Healing the soul of the world through the arts

How Can You Own The Sky Curtain Call

About

The mission of Anima Mundi Productions is to create original works of art that stir the soul, foster community, and address urgent social problems.

About Anima Mundi

al-bawwab-wikimediaAnima Mundi means “The Soul of the World” and refers to our conviction that the soul of humanity and the fate of the planet are intertwined; we seek to heal the soul of the world through the arts by providing experiences that bring people into their hearts and imagination, demonstrate the power of beauty, and heal societal wounds through love and spiritual awareness. For this purpose, Anima Mundi Productions organizes and produces artistic and community welfare opportunities, including but not limited to musical concerts, art installations, and dance and theater performances. These events are distinguished by a combination of one or many of the following elements:

  1. The direct participation of a constituency of a disadvantaged population such as military veterans with PTSD, women who have experienced trafficking and/or violence, children who have suffered poverty, drug addicts in recovery, etc.
  2. Themes that bring greater public awareness to issues of environmental devastation and/or social injustice, with a particular emphasis on issues that would greatly benefit from the humanizing and community-building power of the arts and contact with nature.
  3. Opportunities for healing, outreach, and community interaction such as art therapy sessions, free tickets to performances, roundtable panel/discussions, live demonstrations, expert lecturers, pre- and post-performance talks, etc.
  4. A spiritual component to the art, music, theater, etc. that gives the audience a tangible experience of the healing power of love to overcome the pain of the world.
  5. Opportunities to promote fundraising and direct philanthropy to the constituencies themselves and/or partnering non-profit social benefit organizations.

How We View the Arts

Art is much more than entertainment. It reconnects us with ourselves, restores our wounded self-image, and reaffirms our passion and our sense of belonging. The arts are the ideal vehicle for social change and the healing of the wounds of the world because they speak directly to the human unconscious through symbolism, ritual, and shared communal experience.

The artist, the musician, the storyteller, the painter, the sculptor, and today, the filmmaker, can speak directly to and from the wounded collective archetypes of our modern world in a way that realigns us as one family, connected both in victory and tragedy, interdependent upon each other and our natural world, and deserving of honor for the contributions each one of us offers.

Name: Anima Mundi Productions

Federal Tax ID: 271944408  (use for tax-deductible contributions to Anima Mundi Productions)

Non-profit Type: Public Benefit (Arts)

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1323 | Phoenix, Oregon, 97535

Phone: Ethan Gans-Morse, Exec. Director | 541-778-1211

View entry on Guidestar

Mission:

  • To create, promote, and produce new performing arts works that harness the power of the arts to stir the soul, foster community, and address urgent social and environmental problems.
  • To promote social justice and societal well-being through the intersection of live artistic productions, philanthropic/humanitarian giving, and community engagement.
  • To create public arts events that aid in the personal and collective healing of at-risk segments of society such as those who have experienced the traumas of war, domestic violence, childhood abuse, social injustice, etc.

Richard Gordon (President) | Founder and President of Richard Gordon Creative Productions

richard400Richard Gordon began his career as a chemical engineer for Phillips Petroleum in Kansas City, Gulf Oil in Texas, and Exxon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He directed his first business in 1980 and in 1985 started his own company, Richard Gordon Creative Productions. Mr. Gordon served on the board of directors and as president of the Louisiana Society for Personal Realization in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In 2006 he created an internet organization that now extends to over 15 countries, which is dedicated to promoting our planet’s greater good through cooperation and service. For over 30 years Mr. Gordon has been sought after as a teacher, speaker, and consultant. He has worked with businesses, churches, civic organizations, and individuals on five continents. Currently, he teaches and provides spiritual, managerial, and financial consulting for individuals and businesses, and promotes cutting edge businesses and philanthropic ventures.

