The Pagosa Daily Post posted this story on January 10, 2018:

I’m writing to let you know that a fantastic organization in Pagosa Springs, CO, has been awarded $10,000 to support music education, through one of the most competitive grants processes in the world…

So begins a press release sent out by Ellis Godard, Executive Director for the Mockingbird Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit founded and run entirely by Phish fans. (Phish, being a popular American rock band founded at the University of Vermont in 1983 and known for musical improvisation, extended jams, blending of genres, and a loyal fan base.)

The band Phish is known for presenting cross-genre improvisations.

The foundation recently announced sixteen new grants totaling $137,400 in support of music education for children. The grants come from Mockingbird’s 22nd round of competitive grant-making, and were enhanced by funds from the band’s own WaterWheel Foundation, which allowed the board to double three of the grant requests.

These sixteen grantees were selected for funding in 2018 came from among more than 640 initial applicants who requested a total of more than $4.4 million, far beyond the Foundation’s resources. Due to such high demand, Mockingbird’s two-tiered online application process remains one of the most competitive in the nation…

Pagosa Peak Open School — the Pagosa community’s first district-approved charter elementary school — opened its doors this past September.  The school plans to use the grant to create a school-wide music program, including the purchase of musical instruments and the hiring of a music teacher.