I would like to thank all the artists who have displayed their Phish-inspired creations here on PhanArt over the last two years. Starting in the fall of 2009, PhanArt evolved from the original 400+ page coffee table book into an online site for fans to sell their Phish-inspired art, at no cost to them. The site has grown and become the main place for Phanart off the lot. The artists who have taken part in the site contributed art or made donations direct to The Mockingbird Foundation based on sales from fans like you. Without the fans and the artists, the $5,000 raised as of this past weekend would not have been attainable.
On to the next $5,000!
PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish, the coffee table book turned website featuring art inspired by the legendary band Phish has donated more than $5,000 to The Mockingbird Foundation. In just two years as a website, Phanart.net has been the #1 website for Phish fan-made merchandise and a marketplace for Phish artists and fans to buy and sell their Phanart, free of charge.
Starting in February of 2009 with the publication of PhanArt, the not-for-profit effort donated money to Mockingbird and sought to generate greater awareness of Mockingbird over the following summer. Pete Mason, a special education teacher living in Albany,NY developed Phanart.net, a website where Phish fans and artists can sell their Phish inspired art free of charge, with a simple request to donate some of their phanart or a percentage of sales directly to Mockingbird.
“PhanArt has been a labor of love for many years now and I am incredibly grateful that artists and fans in the Phish community have come together and have supported this book and website over the past 3 years and raising money for music education in the process.” Mason noted that both the book and the website are both an impressive collaborative effort that led to an expansion of the Phish art community and returned money back to that community. “My thanks go out to the artists who donated a portion of their sales and the fans for driving the sales through the site. This would not be possible without their efforts.”
While artists can make money on the website by selling their art, Mason continues to decline compensation for running the website and providing an outlet for Phish fans to reach other fans. “I find no reason to make profit off the art of others and keep the website open to all so that Phish fans can share their unique Phish inspired creations with others, make a little money to help them to get to the next show and donate to Mockingbird Foundation in the process.” Mason added, “Both PhanArt the book and the website were designed to showcase a slice of musicalAmericanathat would otherwise have faded into obscurity and give back into the community from which it came, through funding music education throughout the country”
Through the project website www.phanart.net, fans submitted art they had created in honor of the band. Original posters, bumper stickers, shirts, tattoos and even painted cars and license plates are some of the items Mason and his team has collected since starting the initiative in 2004. Only original items, not licensed by the band, are accepted for inclusion in PhanArt.
The 400+ page book feature more than 1600 pieces of art and over 40 essays, all created by fans of Phish, as well as numerous fan memories and stories collected over the bands 21-year existence. A version of PhanArt will be available for iPad, Kindle and other e-readers in early December.
The $5,000 amount is notable as it is the full grant amount that Mockingbird Foundation provides in their competitive grant process.
Jack Lebowitz, a founder and director of The Mockingbird Foundation said, “Of all our partners and supporters, PhanArt shares a special relationship with the Mockingbird Foundation by both of us having published books obsessively documenting grass roots Phish fan culture, and donating the proceeds for charity.”
“The Mockingbird Foundation recognizes Pete Mason and PhanArt’s contribution in cataloging the visual arts spun off by Phish fandom in poster art and lot merch in the PhanArt book. We salute’s Pete’s significant accomplishment in raising over $5,000 through sales of his book, merchandise and events.”
Grantees of Mockingbird have included schools, community centers, hospitals, shelters, workshops, camps, and scholarship programs fromMainetoCalifornia, from Appalachia to the Southwest, and fromKentuckyto Kosovo. The Mockingbird Foundation differs from other funders in the music in important ways, focusing on small grants, typically to unconventional programs and/or those catering to underserved children.