Organization reaches over 200 members to significantly increase grant giving this year
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 2015; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin non-profit Black Fret is thrilled to announce its 2015 grant nominees. They include Aaron Behrens, Casey McPherson, Dan Dyer, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Gina Chavez, Holiday Mountain, Jazz Mills, Max Frost, Migrant Kids, Mother Falcon, Nakia, Not in the Face, Riders Against the Storm, Ruby Jane, Shakey Graves, Shinyribs, Tameca Jones, The Digital Wild and The Nightowls.
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 limited membership will build an endowed institution capable of sustaining more than a million dollars a year in grants to Austin’s artists.
“It’s an honor to be part of such a talented class of nominees,” said Max Frost. “I know that whoever wins will use the grant to benefit their careers and the Austin arts community in the same way the community has benefited them.”
Black Fret is also proud to announce five new Advisory Board Members including Marsha Milam of Marsha Milam Music, Rusty Zagst of Shady Grove, Wofford Denius of Eisner Jaffe, Pat Cassidy of Clean Bill Management and Jim Eno of Public Hi-Fi and Spoon.
“The music industry has completely changed,” said Jim Eno, Black Fret Advisory Board Member and drummer for Spoon. “Where before a label may hear a couple of songs and give an artist money to complete an album, those days are gone. Now artists are expected to complete their own high quality, finished product on their own. A Black Fret Grant can make a huge difference to any artist who is trying to create their art, regardless of where they are in their career.”
“To see that the love of our city’s music by our city’s fans has propelled us to over 200 members is a testament to the generosity of Austinites and to their desire to support the music that makes this city great,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder. “We are honored to be able to give even more than last year at this year’s Black Ball on December 4 at the Paramount. But before then, we will have a phenomenal time showcasing our nominees and new talent to our members. This is the perfect time to join Black Fret and help us grow to do even more for our city’s music.”
“With over 330 individual Austin bands receiving nominating votes by our Black Fret Members, our Advisory Board and our prior year Black Fret Grant Recipients (in addition to the top two new bands from the Austin Music Awards), it is more clear than ever that the depth of talent in Austin is mind blowing,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-Founder. “And it is also clear that our twenty 2015 nominees represents just the tip of the iceberg of amazing music Austin is delivering to the world.”
The next event for Black Fret is Art City Austin happening in downtown Austin on April 25 and 26. This year’s music lineup will play on the Black Fret Music Stage Presented by KUTX 98.9, which will be located at the west end of the festival. The lineup will include a number of 2014 Black Fret grant recipients and 2015 nominees including Amy Cook, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger & Church on Monday, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Ivey, Graham Wilkinson, Jazz Mills, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Lincoln Durham, Not in the Face, The Nightowls and other special guests. The next listening season house party event will be on May 16 at a private residence. Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret to attend upcoming events can sign up here: Join Black Fret.
“This music deserves the community’s support,” said Colin Kendrick. “It is true art and the life blood of this city. We are truly moved every time a member joins, an advisor agrees to serve or a musician accepts their nomination. We thank everyone who is involved with us and has helped us grow so quickly and encourage every Austinite who loves their city to check us out and enjoy the wonderful musical experiences that make Austin such a great place to live and create art.”
Last November, Black Fret gave out $100,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. The 2014 Black Fret Grant Recipients were announced at The Black Ball, Black Fret’s annual gala and included Amy Cook, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Lincoln Durham, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys and Wild Child. This inaugural class of Black Fret Grant Recipients and the new Recipients will now “unlock” their grant dollars in 2015 by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area non-profits. As the artists unlock the grant dollars, Black Fret members will receive regular updates and private glimpses into the lives and creative processes of those artists. In addition to their grants, all grant recipients will have continued access to one-on-one mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board, which consists of some of Austin’s top music industry leaders.
“We are ecstatic to feel this much momentum and support from our city,” said Matt Ott. “I’ve lived here since 1978 and music has been a huge part of my life as an Austinite. As Black Fret grows with the city, I am confident we will reach more musicians, more fans will become Patrons of Local Music by joining Black Fret and we will all do even more to help keep Austin’s music scene thriving.”
Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the Gibson Brands Showroom, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, ABGB, Juice Consulting LLC, DeMaris Entertainment, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, Austin Monthly, LoneStarMusic Magazine and Enterprising People.
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 limited membership 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 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. Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret can sign up here: Join Black Fret. For inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.