In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden (which begins tonight), the Mockingbird Foundation is announcing 13 unsolicited "miracle grants" supporting music programs across the country. Each board member identified their favorite Phish show, and we found a worthy music education program nearby, part of the Foundation's long-standing Tour Grants program. We're presenting these 13 special grants chronologically, based on the dates of those favorited shows.
I've reviewed the 2/20/93 Roxy show many times, many places. There have been many great Phish shows, great for all sorts of reasons. But none has been, or is likely ever to be, as turn-twisting and constantly unexpected as that one. The setlist conveys some of the turns, and the show notes and song notes help understand some of the returns. I could say the obvious: You had to be there. But the telling moment involved fellow .Net friend Matt Laurence (who designed that beanie'd fish logo you see all over Phish.net).
He and I had been trying to keep a setlist, in the days of pen-and-paper followed by payphone calls to someone with a dial-up line. But at some point during the second set, we turned to each other, paused with pen and paper in hand, and simultaneously tossed them into the air. We gave up trying to keep track, and refocused on the music, as was fitting. We'd figure out the setlist later (and argue for years about how it should be noted, lol.)
But many music programs nationwide are trying to figure it out now. Facing cuts to funding, and recessionary effects on donations, they don't have the luxury of postponing the details. They need our help now - and kids need the inspiration and exhiliration of music education now more than ever. I dont mean to be a downer (oops), just to connect that Roxy show to our effort here: Music is powerful, meaningful, and worth investing in, preserving, and encouraging, even (especially?) spontaneously. We're doing it with grants, and we invite you to do it however you can - whether by donating to the Mockingbird Foundation or just by finding a music program (near you or not) that needs a little boost.
Our first Baker's Dozen "miracle grant" goes to the Atlanta Music Project, which provides intensive, tuition-free music education to hundreds of underserved youth, right in their neighborhood, through after-school programs and a private-lesson academy. The orchestral branch works with the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation to offer instruction in two cultural recreation centers, and all students receive a full-scholarship, which covers an instrument, teaching artist, classes and performance opportunities. Mockingbird's $1500 grant will help support those efforts. We encourage you to support them, as well!
If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Phish.net. Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.
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Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $2 million to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.