Media Releases

Maria Manetti Shrem Champions Festival Napa Valley with $3 Million Challenge

Festival Napa Valley has announced the Manetti Shrem Challenge, a $3 million matching gift from longtime benefactor Maria Manetti Shrem.

Designed to inspire new giving, the Manetti Shrem Challenge will act as a catalyst for accelerating the growth of Festival Napa Valley’s year-round programming, educational initiatives, and scholarship programs.

"I believe the art of living is the art of giving,” said Maria Manetti Shrem in announcing the gift. “Festival Napa Valley embodies the best of art’s potential to transform lives and create positive change. By presenting this challenge, I hope to inspire the next generation of philanthropists to join me in supporting this wonderful organization, ensuring the future of the arts in Napa Valley and beyond."

Festival Napa Valley President and CEO Rick Walker stated, "We are grateful to Maria for her generosity and commitment. The Manetti Shrem Challenge enhances Festival Napa Valley's capacity to enrich lives and empower our community."

Maria Manetti Shrem has been instrumental in supporting Festival Napa Valley since its inception in 2006. Her contributions include the establishment of the Festival's Manetti Shrem Opera Program, a comprehensive celebration of vocal arts that nurtures the careers of talented singers with innovative opera productions on the Festival stage, a tuition-free summer conservatory for preprofessional vocalists, a vocal arts series featuring established stars and emerging talent, and the Manetti Shrem Opera Prize, as well as the Maria Manetti Shrem Daniel Brewbaker Composer Prize. In recognition of their many contributions to the success of Festival Napa Valley, Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem were named 2022 recipients of the Angels of the Arts award, the Festival’s highest honor.

In 2024 the Festival will introduce a new annual event, "La Dolce Vita: Maria Manetti Celebrates…", paying tribute to iconic Italian figures in film, fashion, design, arts, food, and wine. This program will strengthen the historic bonds between Italy and the San Francisco Bay Area and will debut with a 2024 celebration of the life and career of Sophia Loren.

Every new gift during the Manetti Shrem Challenge will double its impact. To contribute, please contact Tessa Edwards at 707.927.3874.