Goodman Theatre’s ‘The Winter’s Tale.’ (Photo: Liz Lauren)
Now more than ever, nonprofit performing arts organizations are in need of support. The Shubert Foundation has awarded a total of $32 million in 2020 grants to 560 recipient companies across the United States.
“The awards this year represent a record number of grants,” said Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation. “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the field, creating the greatest need in the history of the foundation. We hope that the general operating support the foundation provides will be particularly meaningful at this uniquely difficult time.”
The Shubert Foundation is the nation’s largest funder dedicated to unrestricted funding of nonprofit theaters, dance companies, professional theater training programs, and related service agencies. The foundation continues its longstanding practice of providing help in the form of general operating support, based on the belief that talented artists and administrators are best able to decide how to use the funds provided.
Ranging from $10,000 to $325,000, the grants benefit a broad spectrum of arts organizations, from large to small, covering a wide range of locations across the country, from urban to rural. The Shubert Foundation is especially interested in providing support to professional resident theater and dance companies that develop and produce new American work. Seven years ago, the foundation established the Shubert Scholars Program. The funds are dedicated to providing scholarship assistance to students in graduate degree programs in theater arts.
About Face Theatre (Chicago), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT), The New Group (New York City) and Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA) were among notable recipients, with the highest awards ($325,000 each) given to Goodman Theatre (Chicago), Arena Stage (Washington, DC) and The Public Theatre (New York City).
“The Covid-19 crisis has burdened every one of our 560 grantees with previously unimaginable challenges. We want to help them weather the storm,” stated Shubert Foundation Chairman Philip J. Smith. “To maintain our 43-year commitment at this pivotal time reinforces the foundation’s singular purpose of supporting theatre and dance companies nationwide.”
Earlier this spring Ms. Phillips succeeded longtime Shubert Foundation President, Michael I. Sovern, who passed away in January. “Michael was committed to the performing arts and to the foundation,” she said. “At this critical period, he would be especially proud of the outstanding work done by Executive Director Vicki Reiss and Program Director Amy Dorfman Wine. Their tireless dedication to the mission of the foundation and to our grantees is evident in every award we made this year.”
The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert, in memory of their brother Sam. Since the establishment of the Shubert Foundation grants program in 1977, over $505 million has been awarded to nonprofit arts organizations throughout the United States.
The foundation continues its commitment to the Shubert Archive. Created by the foundation 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, which has grown substantially over the years and continues to expand, is available to researchers, writers, historians and theater professionals.