A group of Phish fans has sent $1,000 contributions to three music programs affected by recent flooding in southern Louisiana – at Denham Springs High School (in Denham Springs), St. Amant High School (in Baton Rouge), and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. Each started the year without instruments or sheet music, in communities so affected that local support is hampered.
These contributions will make only a dent in the nearly $200,000 in damage faced by these few programs alone, much less the larger challenges faced by this important community. They are, however, intended to also help shift the dialogue from damage to recovery, and encourage others to join in supporting the recovery of these programs in particular, as well as supporting music education more generally. (Denham Springs and St. Amant each have a crowdfunding effort to which we encourage fans to contribute.)
The funds come from The Mockingbird Foundation’s Emergency Grants Fund, started in February of 2004 and fueled by three-percent (3%) of the Foundation’s net proceeds. Disbursements are made to help call attention to the needs of music education programs which have been impaired by environmential damage (such as fires, floods, and hurricanes) or moral outrage (such as vandalism, theft, or political conflict). Awards are made by decision of the Foundation’s board, outside of the normal two-tiered competitive application process used by the Foundation for general grants. Mockingbird has now made $33,100 in Emergency Grants.
The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about the band Phish and its music, and one of a small number of organizations focused on funding music education. The Foundation (a 501c3 nonprofit) has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff, since its inception in 1996. It fundraises by celebrating the music of Phish, through comprehensive books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, and special events for the Phish fan community. With this newest grant, Mockingbird has made 304 grants totaling more than one million dollars. For more information about Phish, see the official site http://www.phish.com or the Foundation’s fan-managed site http://www.phish.net.