Marshall Mueller (Treasurer) | Founder of Code Alarm, Inc. (retired)

marshall-sepia-400Marshall Mueller attended the State University of New York and Eastern Michigan University, studying economics and music. He has been directly involved in business ventures for most of his career. After several successful small start-ups in the service industry, Mr. Mueller cofounded Code Alarm Inc.—a firm which designs and manufactures electronic security systems for General Motors, Ford Motors, and for the automotive aftermarket. Following a successful public stock offering in 1990, he retired from day-to-day business activities to pursue other life interests.  He completed a four-year training in Body Psychotherapy, served on the board of Code Alarm, and worked on the board of a start-up manufacturing firm.

James E. Kelly (Secretary) |Teacher (retired)

James Kelly has been involved in education, spirituality, and service during his entire adult life. For eight years, he was a Christian Brother, a religious order of Catholic Monks dedicated to teaching. During that period, he received his B.A. in history from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. After leaving the order, he taught for an additional nine years throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. When he left teaching in 1978, Mr. Kelly began a 29-year career as a patient transporter/advocate within St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. Now retired in Ashland, Oregon, he has volunteered as a mentor for at-risk youth and addicts.

Debbie Schmelzer Levin (Director) | Owner of Indulge Spa, Medford, Oregon

Debbie Schmelzer Levin has accomplished a remarkable career as a professional counselor, entrepreneur, administrator and musician, as well as serving as a volunteer for numerous non-profit organizations. As a trained counselor, Ms. Levin has provided therapy in grief and loss, crisis, family and marriage, addiction and sexual abuse. As an entrepreneur, she has successfully founded and operated several businesses, engendered the enormous growth of several large spiritual organizations, and appeared on television and around the country as a professional singer.

Hannah Grace (Director) | Bookkeeper, Counselor

Originally from Berlin, Germany, Hannah Grace is an active member of the Southern Oregon community and a multi-talented member of the Anima Mundi Board of Directors. She runs a successful bookkeeping business, is a longtime active member of the Ashland Food Angels, non-profit that distributes food to low-income households, and worked for many years as a web technician for Centered Learning. Ms. Grace is also is a trained and certified midwife and has a successful practice as a counselor.

“I was impressed by the breath-taking sweep of what Anima Mundi Productions is doing… It is clear that the aim here is healing, and that for all involved there is a deep sincerity in the loving approach they are taking, and their commitment to art as a vehicle of healing. Indeed, one feels that loving commitment in the performance, and each of the people who are involved.”

Rowan Wolf, OpEdNews

“Generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate… Production values overall reflected artistry, hard work and commitment… Contemporary opera is alive in Oregon, and not just that, it’s vital, addressing contemporary issues with determination and compassion.”

James McQuillen, The Oregonian

“One of the most exciting developments of the arts season.”

Brett Campbell, Oregon ArtsWatch editor

“I have searched since I returned from combat in 1969, and continue to search, for ways to bring a shift in consciousness in the world… I believe that such a shift would end war and finally give meaning to my experiences in war, and to the deaths of my soldiers and of all soldiers in all wars. [Anima Mundi Productions’] The Canticle of the Black Madonna is clearly a vehicle for bringing about that shift, that awakening.

Bill Ritch, Vietnam Combat Veteran, Silver Star Recipient

“[Anima Mundi Productions’] The Canticle of the Black Madonna is that very special kind of art that genuinely helps people who have fallen into desperate isolation. It grabs you and says, ‘You’re not alone; you’re not misunderstood after all; there’s still hope.’ This is the kind of art that saved my life.”

Sean Davis, former SFC, U.S. Army Infantry, Purple Heart Recipient

“[Anima Mundi Productions’] How Can You Own The Sky? provides emotional catharsis on par with the great masterworks of the past. The dramatic score is brought to life through first-class orchestration and connects seamlessly with the poetry. Both the musicians and the audience were deeply touched by the experience.”

Martin Majkut, Music Director of the Rogue Valley Symphony & Queens Symphony Orchestra

“…[Anima Mundi Productions’ opera Tango of the White Gardenia] will travel to places that usually don’t see much live opera, [and] I hope it also eventually goes to middle and high schools to reach young people. Its messages are loud and clear and humane, and the art is fine enough to carry them. We need compassion, not competition when it comes to relationships. Not only can Tango of the White Gardenia turn people onto the sometimes-alienating ancient art form of opera, it also suggests that we can become better people.”

