Theatre Companies Among Recipients of Record $18.2 Million in Grants From Shubert Foundation

News   Theatre Companies Among Recipients of Record $18.2 Million in Grants From Shubert Foundation The Shubert Foundation announced on Oct. 11 that it has awarded a record $18,215,000 in grants to support operations of a record 450 nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. in 2010.

The Foundation's board is "committed to increase funding again in 2011," according to a statement. The Foundation has increased its funding amounts for 31 consecutive years.

The Shubert Foundation is the nation's largest foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding for nonprofit theatre and dance companies. Grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $275,000 "have been awarded to a broad spectrum of theatre and dance companies with programs that include experimental, contemporary and classical works, located in urban and rural areas from Maine to Alaska, Florida to California," according to the Foundation.

Theatre companies in 42 states received $13 million of The Foundation's 2010 grants, while $2.5 million has been allocated to dance companies. The remainder has been distributed to other performing arts organizations, professional theatre training programs and human service agencies.

The Foundation reported: "In light of substantial governmental and corporate funding cutbacks to arts organizations during the current recession — over half of the groups receiving Shubert funding this year had previously scaled back annual budgets — The Shubert Foundation not only increased its funding in 2010, but has given one-third of this year's recipients larger allocations than last year."

"We are proud to be helping vital arts institutions when they need it most," Michael I. Sovern, president of The Shubert Foundation, Inc., said in a statement. Roche Schulfer, executive director of Goodman Theatre in Chicago said in a statement, "We cannot begin to describe the positive impact that this extraordinary gift has had on the Goodman Theatre in this current economic climate. The vision of The Shubert Foundation in providing unrestricted general operating support for companies across the country has been the most important factor in the growth of American theatre and dance over more than three decades."

The $18,215,000 allocation of Shubert Foundation grants in 2010 is up over $625,000 above the 2009 amount of $17,588,000. In the first decade of the 21st century — from 2001 to 2010 — The Shubert Foundation has increased its grants by nearly $6 million, topping $152 million for the decade. The number of grant recipients has increased from 334 in 2001 to 450 today.

Shubert chairman Philip J. Smith said in a statement, "We are especially proud that we can provide increased support when our constituency is experiencing an unprecedented loss of contributed income. In the face of an alarming decline in arts funding, we feel more compelled than ever to deepen our commitment to arts organizations that enrich our society."

In addition to its support for dance and theatre companies, The Shubert Foundation "is also committed to making quality theatre accessible nationwide by extending support to children's theatre companies and groups that work on behalf of underserved populations," according to the Foundation. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the brothers Lee and J.J. Shubert, who produced more than 520 plays, musicals and revues, as well as owning and operating a nationwide network of legitimate theatres.

The Shubert Archive, a comprehensive collection of material related to the Shuberts' historic and contemporary theatrical activities, also operates under the aegis of the Foundation. The Archive is accessible to scholars by appointment and at www.shubertarchive.org.

For more information on The Shubert Foundation, please visit www.shubertfoundation.org.

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