(AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 2014; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin non-profit Black Fret is proud to announce it has reached its first 100 members which will allow the organization to give out ten $10,000 grants in 2014 to Austin musicians selected by their members. After a successful VIP Launch Party and Founding Member Drive in January featuring Ben Kweller, Emily Bell, Nakia and Graham Wilkinson, the organization tipped its membership goal to fund $100,000 in grant dollars and launched its 2014 grant cycle in March with over 200 nominees from members.

There have now been 20 nominees selected from that group. Black Frets 2014 Nominees are: Amy Cook, Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger and Church on Monday, Elizabeth McQueen, Emily Bell, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Lincoln Durham, Little Radar, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys, The Whiskey Sisters, Wild Child and Zeale.

The 20 nominees were selected by Black Fret Member and Black Fret Mentor votes, and also include the winner and runner up from the the Best New Austin Artist category from the2014 Austin Music Awards. The next six months will be the “listening period” where members will have opportunities to hear nominees perform, leading up to the final selection of ten nominees to become grant recipients and the inaugural group of 2015 Black Fret Artists. The ten grant recipients will be announced in November at Black Fret’s annual galaThe Black Ball. Once grant recipients are chosen, they will then be able to “unlock” their grant dollars in 2015 for things like touring, studio time, and even playing in town for another Austin non-profit. In addition to the $10,000 grant, the ten 2015 grant recipients will have access to one-on-one mentoring from Black Fret’s mentors.

“Reaching 100 members in just one year is a testament to the love of Austin music and generosity of spirit of the people of Austin,” said Black Fret Founder, Colin Kendrick.“And now the fun really starts. On top of the amazing events we have, our members can now spend the rest of the year getting to know their nominees, seeing them in intimate events and voting for those who they believe should receive these inaugural grants.  It’s a great time to be a music lover in Austin.”

“From the moment I met Black Fret founders Colin Kendrick and Matt Ott, I knew there was something special starting in Austin,” said Black Fret nominee Gina Chavez. “Their passion for music, and that of the growing Black Fret membership, is unmatched. And it’s exactly what this city needs to help musicians take our music to the world stage. This nomination is such an honor and I can’t wait to see what Austin music lovers and music makers can do together!”

“Announcing these first 20 nominees is a great milestone for us. Our members and mentors have selected an amazingly vibrant pool of nominees who are a wonderful testament to the strength and breadth of talent in this town,” said Black Fret Co-Founder Matt Ott. “And this is only the beginning. Our pool of 20 nominees and ten $10,000 grants comes with only 100 members on board. As we grow to 200, 500, 700 members and beyond, we will really begin to change the way local music is supported in the Live Music Capital. We welcome all Austinites to join us and show their love for great music in our great city.”

“We’re so humbled and grateful to have been nominated to be one of Black Fret’s first 20 bands to support,” said Black Fret nominee Brandon Kinder of The Rocketboys. “When I first heard about Black Fret, I knew it was a game changer, but I never expected we’d get to be a part of it. Thank you Colin and Matt for making it easier for musicians to follow our dreams. And thank you to all of the members for believing in music.”

The next Black Fret event will take place on Saturday, April 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Uncle Billy’s Brew and Que located at 1530 Barton Springs Road, featuring Black Fret nominee Dawn and Hawkes with Reed Turner opening. The event is open to the public and anyone who wishes to learn about the organization.

The next member-only Black Fret house party will take place on Saturday, May 10 at a private residence and will feature a Black Fret Grant Nominee to be announced. To become a Black Fret member and attend this event, please email For more information, please visit

About Black Fret:

Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in Austin whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform great new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Together Black Fret’s members will build an endowed institution capable of sustaining more than a million dollars a year in grants to Austin’s artists. Once Black Fret reaches its limited membership cap of 1,333 members, Black Fret’s core program will allow its members to select more than 40 artists each year to receive $25,000 grants on a sustained and ongoing basis. Built around this core, the organization will be able to offer a host of other grant programs to serve the needs of the broader community. Black Fret’s limited group of members will constitute a social network of dynamic friends dedicated to good music, good times and to seeing Austin’s artists prosper. Annual Black Fret member dues are $1,500, breaking down to less than $100 a month after tax. Many members have access to a corporate charitable giving match program (such as offered by Dell and other major employers) that can reduce the monthly cost to less than $50 a month. In return for annual dues, members will be rewarded with unprecedented personal access to the city’s top artists through a broad range of private events including monthly shows in intimate venues and an incredible annual gala event named The Black Ball. For more information, see



For press inquiries, coverage requests or for media credentials to the Saturday, April 26 or Saturday, May 10 events, please contact

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PO Box 29628
Austin, TX 78755

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