Angela Allen, Oregon ArtsWatch opera critic

“In both of these events [The Canticle of the Black Madonna and How Can You Own The Sky?], what came through was Anima Mundi Productions’ commitment to deploying the power of music and narrative stories to bring real benefit and healing to our community. Projects like those proposed by Anima Mundi Productions can be very important. The arts have a crucial role in making marginalized populations feel seen and appreciated by the larger public. Sharing immigrants’ stories through the emotional language of music and poetry could make them feel more visible, and could increase the awareness among non-immigrant audience members. For these reasons, I wish to voice my support for Anima Mundi Productions’ upcoming concert series and, in particular, their important work of sharing immigrant experiences through the media of music and narrative poetry. ”

Chela Tapps-Kocks, Founder/director of the Ashland-Guanajuato Sister City program for 50 years,
Professor Emeritus at Southern Oregon University

Ethan Gans-Morse (Co-Founder, Executive Director)

Ethan-Head-4Composer Ethan Gans-Morse’s work spans the worlds of music, counseling, and arts administration. He has served as the Executive Director of Anima Mundi Productions since its founding in 2010, overseeing numerous artistic, humanitarian, and fundraising efforts. He focuses on collaborative, socially relevant projects that foster greater human connection. As Eugene Weekly described his work, “Classical music is often rightly accused of ignoring the here and now. Fortunately, [composers such as Gans-Morse] are using classical and postclassical forms to help us understand the sometimes-unpleasant realities of the world we live in.”

Ethan also serves as resident composer and artistic producer for Anima Mundi Productions, running campaigns such as the 2014 Indiegogo crowdfunder which raised over $75,000. He is the award-winning composer of several Anima Mundi Productions projects, including the opera The Canticle of the Black Madonna, which The Oregonian called “A huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate,” How Can You Own The Sky?, and the upcoming Tango of the White Gardenia.

Tiziana DellaRovere (Co-Founder)
tiziana400Born in Milan, Italy, Tiziana DellaRovere is an accomplished writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She has written two librettos for new operas by her husband, composer Ethan Gans-Morse, as well as poetry for their program symphony, How Can You Own The Sky?, and numerous art songs and choral collaborations.

Tiziana’s writings flow from her convictions about the cultivation of love as a fierce, courageous and down-to-earth power that can heal the heart of humanity and a vibrant life-force that each person carries within. In addition to her work as poet and librettist, Tiziana is a published author whose works explore the rebalancing of the archetypal masculine and feminine, as in her books Sacred Fire: Rites of Passage and Rituals of Worship and Adorata: The Path of Enlovement, and her upcoming The Sacred Lovers Within.

Tiziana studied law and philosophy in Milan, painting and sculpture at the California College of Arts and Crafts, clinical psychology at San Francisco State University, and was among the first women to be ordained at the seminary of the Liberal Catholic Church of Antioch. Her writing, teachings, and paintings are unified in her devotion to bringing the mystical experience of the Divine into everyday life.

Projects

The Canticle of the Black Madonna opera project

The Canticle of the Black Madonna

Full details and multimedia at www.CBMopera.com

Project Summary

Between 2012-2014, Anima Mundi Productions launched, operated, and completed an ambitious project: the creation of a new opera that explores the dual traumas of combat-related PTSD and the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. The overarching theme of the piece is that there are some challenges in this world that are so painful, so overwhelming that it is only through the opening of the heart, in this case embodied by the all-powerful love of the archetypal Mother in the form of the Black Madonna, that we can find hope and a new path to healing.

Project Highlights

  • Music composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; libretto (text and story) written by Tiziana DellaRovere, the two founders and resident artists of Anima Mundi Productions.
  • Indiegogo campaign raised over $75,000 through crowdfunding (details here).
  • Total project operating budget raised through grants and donations: over $350,000.
  • Fully professional production at the Portland Center for the Performing arts in Portland, Oregon.
  • Called “A huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate” by The Oregonian (read more critical acclaim here).
  • Directly involved the veteran community through the following offerings free of charge:
    • The casting of veterans to appear onstage in the production,
    • The hiring of veterans to work on the production,
    • Veteran input in the creation of the work,
    • Special outreach services such as our Painting PTSD initiative and a special performance of the opera for an exclusively veteran audience which included a trauma expert onsite to lead a debriefing event after the opera,
    • Forthcoming professionally produced HD cinematic video of the project to be made available for special viewings by veterans communities.

