The Mockingbird Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit founded and run entirely by Phish fans, has announced twelve new grants totaling $42,900 in support of music education for children. The grants come from the Mockingbird’s 18th round of competitive grant-making, and bring the Foundation’s total disbursements to nearly $850,000.
These newest grants support the following programs at schools, centers, and non-profit organizations in eleven states, including the Foundation’s first grants in Wyoming and South Carolina:
- $4,000 for violins at Augustana Arts, Inc. (Denver, CO) to expand its City Strings program to post-elementary students;
- $5,000 for instruments at Canyon Springs Alternative High School (Caldwell, ID) to involve more students in its Music Department;
- $5,000 for instruments at COG-ME (Community, Opportunity, And Generosity Through Music Education) (Huntsville, AL) to provide orchestral opportunities in city recreation centers;
- $3,000 for guitars at Free Guitars For Future Stars (Wonder Lake, IL) to support lessons for 20 additional students;
- $4,300 for world drumming packages at Dan Mills Elementary School (Nashville, TN) to create a Danmills’ Rockin’, Unique Musicians (DRUM) program;
- $1,400 for guitars at Converse County School District #1 Rural Schools (Douglas, WY) to involve more 4th-8th grade students;
- $4,200 for staffing at The Song Project (Philadelphia, PA, through fiscal sponsor _ in Boston, MA) to provide two 10-week songwriting groups to inner-city girls;
- $3,200 for instruments, accessories, and staffing at City Voices (Des Moines, IA) for a guitar class of six secondary students;
- $1,800 for keyboards at King Middle School (Portland, ME), serving the most ethnically diverse economically disadvantaged student body in the state;
- $4,000 for small-necked fiddles and scholarships at O’Connor Method Charleston, Inc. (Jacksonboro,, SC) to involve more students in fiddle lessons and jam sessions;
- $2,000 for hand chimes at Baker Victory Services (Lackawanna, NY) to support instruction of and performance by disadvantaged youth with emotional/behavioral challenges; and
- $5,000 for equipment at Junaluska And Jonathan Valley Elementary Schools (Waynesville, NC) to support the Good Singing Habits program for K-5 students.
These twelve grantees were selected from among 1,059 initial applicants who requested a total of more than $5.2 million, far beyond our current resources. Due to such high demand, the Foundation’s two-tiered online application process remains one of the most competitive in the nation. However, this is the first time in memory that we have been able to fund more than 1% of inquiries – and that is only due to the continuing generosity and support of fellow Phish fans. We hope that you will consider making a fully tax-deductible donation through the Foundation’s website at www.mbird.org so that we can continue to increase the percentage of applicants whom we are ultimately able to fund.
Significant portions of these grants were funded due to the generosity of fans, including a user-driven effort on the Phish.net forum which raised thousands of dollars during the holidays alone, as well as through several events held to benefit the Foundation, , and continuing auctions, art sales, and related events by Phanart.
The Mockingbird Foundation, run entirely by volunteers, supports music education for children by fundraising through Phish-related projects. The Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, was organized by Phish fans in 1996, formally incorporated in 1997, and has since then distributed $836,593.40 through 272 grants in 45 states.
The Foundation is also the leading provider of historical information about Phish and its music, having cultivated intellectual property through www.phish.net since 1994 and having published two editions of the popular trade paperback books The Phish Companion: A Guide to the Band and Their Music. The third edition of The Phish Companion will be completed this year. The Foundation is able to disburse more than 98% of the funds raised to important and innovative programs serving diverse populations.
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 ended 2013 with four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, including a rousing rendition of “Fly Famous Mockingbird.” Phish donates a portion of proceeds from LivePhish downloads to the Mockingbird Foundation. For more information about Phish, please visit phish.com and phish.net.