After awarding $130,000 in grants to Austin’s local musicians in 2014, organization will continue its grant giving in 2015; grant winners to be revealed at this year’s Black Ball featuring performances by 2015 nominees

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – July 2015, source: Juice Consulting) – Austin non-profit Black Fret will host its second annual Black Ball gala on Friday, Dec. 4 at The Paramount Theatre, located at 713 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. The event will start at 6 p.m. and will feature performances by many of the 2015 Black Fret Nominees and special guests. Those who wish to attend the Black Ball may become a member of Black Fret by signing up at www.blackfret.org/join. All Black Fret memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming Black Fret events including the Black Ball.

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.

The class of 2015 grant nominees 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.

“The music being made in this town is more incredible than ever. And its being made against a landscape more challenging than ever,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder. “Our Black Fret Artists, Members and Advisors have created a community that celebrates and supports our local music in a very real and very relevant way. Joining Black Fret makes you a part Austin’s amazing music scene. And we are going to celebrate it together on Dec. 4 at the Paramount.”

“Our members continue to amaze us with their passion for our local music, our city and our musicians,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-founder. “So many of our members have told us that they had been looking for a way to support our local music in a meaningful way and that Black Fret gives them that opportunity. Because of their passion and commitment our Black Ball will make an even bigger impact in 2015.”

Last November, Black Fret gave out $130,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten 2014 Black Fret Grant Recipients were given $10,000 grants each including Amy Cook, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Lincoln Durham, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys and Wild Child. Other nominees including Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger and Church on Monday, Emily Bell, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Little Radar, The Whiskey Sisters and Zeale received smaller grants after the event. This inaugural class of Black Fret Grant Recipients are now “unlocking” 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 receive regular updates and visibility into the creative processes of these artists. To unlock grant dollars artists must complete specific deliverables. To date $93,950 (72%) of the grants have been distributed this year to fund:

Creation of New Songs
Lyric sheets and demo recordings 38 songs
Professionally engineered recordings 64 songs
Songs released to public 16 songs
Music videos released to public 9 videos
Performances and Touring
U.S cities (excluding Austin) 98 tour dates
International cities 1 tour date
Community Service
Fundraiser performances held (for other charities) 17 performances

In addition to their grants, all Black Fret nominees 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 including Mark Addison, Roggie Baer, Pat Cassidy, Mike Crowley, Wofford Denius, CJ Eiriksson, Jim Eno, Nigel Finley, Will Hoffman, Terrany Johnson, Terry Lickona, Weston McGowen, Davis McLarty, Marsha Milam, Matt Noveskey, Tim Palmer, George Reiff, Peter Schwarz, Carlos Sosa, Joe Stallone, Stuart Sullivan, Heather Wagner Reed, Kevin Wommack, Tom Vale and Rusty Zagst.

black ball

Black Fret Advisory Board and Founders. Photo by Arnold Wells Photography.

Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the Gibson Brands Showroom, City of Austin, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, Austin Monthly, LoneStarMusic Magazine, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB), Jameson’s, Bone Spirits, County Line BBQ and Frank.

Black Fret will close out the rest of its 2015 Listening Season with over half a dozen private events remaining prior to the Black Ball on Dec. 4. Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret to attend upcoming events can sign up at www.blackfret.org/membership

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 about $100 a month after taxes. Many members have access to a corporate charitable giving match program (such as offered by Dell, Apple 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/. 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.

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*MEDIA NOTE:

For press inquiries, coverage requests or to RSVP for the Black Ball, 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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