Watch a 4-minute video about this project


How Can You Own The Sky?

A Symphonic Poem Honoring Native Wisdom

Premiered: April 2018

Project Summary

The Rogue Valley Symphony commissioned Anima Mundi Productions and resident artists Ethan Gans-Morse and Tiziana DellaRovere to create a Symphonic Poem comprising a four-movement symphonic work, preceded by original poetry and Native American singing and drumming.

Project Highlights

  • Four-movement symphonic poem composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; original poetry by Tiziana DellaRovere
  • Recitation, singing, and drumming by Brent Florendo, professor of Native American studies and Native Nations Liaison at Southern Oregon University, accompanied by the Dancing Spirit drummers.
  • Explores such themes as the creation of the land, the wisdom and legacy of the original peoples of Southern Oregon, historical loss and tragedy, and a vision of hope and reconciliation for the future.
  • Read more about the world premiere of this unique program symphony on Oregon ArtsWatch and the Medford Mail Tribune

Learn more about the piece, listen to the music, and read the poetry HERE.

Watch a 7-minute mini-documentary about this project


Tango of the White Gardenia

Premiered: September 2018

Project Summary

Cascadia Chamber Opera commissioned Anima Mundi Productions resident artists Ethan Gans-Morse and Tiziana DellaRovere to create an original opera in celebration of their 10th season.

Project Highlights

  • Music composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; libretto (text and story) written by Tiziana DellaRovere, the two founders and resident artists of Anima Mundi Productions.
  • Fun, light, witty new opera, easily accessible for non-traditional audiences while still packing a powerful emotional punch.
  • Music infused with Argentine Tango.
  • Touring performances in Lincoln City, Florence, Astoria, Bend, and Eugene, Oregon, reaching constituencies who otherwise wouldn’t have access to live opera.
  • Tango of the White Gardenia explores how enduring love and staying true to one’s heart is more precious than winning external recognition and climbing the social ladder, and how the consequences of parents’ mistakes befall their children. It reveals how the abandonment and absence of the mother creates insecurities and a sense of not being worthy of love, and the absence of the father creates in his daughter a compulsion to seduce, and a ferocious competitiveness to make it in the world and be recognized at any cost. In doing so the opera also offers an allegory for bullying, how bullies come to be, and insight into how bullying can be addressed.

Angela Allen, opera critic for Oregon ArtsWatch, called Tango of the White Gardenia “A triumph,” writing:

“Its messages are loud and clear and humane, and the art is fine enough to carry them. We need compassion, not competition when it comes to relationships. Not only can Tango of the White Gardenia turn people onto the sometimes-alienating ancient art form of opera, it also suggests that we can become better people.”

CLICK TO READ THE FULL REVIEW

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Oregon Cultural Trust Member

Because we’re a proud member of the Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregonians who contribute to Anima Mundi Productions have a special opportunity to receive an additional state tax credit upon contributing to Anima Mundi and the Oregon Cultural Trust. Click here for more information.

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If you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska and you regularly shop at a Fred Meyer store, all you need to do is link your link your Rewards Card to us by visiting fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. The website will ask you for our NPO number, which is 87907.

At the end of each quarter, Fred Meyer will make a donation to Anima Mundi Productions based on the accumulated spending of all participating Rewards customers. You still get all of your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, while simultaneously helping to heal the world through the arts, so please sign up today!

If you live in a state with Kroger supermarkets or any of the stores owned by Kroger, including Fry’s, Dillons, Food 4 Less, and many others, you can still participate. Simply talk to a store manager about signing up for Kroger Community Rewards, and let them know that you’d like your purchases to benefit an organization in the Fred Meyer Division, number 701, with NPO number 87907. We greatly appreciate it!

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