The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest

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2021-22 Music in Action Program

Our 2021-22 Music in Action grant program has launched!

Apply online:  2021-22 Music in Action Grant Application

Deadline: November 15, 2021

The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest conceived the Music in Action program in June, 2020. The objective of the 2020-21 Music in Action program was “to provide financial support for local musicians while addressing the greater need for hope, healing, and community exposed by the killing of George Floyd.” Our board members donated $5000 to the program, enabling us to award grants to two local vocalists. They produced exceptional, innovative, and very personally meaningful musical performances. Read more about last year’s program here and watch the performances.


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.


October 1, 2021 Program launch; applications may be submitted beginning on this day

November 15, 2021 Application deadline. All application materials must be received

December 31, 2021 Grant awards announced

Spring & Fall 2022 Grant project premieres and talkbacks (2-3 per season)

Earliest Expenditure Date/Project Completion Date

Grant contracts will be sent out within two weeks following the award announcement. Half of the total grant award will be dispensed upon receipt of signed contract. Grant funds cannot be used to pay for expenses incurred before the grant contract is signed. All work products, including a final accounting, must be delivered within two weeks following the project premiere. Any extension requires written permission from the Wagner Society.


An applicant must:

  • Be an individual artist. Organizations or individuals submitting on behalf of an organization will not be considered. Projects may include other individuals (e.g. other vocalists, instrumentalists, or other performing artists).

  • Live in the Twin Cities seven-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties).

  • Be a US citizen, be a US permanent resident, or be an individual otherwise legally able to work in the US.

How to Apply/Contact Information

Apply online using our convenient application formPlease direct any questions to our Program Coordinator, Michael Ruppert, at

Last Year's 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.

At our May 2021 board meeting, the seven directors on RWSUM's board approved an expanded Music in Action program for 2021-22 with Dr David Cline and Renate Sharp as Co-Chairs of the fundraising campaign. 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.

You can still make a difference!

For our inaugural 2020-21 program, all grant funds were donated by the board of directors.

For 2021-22, we expect to issue grants to 4-6 emerging artists, two to three times as many! 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 established a goal of $15,000, tripling the funding of the inaugural program. As of October 1, we have raised in excess of $13,000!

We're still striving for a goal of $15,000, and we're so very close! It's not too late to contribute!

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


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, in Honor of Jim Richardson

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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