(AUSTIN, TEXAS – October 2014; source: Juice Consulting) – Austin nonprofit Black Fret will be hosting its inaugural Black Ball gala on Saturday, Nov. 8 at The Paramount Theatre, located at 713 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. The event will start at 6 p.m. and will feature performances beginning at 7 p.m. by many of the 2014 Black Fret Nominees, including Amy Cook, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger, Elizabeth McQueen, Emily Bell, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Little Radar, Lincoln Durham, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company and The Rocketboys. Those who wish to attend the Black Ball may become a member of Black Fret by signing up at blackfret.org/join. All Black Fret memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming Black Fret events including the Black Ball.
The Black Ball is sponsored by KUTX Music 98.9, The Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly, Gibson Brands Inc., Lone Star Music Magazine and CultureMap. Other sponsors include: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Nomad Sound and Miscellaneous Rentals.
Founded in January of 2013, Black Fret is a 501(c)3 public charity headquartered in Austin, Texas. Black Fret 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.
In early 2014, Black Fret reached its initial goal of 100 members who have provided the funds and selected this year’s 20 nominees for Black Fret’s first ten $10,000 grants for Austin’s musicians. Those winners will be announced at the Black Ball. The 20 nominees for this year’s grants 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.
Black Fret just wrapped up its “Listening Period” where members had opportunities to hear each nominee perform, leading up to the final selection by Black Fret’s members of the 10 nominees that will become grant recipients and the inaugural group of Black Fret Artists. The 10 grant recipients will be announced at The Black Ball. Once grant recipients are chosen, they will then be able to “unlock” their grant dollars in 2015 by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits. As the artists unlock the grant dollars, Black Fret members will receive regular updates and private glimpses into the life and creative process of those artists. In addition to the $10,000 grant, the ten grant recipients will 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. For more information, please visit www.blackfret.org/advisors.
After The Black Ball, the annual process starts over as Black Fret begins its 2015 Artist Selection Process commencing with the “Nomination Period” during which Black Fret members will explore new bands so that members are well versed in Austin’s talent pool and ready to vote for the 2015 nominees. In April, Black Fret will announce the short list of 2015 Black Fret Nominees and begin the next “Listening Period” ultimately leading up to the selection by its members of the next group of Black Fret grant recipients.