A volunteer nonprofit run by Phish fans has contributed $5,000 towards restoration of music education programs impacted by Hurricane Sandy last October. The unsolicited grants provide $1,000 for each of five schools at which music programs were destroyed or debilitated during the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history:
- Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park
- PS/MS 114 Belle Harbor, NY
- Long Beach Elementary School
- Long Beach City Middle School
- Long Beach High School
The Mockingbird Foundation’s Sandy Restoration grants come from an Emergency Fund created in May 2006. Under that fund, which has now provided 38 grants totaling $29,600, three percent of the Foundation’s gross revenues are designated for music education programs affected by disasters. “While disaster relief generally is outside our primary mission,” explained Executive Director Ellis Godard, “we can provide some immediate assistance towards restoring music programs. And we know that music, and education generally, can help provide the hope and relief which are particularly valuable at times such as this.”
Though smaller than the Foundation’s competitive grants (max. $5,000) and far from sufficient to resolve the problems they target, these “emergency grants” are intended to help bring attention to their recipients’ unique needs and to remind potential donors about the importance of music education in the lives of underage disaster victims. “The children affected by these disasters need music now more than ever,” added Mockingbird President Marco Walsh. “We look forward to students in each of these communities learning and playing music again, as soon as possible.”
“One of the biggest benefits of participating in a school music program is the regularity with which you rehearse with your peers,” added Foundation board member and professional musician Andrew Hitz. “This regular pursuit provides a sense of normalcy which no child or community should be denied. Music always accelerates the healing process, as does any sense of a return to business as usual, which rehearsals provide. School music programs are a source of pride for both the students who comprise them and their communities.”
The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. is the leading provider of historical information about Phish and its music, having cultivated intellectual property through www.phish.net since 1994. Mockingbird is also a leading grantmaker in and fundraiser for music education, having made more than 240 grants nationwide. Funds are raised through tax-deductible contributions, special events, and Phish-related products such as The Phish Companion. Hal Leonard will release a third edition of the wildly popular trade paperback later this year, in print, ebook, and app formats.
The Foundation itself exists primarily online: Though formally incorporated in 1997, it has no salaries, staff, or office. Volunteer manpower permits Mockingbird to disburse more than 98% of revenues to innovative programs serving diverse populations. Nonetheless, the Foundation’s two-tiered application process remains frustratingly competitive, due to high demand and limited resources. As lovers of music, and defenders of children, we hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible contribution today.
Phish is a rock band that started in 1983 and grew to become one of the highest-grossing live acts in the nation. The band donates a portion of proceeds from LivePhish.com to the Mockingbird Foundation, but has no role in the Foundation’s management or operations. For more information about Phish, please visit phish.net and phish.com.