First Major Contributions Go to Three Special Organizations

A volunteer organization has raised over $10,000 for charity by writing a book about the band Phish. The Mockingbird Foundation has announced the first recipients of major grants from sales of The Phish Companion, a 928-page book released last fall by Backbeat Books (formerly Miller Freeman Books). The grants will benefit three unique and diverse programs in music education for children.

A grant of $5,000 has been awarded to the Athabascan Music Program of the Yukon-Koyukuk School District in Alaska. This program seeks to reintroduce traditional music and instruments to the underserved and disenfranchised villages of the Yukon and Koyukuk River Valleys. It focuses on instruction in eleven rural and isolated schools, and combines a travelling professional fiddler/guitarist with the involvement of village elders. The Mockingbird Foundation’s grant will help purchase instruments for the younger children – percussion, rhythm, and small-necked Athabascan fiddles and guitars with which they can actively participate in the program.

A grant of $3,000 has been awarded to the New Mexico Jazz Workshop in Albuquerque. Part of the Workshop’s five-program education series is a Summer Jazz Camp for children 6-12. The Mockingbird Foundation’s grant will re-instate, for 2001, scholarships for low-income students to participate. Specifically, the grant will allow fifteen students to attend the Camp at a discounted tuition rate for two weeks this summer.

A grant of $2,500 has been awarded to Art Sanctuary and the LIFE After School Program in Philadelphia. Art Sanctuary is an African-American arts organization housed in the Church of the Advocate. The LIFE program serves 50-80 elementary and middle-school children, to whom Art Sanctuary has introduced an artist-in-residency project to teach traditional drumming techniques indigenous to West African cultures. The Mockingbird grant pays for the instructor, assistants, and drums needed for the six-month program.

The Mockingbird Foundation was incorporated by Phish fans in 1997 and generates charitable proceeds through Phish fandom. The all-volunteer organization has no paid staff and donates all of its net proceeds to music education for children. Additional grants are planned for this summer, from continued sales of The Phish Companion as well as from the Foundation’s forthcoming double-disc charity cover album Sharing in the Groove. More information is available on the organization’s web site, located at

Phish is a rock band based in Burlington, VT, who toured heavily from 1983 through 2000. They are now on a hiatus, of unknown duration, which began after their show on October 7, 2000, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. For more information on the band, see or The Phish Companion.