The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest

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2021-22 Music in Action Program

The 2020-21 Music in Action program, RWSUM's first-ever grant program, was a great success, having funded the production of two inspiring performances. Read more about the 2020-21 program here.

We are pleased to announce that our board has approved an expanded Music in Action program for 2021-22 with Dr David Cline and Renate Sharp as Co-Chairs. Dr. Cline founded RWSUM in 1998, while Renate proposed and inspired the inaugural program. She, along with Don Notvik, became Founding Sponsors, and continue to provide leadership funding for the 2021-22 program.

Donate Now!

For our inaugural 2020-21 program, all grant funds were donated by the board of directors. For 2021-22, we hope to issue grants to 4-6 emerging artists. The board has once again made a substantial financial commitment to the program, but by expanding fundraising to you, our RWSUM members and friends, we have established a goal of $15,000, tripling the funding of the inaugural program.

To get us off to a great start, members of the RWSUM board have joined with Music in Action's Founding Sponsors, Renate Sharp and Don Notvik, to match all contributions up to a total of $5,000, dollar-for-dollar!

Donate Now and take advantage of our challenge match! Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by the Internal Revenue Service.

RWSUM is an all-volunteer organization; every dollar you contribute will fund projects created by local musicians!


While the immediate shock of the George Floyd tragedy is now in the past, we still live in turbulent times and emerging artists still need our support. We have updated the Music in Action program objectives accordingly:

  • Support emerging vocalists with grant funding and audience exposure as they develop their careers.
  • Bring an understanding and appreciation of Richard Wagner’s art to a broader audience.
  • Encourage the performance of operatic and art song pieces from any era that speak to current social, political and/or cultural issues.
  • Celebrate inclusiveness through program and performer selection.

Performance Guidelines

The intent of this grant program is to supply musicians with the funds needed to create performances and retain fair compensation for them. Grantees will own the rights to all content produced under the grant and may use it as desired to advance their career.

Each performance will consist of operatic and/or art song pieces of any era, including at least one composed by Wagner. Performances must either be:

  • Pre-recorded and premiered online, with video hosting provided by RWSUM, or
  • Livestreamed, performed in front of an audience in a venue mutually agreeable to grantee and RWSUM, and recorded for future viewing. These performances will be free for members and available at a nominal admission fee for non-members.


Our fundraising campaign will extend through this summer. At the end of the campaign, when we know the total pool of grant funds available, we will launch the application process, most likely around Labor Day. Grants will be awarded no later than Thanksgiving, with 4-6 winners (up from 2 in 2020).

We plan to schedule the musical programs developed by our grant recipients throughout our 2022 Spring and Fall seasons. These Music in Action programs will be offered in addition to our traditional RWSUM events.

Double Your Impact!

Won’t you join your Wagner Society in supporting our local musicians? Recovery from the pandemic will take much longer for them than for most professions, so please help financially if you can. And even if you cannot help at this time, we hope to see you at our 2022 Music in Action concerts!

Click here to Donate Now and Double Your Impact!

All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by the Internal Revenue Service.

Have a wonderful summer!

- mike

Michael J Ruppert, President and Events Committee Chair


Thank You, Donors!

Matching Fund Contributors:

Renate Sharp and Don Notvik,

Music in Action Founding Sponsors,

In Honor of Dr. David Cline

Meg & Steve Blake

Dr. David Cline

Jim Richardson & Dorothy Horns

Michael J Ruppert

Jerry Swenson

Members and Friends:

Betty Andrews

Anonymous, in Honor of Dr. David Cline

Anonymous, in Honor of Hans Hotter

Anonymous, in Honor of Michael Ruppert

James Ashe

Mark Campbell

Brad Clark

Vicky Cook

Tim Counts

Jeremy Geaga

Marylee Guerrero

Rick Johnson

David Mayo

Michelle Ruppert

Laura Turner

Hilan Warshaw

Kevin Winge, in Honor of Michael Ruppert

P. Hauoli’ipo Wright

Plus Four Additional Anonymous Donors

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