The Divided Sky Foundation, founded by Trey Anastasio, has announced the recent purchase of a facility in Ludlow, VT to be developed as a non-profit substance use disorder (SUD) treatment center. Launched last year, Divided Sky Foundation is dedicated to delivering quality care and compassionate treatment to those affected by alcoholism and addiction.
The as-yet-unnamed center will be managed by Ascension Recovery Services, which has created successful, inclusive treatment programs in 23 states. Acquiring the facility site is the first step in a plan that also includes building renovations and program development. The center is tentatively slated to open by the end of 2021.
The purchase was made possible in part by funds raised last fall during Anastasio’s The Beacon Jams, an unprecedented eight-week virtual residency presented live from New York City’s historic Beacon Theatre and streamed free exclusively via Twitch. Donations were encouraged throughout the run, with fans ultimately contributing more than $1.2 million.
“Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life,” says Anastasio, “and the problem is intimately linked with isolation – whether that’s isolation due to the pandemic or for any other reason. The Beacon Jams helped us find a way to connect people and get this project off the ground. To be able to do that together during this difficult year touches my heart.”
Performed without a live audience, The Beacon Jams saw Anastasio reimagining music from across his three-decade career including new, never-performed songs, Trey Anastasio Band favorites and unexpected versions of classic Phish songs. The Beacon Jams also served as a virtual gathering for fans everywhere, allowing a rare opportunity for personal interaction between Anastasio and his fans. Over the course of eight Fridays, he showcased his compassion, humor, and natural positivity, engaging with fans via Twitch as well as with his fellow musicians on stage.
The virtual run proved another example of Anastasio’s affirmed commitment to bringing the Phish fan community together during these extraordinary times, from his solo performances on Instagram in the early days of lockdown to Phish’s ongoing Dinner and a Movie live archival video series. That series has raised over $750,000 for Phish’s Waterwheel Foundation, which was distributed to more than two-dozen organizations working on issues such as hunger, health, the environment, and social justice.
Vermont currently ranks 11th in the nation for overdose rates but only has four state-certified residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder. The proposed Ludlow center would help bridge the gap between need and existing services.
The center’s goal: to be a local asset not only for treatment, but for giving back to the community. The non-profit center plans to serve people from all income levels.
Care services being planned include multiple pathways to entering and maintaining recovery, with plans and programs tailored to individual guests’ needs. In addition, the center plans to offer job training and workforce reintegration. Education opportunities are planned to prepare guests who need them with certification in skills and trades.
Anastasio, himself 14 years sober, launched the Divided Sky Foundation to deliver help to those affected by substance use. Vermont, his adopted home state, is a natural place to begin this chapter of his own giving back.
“Like so many people in America and so many in Vermont, I became addicted to opiates,” Anastasio said. “I was extremely lucky to have access to care, and I know how important it is to be part of a recovery community. I’m grateful that we can help provide that opportunity for others.”
“None of this would be possible without the hard work and generosity of so many people,” Anastasio said. “I want to personally thank Madison Square Garden Entertainment for hosting the shows at the Beacon Theatre, and Twitch for sending The Beacon Jams out across the world. I also want to personally thank all the people who supported the Divided Sky Foundation so generously, and the fans who contributed everything from donations to well wishes. It means so much to me, and it’s going to mean so much to the families that will benefit from this treatment center.”
If you or someone you know needs help for a substance use disorder, contact SAMHSA.gov
or call 800-662-HELP
(4357) to find a treatment center near you.