The Black Ball has quickly become one of the biggest nights for the Austin music industry as the nonprofit makes its way to awarding over half a million dollars to Austin’s musicians.
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – Nov. 21) – Austin nonprofit Black Fret is gearing up for the third annual Black Ball gala at The Paramount Theatre taking place on Saturday, Dec. 10, where its 2016 grant recipients will be announced. Red carpet arrivals begin at 5:15 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. The show will begin at 7 p.m. with performances by fourteen Black Fret 2016 Nominees (for more info, click here.) This year’s Black Ball is sponsored by title sponsors Dell Inc., Deloitte Consulting, SunPower Inc., GSD&M and Personify. Media sponsors include KUTX Music 98.9, Austin Monthly, The Austin Chronicle, CultureMap and Do512. Anyone wishing to attend the Black Ball may become a member of Black Fret by signing up at www.blackfret.org/join. All Black Fret memberships are annual and provide entry for the member and a guest to monthly Black Fret events. For more info on Black Fret, go to www.blackfret.org.
“Black Fret couldn’t be more proud of this year’s nominees. It’s an exceptional group of musicians selected by our members, advisors, prior year Black Fret artists and the city itself that proves Austin continues to create amazing music,” said Matt Ott, Co-founder of Black Fret. “And our continued growth in membership means we are able to provide over $200,000 in grants this year.”
Black Fret’s 20 Nominees for 2016 include: Bee Caves, Brownout, Calliope Musicals, Carson McHone, Dan Dyer, Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow, Daniel Eyes & The Vibes, Name Sayers, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Harvest Thieves, Leopold and His Fiction, Magna Carda, Nakia, Peterson Brothers Band, Ray Prim, Suzanna Choffel, Sweet Spirit, Swimming With Bears, Walker Lukens and Wendy Colonna.
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. Since 2014, Black Fret has awarded over $280,000 in grant dollars to local Austin artists. To date, these grants have been used to create and perform music and to provide community service including 142 new songs written, 110 studio recordings, 56 new songs and videos released, 214 U.S. performances, 28 international performances and 58 community service performances for other local charities.
“2016 was a great year for Black Fret. We’ve grown to well over 300 members and gained support from some of Austin’s leading corporate citizens and from the City of Austin. The strength of our growing community of patrons allowed us to host more than 20 performances last year while significantly increasing our giving to Austin’s exceptional artists,” said Colin Kendrick, Founder and President.
In addition to their grants, all Black Fret Nominees have continued access to mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board, which consists of 37 of Austin’s top music industry leaders. Newly added advisors include Codey Allen, Evan Blanc, Jen Dalton, Danny Gillespie, Layne Lauritzen, Michael Ramos, Dick Reeves, Chris “Frenchi” Smith and Graham Williams. Existing advisors are 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 Vale and Rusty Zagst. For more information, please see www.blackfret.org/advisors.
At last year’s Black Ball, Black Fret 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 nominees 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. 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).
“Black Fret has given me the ability to take the next steps in my musical journey. They are helping bring beautiful ideas to life through the musicians they support,” said Ruby Jane, Austin musician and 2015 grant recipient.
In its first season, Black Fret awarded $130,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten 2014 Black Fret Artists each received $10,000 including Amy Cook, Elizabeth McQueen, 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 unlocked their grant dollars in 2015 by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits.
Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as ALL ATX, Dell Inc., Deloitte Consulting, SunPower Inc., Gibson Brands, The City of Austin Economic Development Department – Music & Entertainment Division, GSD&M, Personify, Whole Foods, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, KUTX, Austin Monthly, The Austin Chronicle, the Austinot, the Paramount Theatre, Biggs Electric, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Jameson’s, Ben E. Keith Distributors, County Line BBQ, Shady Grove and Frank.
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 2017 Black Fret events, including the Black Ball. For inquiries, please email email@example.com and for more info see www.blackfret.org.
Media are invited to cover red carpet arrivals at The Paramount. Details are below:
4:30 p.m. Media check in
4:45 p.m. Media setup
5:15 p.m. Red carpet arrivals begin (Black Fret nominees arrive promptly at 5:15 p.m.)
6:00 p.m. Black Fret VIP guests arrive
6:30 p.m. Media are invited to sit in special designated area of the Paramount Theatre
7:00 p.m. Show to begin
**Please RSVP for red carpet no later than Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. to firstname.lastname@example.org. For press inquiries, coverage requests or to RSVP for the Black Ball or a future Black Fret event, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:
Heather Wagner Reed Amber LaFrance
713 208 3891 469 877 1533