12 New Grants @ $55,836

An all-volunteer group of Phish fans today announced that it is awarding twelve new grants to support music education for children. The grants will pay for instruments ranging from recorders to sitars, a well as stands and sheet music, performance and recording equipment, scholarships, instructor fees, and rental space. They support school bands, after-school programs, and innovative forms of music education; at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community centers, and an emergency shelter.

This thirteenth round of competitive grants from the Mockingbird Foundation totals $52,836, more than twice the previous round’s disbursement, and will support diverse programs throughout the U.S.:

  • Central Heights Elementary School (Richmond, KS) for instruments and art-prints for a program in which groups of 1st-3rd graders compose music inspired by printed art.
  • Dewar Public School (Dewar, OK) to purchase wind and reed instruments for 5th-12th grade band students.
  • Edison Elementary School (Centralia, WA) for a tiny primary school in a community hit hard by unemployment and flooding.
  • Girls Rock Philly (Philadelphia, PA) for keyboards, a drum kit, a PA, and other materials for a one-week summer day camp.
  • Hope Haven (St. Louis, MS) to cover instructor fees for a year’s worth of music lessons at an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children.
  • John Winthrop Elementary School (Dorchester, MA) for recorders, music stands, sheet music, and more for inner-city elementary students.
  • Knowledge-First Empowerment Center (Houston, TX) for a unique Play It Forward program in which students volunteer to help peers.
  • Nuçi’s Space (Athens, GA) to provide instruction and space for the Camped Amped after-school program that aims to prevent suicide through music education.
  • River Arts of Morrisville, Inc. (Morrisville, VT) for instruction and percussion instruments to expand the World Groovez program.
  • Sitar Arts Center (Washington, DC) to help make the Instrumental Music Education Project accessible to children from low-income families.
  • Somis Union School District (Somis, CA) for guitars and supplies for the MAS (Music After School) Guitars program for K-8th graders.
  • Washington Peace Center / Girls Rock DC (Washington, DC) to support instruments, equipment, and staff for a second week of summer camp.

Each of these grants adds critical support for an important and innovative program in music education for children. Several fund new programs, and all target underserved students, cultures, communities, and/or musical genres. The Foundation has now made 187 grants in 40 states, disbursed a total of $602,695.04, and will continue announcing new grants for years to come.

The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about the band Phish and its music. Since its inception in 1996, the Foundation has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff. It fundraises for music education for children by celebrating the music of Phish through books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, and special events for the Phish fan community. Funds are distributed through a two-tiered application process that is one of the most competitive in the country.

The second edition of The Phish Companion (the Foundation’s 928-page authoritative encyclopedia) is available from major book outlets nationwide. Its double-disc tribute album Sharin’ in the Groove is available in CD format through Amazon, CDBaby.com, and Homegrown Music Network, as well as in digital format from iTunes, MSN Music, Rhapsody, Napster, BuyMusic, MusicMatch, Sony Connect, MusicIsHere, Liquid Digital Media, PassAlong, MusicNet, Puretracks, MusicNow, and LoudEye! For more information about Mockingbird, or to make a donation, please visit www.mbird.org.

Phish was a rock band that started in 1983 and performed a “final show” on August 15, 2004. They will reunite this coming Friday (March 6, 2009) for three shows at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, prior to a summer tour in June that includes two performances at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, Tennessee) and eleven shows in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Wisconsin. For more information about Phish, please visit http://www.phish.com.

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