Austin non-profit kicks off 2015 with annual launch party and member drive to help local artists create and sustain their music

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – December 2014; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin non-profit Black Fret is proud to announce its VIP Launch Party and Member Drive on Saturday, Jan. 24 featuring Aaron Behrens & The Midnight Stroll, The Digital Wild and other special guests. The event will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Gibson Brands Showroom located at 3601 S. Congress Ave. Ste. G400, Austin, Texas 78704. Music will begin at 8 p.m. The event is sponsored by Gibson Brands, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Shiner Beer and Topo Chico. Those who wish to attend the launch party may become a member of Black Fret by signing up here: Join Black Fret. All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2015 Black Fret events, including the Black Ball. For inquiries, please email sustain@blackfret.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.

Founded in January of 2013, Black Fret is a 501(c)3 public charity headquartered in Austin, Texas. Black Fret is built upon the simple principle that popular local music, like the symphony and opera, is worthy of community support. To that end, Black Fret is gathering a limited group of 1,333 Patrons of Local Music, each of whom will make a $1,500 annual contribution. At capacity, these contributions will create an annual pool of $2,000,000 that will fund grants, performances and operations while building an institutional endowment that will fund growth in future grants.

This past November, the 2014 Black Fret Grant Recipients were announced at The Black Ball, Black Fret’s annual gala. The 2014 Black Fret Grant Recipients are 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 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 the $10,000 grant, the ten grant recipients and 2014 grant nominees 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.

The annual process now starts over as Black Fret begins its 2015 Artist Selection Process commencing with the “Nomination Period” in January, during which Black Fret members will explore new bands so that members are well versed in Austin’s talent pool and ready to choose the group of nominees for 2015. In March, Black Fret will announce the short list of 2015 Black Fret Nominees and begin the next “Listening Period” ultimately leading up to the selection by its members of the next group of Black Fret grant recipients.

In early 2014, Black Fret reached its initial goal of 100 members, who provided the funds and selected this year’s 20 nominees for Black Fret’s first ten $10,000 grants for Austin’s musicians. The 20 nominees for the 2014 grants were: 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.

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 at www.blackfret.org/membership. For more information, please visit www.blackfret.org.

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*MEDIA NOTE:

To RSVP to the Jan. 24 event, or for general press inquiries, coverage requests or interviews, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:

Heather Wagner Reed
713 208 3891
heather@juiceconsulting.com

Amber LaFrance
469 877 1533
amber@juiceconsulting.com

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Email:
sustain@blackfret.org

Mail may be sent to:
Black Fret
PO Box 29628
Austin, TX 78755

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