients, The Shubert Foundation maintains an open-door policy with no invitation required.

“This has been a year like none other for our grantees,” said Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation. “COVID precipitated an existential crisis while outrage over racial injustice precipitated a national reckoning. Each had a profound impact that will resonate for years. The Shubert Foundation is gratified to provide critical support to hundreds of organizations at this pivotal time. Never has it been more needed or more deserved.”

Explaining the impact of the past year on the Foundation’s decision making, Chairman Robert E. Wankel said, “The pandemic highlighted the vital role of the performing arts in our lives. In a year deprived of live performances, we were more determined than ever to maintain our commitment to theatre and dance companies nationwide.” Wankel continued, “Principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion have long been central to the Foundation’s grantmaking, and supporting our grantees as they continue to strive to diversify their repertoires, casting, audiences, staffs, and boards is essential.”

The Shubert Foundation is a leader in providing support to professional resident theatre and dance companies that develop and produce new American work. It is also the largest funder of theatre education for the NYC Public Schools. Additionally, the Shubert Scholars Program provides scholarship assistance to students in graduate degree programs in theatre arts.

The Shubert Foundation was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert, in memory of their brother Sam. Today, the Foundation is the nation’s largest funder of unrestricted aid for not-for-profit theatre and dance companies. Since the establishment of the Shubert Foundation grants program in 1977, nearly $540 million has been awarded to not-for-profit arts organizations throughout the United States.

The Foundation also continues to expand the Shubert Archive. Created in 1976, the Archive contains more than a century’s worth of production designs, scripts, sheet music, publicity materials, photographs, correspondence, business records, and architectural plans. The collection is available to researchers, writers, historians, and theatre professionals.

The Shubert Foundation

Board of Directors
Robert E. Wankel, Chairman
Diana Phillips, President
Wyche Fowler, Jr.
Pamela Newkirk
Richard J. Poccia
Lee Seidler
Stuart Subotnick

Further information from the Shubert Foundation:  www.shubertfoundation.org

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