After a sold out evening at The Paramount this past Friday night, Black Fret celebrated its second year of supporting local Austin music with over $280,000 in grants given to date.
On Friday, Dec. 4, Black Fret hosted its second annual Black Ball gala and gave out $150,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten $12,000 major grants and ten $3,000 minor grants were distributed to 20 recipients over the evening, which included live performances from many nominees.
Major grant winners included: Casey McPherson, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Gina Chavez, Migrant Kids, Mother Falcon, Ruby Jane, Shakey Graves, Tameca Jones and The Digital Wild.
Minor grant winners included: Aaron Behrens, Dan Dyer, Holiday Mountain, Jazz Mills, Max Frost, Nakia, Not In The Face, Riders Against The Storm, Shinyribs and The Nightowls.
All kinds of giving went on that night. Shakey Graves donated his $12,000 grant back to the minor grant winners, boosting the minor grants to $4,200 each. Aaron Behrens donated his $4,200 grant to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).
The event featured performances by many Black Fret nominees including Casey McPherson, Dan Dyer, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Jazz Mills, Migrant Kids, Mother Falcon, Nakia, Not in the Face, Riders Against the Storm, Ruby Jane, Tameca Jones and The Digital Wild.
“I was blown away by the caliber of performances at the Black Ball,” said Reenie Collins, Executive Director of HAAM and Black Fret Advisory Board member. “It was an amazing night of Austin music and it was all about community. One of the best things about the Austin music scene is it is so collaborative and supportive. For example, what Black Fret is doing for musicians is very complimentary to what HAAM is doing. They have put together a model that will be a game changer for Austin and we are thrilled to be a recipient of a Black Fret grant through the generosity of Aaron Behrens with additional support from Shakey Graves.”
The event featured performances by many 2015 Black Fret Nominees includingCasey McPherson, Dan Dyer, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Jazz Mills, Migrant Kids, Mother Falcon, Nakia, Not in the Face, Riders Against the Storm, Ruby Jane, Tameca Jones and The Digital Wild.
“The Black Ball is where it’s at,” said grant winner Casey McPherson. “It’s where Austin’s finest bands and music listeners converge. Not only do we artists get to make new music having received a Black Fret grant, but we get to participate in one of the most innovative music development and delivery models that there is.”
“We are so thankful for this whole year with Black Fret,” said grant winnerJonathan Terrell of Not In The Face. “We were really stoked to be a part of it and were treated with so much respect and dedication. We thank all of Black Fret for that. And our grant will allow us to finish recording our new album.”
“This year’s Black Ball capped an amazing year of celebrating and supporting Austin music,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-founder. “The performances were incredible and our Black Fret Members and their guests embraced this year’s nominees with great enthusiasm. The love in the room was palpable and it makes us even more excited to do it all again in 2016.”
“Having awarded over $280,000 in grants in just our first two years of giving, we are confident that 2016 is going to be an even more impactful year of supporting our incredible local musicians and our amazing city,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder. “And all it takes is Austinites who love their city and its music to step up and join us as a Patron of Local Music.”
“I don’t say this loosely. I really feel like this is a movement,” said Matt Noveskey,
Black Fret Advisory Board member. “I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it.”
“Black Fret treated us with respect and made us feel like what we were doing is something truly worth investing in,” said grant winner Miguel Ojeda of Migrant Kids. “They gave us something tangible to work towards.”
“Friday night was one we will remember forever,” said grant winner Ruby Jane.“We are beyond honored and privileged to have been chosen to receive a Black Fret grant. There are so many doors that have now opened for us and it’s all because of Black Fret. Please keep doing what you are doing to make the music scene and the world a better place!”
The 2015 Black Ball was sponsored by SunPower, GSD&M, GigTown, Whole Foods, City of Austin (Economic Development Department, Music & Entertainment Division), Personify, Shady Grove, ATX MUSIC, DeMaris Entertainment, Enterprising People, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound and The Paramount. The event also had generous support from media sponsors KUTX Music 98.9, Austin Monthly, The Austin Chronicle, Time Warner Cable andCultureMap.
In Black Fret’s 2014 season, Black Fret awarded $130,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten 2014 Black Fret Grant Winners each received $10,000 includingAmy 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 Zealereceived smaller grants after the event. This inaugural class of Black Fret grant recipients unlocked their grant dollars in 2015 by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits.
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, Heather Alden, Roggie Baer, Pat Cassidy, Reenie Collins, Mike Crowley, Wofford Denius, CJ Eiriksson, Jim Eno, Nigel Finley, Will Hoffman, Jennifer Houlihan, 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 Valeand Rusty Zagst.
About Black Fret:
Founded in 2013, 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. 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. Grant recipients are selected annually through a yearlong process where members, advisors and prior grant recipients nominate, lobby for, see performances by and finally vote on their favorite artists. Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret can sign up at www.blackfret.org/join. All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2016 Black Fret events, including the Black Ball. For inquiries, please firstname.lastname@example.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.
Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the Gibson Brands Showroom, The City of Austin Economic Development Department, Music & Entertainment Division, GSD&M, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, KUTX, Austin Monthly, The Austin Chronicle, LoneStarMusic Magazine, Biggs Electric, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bone Spirits, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB), Jameson’s, Ben E. Keith Distributors, County Line BBQ, Shady Grove and Frank.