Two Phish-related charities have once again joined forces to support music education. Unsolicited checks (“miracle grants”) from the fan-managed Mockingbird Foundation are being matched by the Vermont band’s own WaterWheel Foundation, for a total of $7,000 granted to organizations in Vermont and Pennsylvania.
Continuing its tradition of making grants in cities where the band is playing, The Mockingbird Foundation selected two Philadelphia-based programs, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Play On, Philly!, to receive part of the proceeds of Mockingbird’s poster sales at the recent PhanArt-produced A World Café Live One art show. And following in their goal of supporting Vermont-based programs in need, WaterWheel Foundation identified Fletcher Elementary School in Cambridge, VT. Together, the two organizations granted $5,000 to Fletcher Elementary, to purchase essential equipment for their music and art programs, and $1,000 each to PHSCPA and Play On, Philly!.
The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about the band Phish and its music, having cultivated intellectual property through www.phish.net since 1994 and is soon to publish the third edition of the popular trade paperback book The Phish Companion: A Guide to the Band and Their Music. The Foundation is also a leading grantmaker in and fundraiser for music education for children, having made 261 grants in 45 states totaling more than $843,000. Proceeds are generated by celebrating the music of Phish, through comprehensive books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, and special events for the Phish fan community. The Foundation has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff, since its inception in 1996.
The WaterWheel Foundation was created in 1997 to oversee the band’s various charitable activities. Its primary effort then and now is a Touring Division, which raises funds for pre-selected non-profits in each community that Phish visits while on tour. The WaterWheel Foundation chooses non-profits from a large sphere of needs including social services, environmental causes, food banks, urban gardening and the like. Thanks to the generosity of the fans, since its creation WaterWheel’s Touring Division has donated over $1,000,000 to more than 425 groups.