Black Fret celebrates awarding over $1 million in grants to Austin musicians at the fifth annual Black Fret Ball at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre 
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – Dec. 10, 2018, source: Juice Consulting) – This past Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, Austin nonprofit Black Fret awarded $250,000 to local musicians at the fifth annual Black Fret Ball at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre, resulting in over $1 million in grants awarded to Austin musicians over the last five years. The show featured live performances by 15 of the 20 grant nominees for 2018. The grant recipients who each received $20,000 include Donovan Keith, Greyhounds, Los Coast, Jane Ellen Bryant, Jaimee Harris, Wood & Wire, Jeff Plankenhorn, Israel Nash, Shy Beastand Tomar & the FCs. $5,000 grant recipients include Texas KGB, Rebecca Loebe, Dave Scher, Palo Duro, Megafauna, A Giant Dog, Trouble in the Streets, Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad, Otis the Destroyer and Kalu & the Electric Joint. Anyone wishing to join Black Fret may become a member by signing up at For more info on Black Fret, please go to
“Celebrating our city’s music with almost 2,000 Austinites at ACL Live at the Moody Theater was an incredible experience,” said Colin Kendrick, founder of Black Fret. “We hoped that someday we would hold our Black Fret Ball at ACL Live. Between having 15 bands play, awarding $250,000 in grants and having one heck of an after party we have hit a new high point in our year-end celebration of Austin music.”
“It was an honor to stand on that stage at ACL Live and help award $250,000 to our 20 2018 Black Fret Artists,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret co-founder. “It sets the stage for our biggest 2019 yet with more events planned than ever before. It all kicks off again on Jan. 19, 2019 and makes this the perfect time to join Black Fret, become a Patron of Local Music and support our city and our incredible music scene.”
This year’s Black Fret Ball was sponsored by Deloitte, Dell, Ben E. Keith Beverage Distribution, Notley Ventures, GSD&M, Canoa Systems and Personify. Media sponsors included KUTX 98.9, Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly, Tribeza, foundingAUSTIN Magazine and do512.
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. To date, Black Fret has awarded over $1 million in grants to local Austin artists. Black Fret grant recipients unlock their grant dollars by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits. To date, Black Fret grants have resulted in 646 U.S. tour dates, 328 songs written, 329 songs recorded, 151 charitable performances, 137 songs and videos releasedand 88 international tour dates.
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. Advisors include Mark Addison, Heather Alden, Codey Allen, Roggie Baer, Evan Blanc, Pat Cassidy, Reenie Collins, Mike Crowley, Jen Dalton, Wofford Denius, CJ Eiriksson, Jim Eno, Nigel Finley, Danny Gillespie, Tom Gimble, Will Hoffman, Jennifer Houlihan, Terrany Johnson, Layne Lauritzen, Ted Lowe, Davis McLarty, Marsha Milam, Matt Noveskey, Tim Palmer, Michael Ramos, Peter Schwarz, Chris “Frenchie” Smith, Carlos Sosa, Joe Stallone, Stuart Sullivan, Heather Wagner Reed, Dick Reeves, Graham Williams, Kevin Wommack and Rusty Zagst. For more information, please see
Last year’s 2017 Black Fret Ball awarded in $230,000 in grants. 10 grant recipients who each received $18,000 included The Bright Light Social Hour, Carolyn Wonderland, Eric Tessmer, Jackie Venson, Leopold and his Fiction, Mobley, Sarah Sharp, The Deer, Warren Hood and the Whiskey Shivers. 10 grant recipients who each received $5,555 included Akina Adderley, Cowboy Diplomacy, Croy and the Boys, Daniel Eyes, David Ramirez, Greyhounds, Jane Ellen Bryant, Kinky Machine and Los Coast.Black Pistol Fire, who was also nominated for a grant, chose to remove themselves from consideration and asked that Black Fret allocate funds they would have received to the other $5,000 grant recipients, increasing those grants to $5,555.
In 2016 $220,000 in grants was awarded with 10 grant recipients each receiving a grant of $17,000 and 10 receiving a grant of $5,000. These artists included Bee Caves, Carson McHone, Dan Dyer, Nakia, Ray Prim, Suzanna Choffel, Swimming With Bears, The Peterson Brothers, Walker Lukensand Wendy Colonna. Additionally, 10 grant recipients each received a grant of $5,000. These artists included Brownout, Calliope Musicals, Dana Falconberry, Daniel Eyes & The Vibes, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Harvest Thieves, Leopold and His Fiction, Magna Carda, Sweet Spirit and The Name Sayers. Grant presentations were made throughout the evening by a number of Black Fret sponsors and members, as well as Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a passionate supporter of Austin music.
At the 2015 event, Black Fret gave out $150,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. 10 $12,000 grants and 10 $3,000 grants were distributed to 20 nominees over the evening, which included live performances from many nominees. The $12,000 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.$3,000 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 $3,000 grant winners, boosting those grants to $4,200 each. Aaron Behrens donated his $4,200 grant to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).
In its 2014 season, Black Fret awarded $130,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. 10 2014 Black Fret Grant Winners each received $10,000 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.
Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the ALL ATX, Dell Inc., Deloitte Consulting, New York Life, Ben Milam Whiskey, SunPower Inc., GSD&M, Ben E. Keith Distributors, Whole Foods, Personify, Gibson Brands, The City of Austin Economic Development Department – Music & Entertainment Division, KUTX, The Austin Chronicle, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Social Flash Media and many more.
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 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 $1 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 enjoy a broad range of private events including monthly shows in intimate venues and an incredible annual awards show named The Black Fret 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 All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2019 Black Fret events, including the Black Fret Ball. For inquiries, please email and for more info see
To request interviews regarding Black Fret, please contact:
Heather Wagner Reed
713 208 3891
Tyler Ostby
210 854 9119