(AUSTIN, TEXAS – July 2014; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin non-profit Black Fret is thrilled to announce its newly established Advisory Board representing a diverse group of high-level Austin music industry leaders and professionals. Advisory Board members are: Mark Addison, Roggie Baer, Mike Crowley, CJ Eiriksson, Jenni Finlay, Will Hoffman, Terrany Johnson, Terry Lickona, Weston McGowen, Davis McLarty, Matt Noveskey, Tim Palmer, Peter Schwarz, Carlos Sosa, Joe Stallone, Stuart Sullivan, Mike Swinford, Heather Wagner Reed, Kevin Wommack and Tom Vale.
“Black Fret’s mission is to help our musicians make and perform great new music,” said Black Fret Founder, Colin Kendrick. “To that end Black Fret has assembled a distinguished group of music industry veterans who have volunteered to serve as Black Fret’s Board of Advisors. All of our advisors have also agreed to serve as mentors to our nominees during the 2014-2015 grant cycle and advise our nominees for the remainder of the year. These are folks who predominantly work with artists on a daily basis on the very highest level from a wide variety of professions. They have a deep passion for music, incredible industry experience, believe in our mission, and have graciously volunteered their time to help our nominees advance their careers.”
“The days of the major labels promoting and nurturing new talent are over,” said Black Fret Advisory Board Member Tim Palmer. “Black Fret is coming through to bring the vital support that Austin music really needs. The Black Fret model is a simple win/win situation for all involved. I see this going nationwide.”
Black Fret will give out ten $10,000 grants in 2014 to Austin musicians selected by their members. Black Fret’s 2014 Nominees are:
Amy Cook, Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger and Church on Monday, Elizabeth McQueen, Emily Bell, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Lincoln Durham, Little Radar, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys, The Whiskey Sisters, Wild Child and Zeale.
These 20 grant nominees will have the chance to select a list of Advisory Board Members they would like to work with for the remainder of 2014 as a mentor. Advisory Board Members will do the same with nominees. Once everyone is paired up, mentors will then have regular meetings, at least once monthly for the remainder of the year, to advise on specific projects or efforts nominees are undertaking.
“Black Fret is an amazing group of people who love Austin music and respect the artists who create it,” said Black Fret nominee Amy Cook. “They are bringing musicians and other members of our music community together in an exciting way, and there is a great spirit of love and camaraderie.”
“The promise of Black Fret lies in the chemistry resulting from bringing together the finest musicians, the most knowledgeable industry experts and the most passionate fans Austin has to offer,” said Black Fret Co-Founder Matt Ott. “We approach this with open hearts and minds, with the intent of listening and learning from one another, and knowing that together a small group of passionate people can be the catalyst for the creation of magnificent art.”
Black Fret is currently in its “listening period” where members will have opportunities to hear nominees perform, leading up to the final selection of ten nominees to become grant recipients and the inaugural group of 2015 Black Fret Artists. The ten grant recipients will be announced in November at Black Fret’s annual gala The Black Ball. Once grant recipients are chosen, they will then be able to ”unlock” their grant dollars in 2015 for things like touring, studio time, and even playing in town for another Austin non-profit. In addition to the $10,000 grant, the ten 2015 grant recipients will have continued access to one-on-one mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board.
“Black Fret provides the opportunity to unify our community in support of Austin music and maintain our position as the Live Music Capital of the World,” said Black Fret Advisory Board Member Stuart Sullivan. “Austin has a long and glorious history of music. Black Fret provides members and artists an amazing new way to be part of the next generation of Austin’s music legacy and gives our music community new hope with a traditional approach to supporting the musical arts.”
“Black Fret is reflecting the best parts of Austin’s musical community, rich with experiences and inspiration,” said Black Fret nominee Dawn and Hawkes. “Their mentoring and advising board is a diverse group of seasoned, passionate, music-loving professionals. We’re so grateful just to be introduced to these folks and honored to be included.”
The next member-only Black Fret house party will take place on Saturday, July 19 at a private residence and will feature Black Fret nominees Elizabeth McQueen and Erin Ivey. The Black Ball is set to happen this November, with a date and location to be announced. To become a Black Fret member and attend these events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, please visit www.blackfret.org.
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 members 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 limited 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 less than $100 a month after tax. Many members have access to a corporate charitable giving match program (such as offered by Dell 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. For more information, please visit www.blackfret.org.