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Black Fret Proudly Announces 2016 Grant Nominees

Austin music nonprofit enters its third season after having awarded $280,000 to local musicians in its first two years.

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – March 2016; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin nonprofit Black Fret is thrilled to announce its list of 2016 nominees for consideration to receive a grant and professional mentoring. The 2016 nominees include: Bee Caves, Brownout, Carson McHone, Dan Dyer, Dana Falconberry, Daniel Eyes & The Vibes, The Name Sayers, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Harvest Thieves, Leopold and His Fiction, Magna Carda, Nakia, The Peterson Brothers, Ray Prim, Suzanna Choffel, Sweet Spirit, Swimming With Bears, Walker Lukens and Wendy Colonna.

Black Fret will reveal its 20th and final 2016 nominee at the Austin Music Awards on Wednesday, March 16.

“I think that Black Fret is doing something extremely important by creating a new structure by which musicians can support their careers,” said Dana Falconberry. “As an Austin musician myself, I see this kind of thinking as crucial right now. I am honored and very excited about receiving a nomination, and I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead with Black Fret!” “This year’s group of nominees is once again indicative of the incredible talent that calls Austin home,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder.

“Thanks to the generosity of Black Fret’s members we increased the grants awarded at our annual Black Ball gala last year by $50,000. With the support of Austin’s music fans we will continue to grow our support of Austin’s amazing musicians.”

“Being a Black Fret nominee is the highest local honor for a band like ours,” said Daniel Eyes. “What they’re doing is so fundamentally important and founded upon the principles of passion and bringing value to artists which makes it that much sweeter. It’s the ultimate validation that were doing
something right and we can’t wait for the year to unfold.”

To date, Black Fret has awarded $280,000 in grants to Austin musicians and the organization plans to significantly grow its grant-giving program in 2016. Founded in January of 2013, Black Fret is a 501(c)3 public charity headquartered in Austin, Texas and 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.

Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret may sign up at www.blackfret.org/join. All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to bimonthly events and the annual Black Ball gala. For inquiries, please email sustain@blackfret.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.

“We are so excited to see the artists our Members, Advisory Board Members and last year’s Black Fret Grant Recipients have chosen as our 2016 Nominees,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-Founder. “The depth of talent in our city is incredible. And our success so far shows what is possible when music fans, music professionals and our great musicians join forces to support the music that helps define our city.”

This past December, Black Fret hosted its second annual Black Ball gala at The Paramount Theatre 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 nominees over the evening. 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).

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 Vale and 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 are 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 homes as well as the 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 email sustain@blackfret.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.

Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the Gibson Brands, 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, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB), Jameson’s, Ben E. Keith Distributors, County Line BBQ, Shady Grove and Frank.

Media Note:

To RSVP to a future Black Fret event, for general press inquiries, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:

Heather Wagner Reed                                                    Amber LaFrance
713 208 3891                                                                     469 877 1533
heather@juiceconsulting.com                                       amber@juiceconsulting.com