Shubert Foundation



New York, NY

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Assets: $631,075,735


Performing Arts Foundation



Executive Director:

Vicki Reiss


Robert Wankel

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $57,657,953
Expenses: $43,867,505
Net Assets: $667,044,022

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The Shubert Foundation is a large grantmaking foundation located in New York City that provides significant funding to professional theater and dance companies operating in the United States. The foundation was founded by the Shubert Brothers, who founded the Shubert Organization, which was responsible for the growth of Broadway in New York City and other theater districts across the country. The foundation is currently the sole shareholder of the Shubert Organization, which operates 17 theaters in New York City. The foundation controls assets of over $660 million and provides funding to hundreds of local theater organizations annually, with 2023 grantmaking totaling $37.9 million to 635 grantees. 1 2 3


The Shubert Foundation was founded in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert in memory of their late brother, Sam. Collectively known as the Shubert brothers, the three built a large theater empire in the first half of the 20th century that dominated the performing arts industry through their show booking and theater real estate holdings. The brothers became wealthy through their theater ventures, generating $1 million per week in ticket sales in 1924, and were constantly facing anti-trust litigation that eventually caused them to wind down the booking aspect of their business. 4

The last Shubert brother, Jacob Shubert, died in 1963, and the Shubert Foundation has since been the sole shareholder of the Shubert Organization, which as of 2024, operated 17 Broadway theatres, six off-Broadway venues, and the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia. The Shubert Organization is led by chairman and chief operating officer Robert Wankel, who also chairs the Shubert Foundation. 5


The Shubert Foundation is among the largest arts-related grantmaking foundations in the United States and is the largest foundation focusing on theater and dance organizations, holding $667 million in assets. In 2023, the foundation gave a total of $37.9 million to 635 grantees. Grantees of the organization mostly include non-profit professional theaters and dance companies, with 74 percent of grants directed towards theaters and 16 percent to dance companies. The foundation additionally makes a limited number of grants to the Shubert Scholars program and to arts-related organizations. Grants from the organization begin at $15,000 and are unrestricted for general operating support. The group explicitly states that it does not fund non-profit community theaters, emphasizing its funding focus on professional theaters. 6

The Shubert Foundation also provides funding to the New York City Department of Education, providing over $8 million in grants to the department since 2005 to fund theater and arts education programs. 7

Grantmaking Activity

Arts-related organizations funded by the Shubert Foundation include the American Theater Wing, Apollo Theater, artEquity Community, Candid, Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Drama League of New York, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. 8

The bulk of the foundation’s grantmaking is directed toward theater and dance companies. In 2023 the foundation announced its largest funding year on record with funding directed towards 471 professional resident theatres and 110 dance companies. The foundation also granted $645,000 to the New York City Department of Education and $1.2 million to universities to fund arts scholarship programs in 2023. 9

One dance organization funded by the foundation includes Dorrance Dance, a tap dance company that has promoted far-left policies including the abolition of prisons and defunding the police. 10


  1. “About Us.” Shubert Organization. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  2. “Shubert Brothers.” PBS. Accessed via Wayback Machine January 25, 2024.
  3. “About.” Shubert Foundation. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  4. “Shubert Brothers.” PBS. Accessed via Wayback Machine January 25, 2024.
  5. “About Us.” Shubert Organization. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  6. “FAQs.” Shubert Foundation. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  7. “NYC Department of Education.” Shubert Foundation. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  8. “Arts Related Organizations.” Shubert Foundation. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  9. “THE SHUBERT FOUNDATION Gives Record $37.9 Million in Grants.” Shubert Organization. July 13, 2023. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  10. Houston Keene. “Dance Company Featured in Jill Biden’s Christmas Video Promotes ‘Prison Abolition,’ Defund the Police’ Groups.” Fox News. December 14, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: May - April
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1946

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 May Form PF $0 $0 $631,075,735 $2,827,557 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2019 May Form PF $0 $0 $649,054,828 $2,441,384 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 May Form PF $0 $0 $333,636,055 $2,571,647 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 May Form PF $0 $0 $298,626,610 $2,297,496 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 May Form PF $0 $0 $279,123,268 $2,407,681 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 May Form PF $0 $0 $264,191,514 $2,217,894 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 May Form PF $0 $0 $259,253,147 $2,027,188 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Shubert Foundation

    New York, NY