By Merle Exit
This year, the Shubert Foundation has awarded a record total of $30 million to 533 nonprofit performing arts organizations across the United States, including two from Queens.
Queens Theatre, located at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, received a grant of $40,000, while the Thalia Spanish Theatre, located at 41-17 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside, was the recipient of a $10,000 grant.
“This year we are delighted to be offering support to 533 performing arts organizations all around the country,” Shubert Foundation President Michael I. Sovern said. “Our longstanding practice of providing help in the form of general operating support remains unchanged. We are convinced that talented artists and administrators are best able to decide how to use the funds we grant.”
Foundation Chairman Philip J. Smith said the foundation wants to help lift the financial burden to help organizations across the country focus on the production of “thought-provoking, relevant work for the widest possible audience.”
Funding from the Shubert Foundation is not by “invitation only” but rather on an open door basis. Nonprofit theaters are given an application and must meet their guidelines. Queens Theatre has been the recipient of funding since 1999, which has totaled $277,500.
“We are thrilled to have received this generous grant from the Shubert Foundation,” Queens Theatre’s Executive Director Taryn Sacramone said. “They have been a supporter of our Theatre Season for many years. The foundation is truly invested in the work — and impact — of their grantees; we are fortunate to be among them.”
Sacramone said funds are being allocated to the Mainstage Theatre Series, plays that Queens Theatre presents or produces.
Thalia’s executive director, Angel Gil Orrios, was thrilled to hear about the grant given to the theater, which has received a total of $140,000 in grant money since 1999.
“Shubert Foundation has always been supportive,” he said. “We are the first and only bilingual Hispanic theater in Queens and have already celebrated our 40th anniversary. Every month is Hispanic Heritage month.”
The company produces five productions each year. They have special events planned throughout June.
“During the month of June we host free outdoor festivals from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays at Noonan Playground, located a block away from the theatre,” Orrios said. Each year, guests visit the theatre from far-off locales as diverse as Spain, Uruguay, PerÃº, Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala.