The Mockingbird Foundation has announced unsolicited donations of $1500 being sent to a music education program in each of the fifteen cities in which Phish will perform this summer. The $22,500 in new grants include the 300th Mockingbird grant and bring the Foundation’s total disbursements to just over one million dollars.
The funds comes from the all-volunteer, fan-run nonprofit which recently published the third edition of The Phish Companion, supplemented by matching funds from the band’s own WaterWheel Foundation. These grants help bring music from the Phish community to the local community, and are one of many ways fans contribute to the areas in which the band performs.
The fifteen recipients include a wide array of settings, genres, and populations served – and are listed here in order of Phish’s tour dates (provided parenthetically):
- Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band of St. Paul, MN (6/22)
has worked to preserve and advance Celtic piping, drumming, and dancing for nearly 60 years, and provides free instruction and instrument use to all students.
- The People’s Music School, in Chicago, IL (6/24&25)
is the only completely free music school serving Chicago metropolitan area children, providing instruction and performance at four sites to 500 students each year.
- Promise Road Elementary School, in Noblesville, IN (6/26)
features a special music classroom which emphasizes the idea that children learn best through play.
- The Andrew Jackson School, in Philadelphia, PA (6/28&29),
is an urban elementary school with a five-year-old music program based around a rock band called Home, and is actively fundraising to build a new rehearsal and performance.
- The Saratoga Springs City School District, in Saratoga, NY (7/1,2,&3)
emphasizes music as “an integral part of the general education program for all students.”
- The East End Community School, in Portland, ME (7/6)
is a 400-student elementary school with a large Title 1 population, and a very active and dedicated music instructor involved in programs before, during, and after school.
- The Southeast MA Arts Collaborative, just outside Mansfield, MA (7/8)
works with four school districts to provide year-round programs, events, professional development, and alliances among area stakeholders.
- The Artists Collective, in Hartford, CT (7/9)
provides arts exposure and education to over 1,200 students each year, with an emphasis on the contributions of the African Diaspora.
- The Fayettesville-Manlius School District, just outside Syracuse, NY (7/10)
has an admirable music department that emphasizes a strong musical foundation as integral to educational experiences across its six schools.
- George Elementary School, in George, WA (7/15&16)
serves 180 students in kindergarten through fourth grade, and holds a concert each spring for its kindergarten and first grade music program.
- The SF Jazz Center, in San Francisco, CA (7/18,19,&20)
offers classes, ensembles, matinees, and other educational engagements to a wide variety of audiences, two blocks from BGCA.
- The Children of Promise Preparatory Academy, in Inglewood, CA (7/22)
is a relatively young music program now recovering from a recent tragedy.
- House of Panama, in Chula Vista, CA (7/23)
is part of the Balboa Park International Cottages project, and provides “instrument petting zoo” workshops and related experiences in Panamanian folkloric music based on the Tamborito.
- Nelson County High School, near Arrington, VA (8/26&27)
has a strong music program, in a county with no incorporated towns, including the Marching Governors band, recently back from performances in Williamsburg and Florida.
- Adams City High School, in Commerce City, CO (9/2,3&4)
offers more than a dozen bands, orchestras, and ensembles, including beginning and advanced mariachi.
The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about Phish and its music, having cultivated intellectual property through phish.net since 1994. A leading grantmaker in music education for children, the Foundation has now made 300 grants in 47 states, totaling $1,000,243.40. Funds for grant making are generated through donations from a loyal base of fans, as well as through books, recordings, artwork, merchandise, and special events. 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, WaterWheel’s Touring Division has donated over $1,000,000 to more than 425 groups.
Phish first formed in 1983 at Goddard College in Vermont, and developed a large and fervent fanbase through tireless touring and unpredictable, kinetic live performances. Their 2016 summer tour began on June 22 in St. Paul, MN, and the band has announced plans to release a new album later this year.