Grant #117

Viva Verdi!

November 23, 2014

Music doesn’t just soothe the soul; it can build a home!

Has a great movie ever moved you to action? Yvonne Russo recognizes the power of film to change lives for the better. Her upcoming documentary, VIVA VERDI!, is a touching testament to the greatness of the human spirit, and immortality of giving.

VIVA VERDI! honors the life of Giuseppe Verdi, the famous 19th century Italian opera composer who willed his vast fortune to start a retirement home for aging artists. Thanks to his extraordinary generosity, and strong belief in the need for a dignified dwelling for elderly musicians, thousands of living legends have called Casa Verdi home since it opened in 1902. Now, international opera singers, ballet dancers, conductors and composers can live out the third act of their lives with passion, dignity and purpose.

VIVA VERDI! gives viewers a glowing glimpse into the celebrated and historic careers of its residents, and the remarkable reality of their inspiring day-to-day lives as they continue to compose, dance, play, and mentor. This AWB grant will help supply Casa Verdi’s “guests” with 3 meals for a full production week. It’s a wonderful gesture that deserves a high-five and a helping hand.

Like Casa Verdi, the best gifts are the ones that keep giving back. So keep the good vibes going! Show Yvonne (and team) some love on Facebook. And of course, don’t forget to check out the film!

Category: Community, Documentary, Film, Music, Performance



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders