Austin nonprofit Black Fret gave out $220,000 at its third annual Black Ball gala at The Paramount Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 10, where its 2016 grant recipients were announced in front of a sold-out house of over 1,100 attendees. Nakia was one of ten Major Grant Recipients who each received a grant of $17,000. Others artists include: Bee Caves, Carson McHone, Dan Dyer, Ray Prim, Suzanna Choffel, Swimming With Bears, The Peterson Brothers, Walker Lukens and Wendy Colonna. Additionally, ten Minor Grant Recipients each received a grant of $5,000. These artists include 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. Nakia also received a Minor Grant from Black Fret in 2016.
Since 2014, Black Fret has awarded a half a million dollars in grants to local Austin musicians. These grants have been used by Black Fret Artists to create and perform music, 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. This year alone, Black Fret has been covered in national media outlets such as Pitchfork (article here) and Forbes (article here) and is gaining momentum for what could eventually be growth into other markets in America.
“Black Fret’s members are putting money in the pockets of Austin musicians who are out here working and doing it every day,” said Nakia. This money will make it possible for me take my music further, outside of Austin, and I am so grateful for that.”
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, 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and for more info see www.blackfret.org.