Tune-Yards Tries to Keep the Glass Half Full With H20 Charity The Water Fountain
Part of Billboard's "Good Works" series, we take a look at musicians working for change. Here, we get the lowdown on alt-pop act Tune-Yards' charity The Water Fountain.
The Name: The Water Fountain
The Founder: Tune-Yards, the Oakland, Calif.-based, world-music-meets-alt-pop act led by Merrill Garbus.
What It Is: A fund that raises money to help support organizations dedicated to water issues -- from pollution to drinking-water access -- around the world. "I was having a lot of anxiety about water in my own community, where there has been a huge drought," says Garbus, who launched the fund in December. "Water is going to be a big source of conflict in the world."
How It Works: Tune-Yards -- which donated $15,000 to Haitian dance company Rara Tou Limen in 2014 -- contributes $1 from every ticket sold on tour to the fund, along with fan donations and a portion of revenue from sales and licensing of 2014 LP Nikki Nack. The fund is a partnership with RPM, a nonprofit that has helped acts like R.E.M. and Pearl Jam with their philanthropy.
Named after: A Nikki Nack standout that recently was used in a Sonos ad. "I was apprehensive about selling 'Water Fountain' for use in a commercial," says Garbus. "A huge part of being convinced to do that was starting this fund with money we got directly from that."
How To Help: To learn more or to donate, go to tune-yards.com/thewaterfountain.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of Billboard.