Healing the soul of the world through the arts
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
Anima 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 the shared experience of live music. For this purpose, Anima Mundi Productions organizes and produces artistic and community welfare opportunities through musical concerts and operas which are are distinguished by a combination of one or many of the following elements:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A live ritual component that gives the audience a tangible experience of the healing power of love to overcome the pain of the world.
- 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.
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
- 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 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 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.
Rita Reitz (Director) | Concert Pianist, Music Educator (retired)
Rita Reitz, a native of Ripley, Tennessee, graduated from the University of Bridgeport Connecticut and went on to earn a master’s degree in religion, philosophy and ethics from Yale University. A professional pianist and organist, she concertized in nine states. She taught piano for 53 years and taught music in the Menlo-Atherton School District for 35 years. She volunteered with the San Francisco Symphony Mid-Peninsula League, taking 450 students a year to attend a SF Symphony performance at Davies Symphony Hall. Rita retired to the Rogue Valley Manor in 2013 and immediately became involved with the Rogue Valley Symphony Guild, chairing their 35th Anniversary fundraiser in 2014. She volunteers and is involved in many music activities at the Manor and at First Presbyterian Church in Medford.
Hannah Grace (Director) | Bookkeeper
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.
Rowan Wolf, OpEdNews
James McQuillen, The Oregonian
Brett Campbell, Oregon ArtsWatch editor
Bill Ritch, Vietnam Combat Veteran, Silver Star Recipient
Sean Davis, former SFC, U.S. Army Infantry, Purple Heart Recipient
Martin Majkut, Music Director of the Rogue Valley Symphony & Queens Symphony Orchestra
Angela Allen, Oregon ArtsWatch opera critic
Chela Tapps-Kocks, Founder/director of the Ashland-Guanajuato Sister City program for 50 years,
Professor Emeritus at Southern Oregon University
Composer 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,” the program symphony How Can You Own The Sky?, and the new opera Tango of the White Gardenia.
Tiziana DellaRovere (Co-Founder, Resident Writer, Donor Relations)
Born 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 the healing power of the arts and to bringing a sense of mystery and wonder into everyday life.
Jane E. Kenworthy (Business and Development Director)
Jane Kenworthy’s career in arts management has spanned over forty years. Prior to working for Anima Mundi Productions, she held executive positions with the Annapolis, Dubuque, Fairfax, Roanoke, Stockton and Rogue Valley Symphony orchestras and with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Washington Bach Consort and the Handel Choir of Baltimore. She was audience development manager for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, marketing and public relations assistant for Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, general manager of the Mt. Vernon Orchestra (VA), and personnel manager for the Alexandria Symphony, and coordinator of the Performance Department of the Manhattan School of Music.
Ms. Kenworthy has also held non-arts related jobs with the Washington Post, the Mayor’s Talent Search (NYC), the Addiction Services Agency (NYC), Harvard University and Abt Associates of Cambridge, MA. A graduate of Oberlin College with a major in English, she went on to study violin at the Manhattan School of Music.
The Canticle of the Black Madonna
Full details and multimedia at www.CBMopera.com
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
Tango of the White Gardenia
Premiered: September 2018
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.
- 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.”
Stay in touch
Your support makes our work possible.
Together, we can bring world-class artists and performances that stir the soul and tell timely, meaningful stories that foster compassion.
Shopping at AmazonSmile is one of the easiest ways to support Anima Mundi Productions. All you have to do is make regular purchases from Amazon.com using this link.
Here is how it works:
- Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice
- AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service
- Support Anima Mundi Productions by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.
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 IM487.
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 IM487. We greatly appreciate it!