If you love Austin’s music scene, but haven’t heard of local non-profit Black Fret, that changes now.
Imagine being a talented musician trying to make a living following your passion. You have a fan base, regular shows and even a couple of albums. But it’s an uphill struggle every day, and you find yourself having to refocus energy into another job so the bills get paid.
Then a local non-profit comes along and offers you a chance to play private shows for music patrons in Austin. Your exposure grows among these influencers, and then you get news that will change your life and career: through this non-profit and its members, you’ve been awarded a $10,000 grant.
This is Black Fret in a nutshell. It’s a non-profit, member-based organization that seeks out top local talent and awards multiple $10,000 grants each year, so musical artists can refine their talent and expand their professional careers.
We’re talking big money here – sums that make a real difference. Towards the end of 2014, Black Fret held its first award ceremony at the Paramount Theater. A total of $100,000 was given to Austin musicians: 10 grants of $10,000 each. That was only the beginning. The ultimate goal is to award $2,000,000 each year.
Winning artists aren’t handed money and told to have a nice day. They actually “unlock” their grant dollars by writing, recording and performing new music, and by providing community service to other non-profits in Austin. They are also given valuable access to Black Fret’s Advisory Board, composed of Austin’s top music industry leaders.
Black Fret in 2015 with VIP Party
Now the annual cycle begins again. January is Black Fret’s Nomination Period, which allows members to become familiar with Austin’s current talent pool. In March, the short list of nominees is announced and the “Listening Period” featuring private performances begins.
If you become a Black Fret member, you’ll have access to January 24th’s VIP Launch Party and Member Drive at Gibson Brands Showroom. Aaron Behrens & The Midnight Stroll, The Digital Wild and other special guests will perform starting at 8 PM and guests will enjoy drinks from sponsors including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Shiner Beer and Topo Chico.
As a member, January’s Launch Party will be the first of your favorite events in 2015. I’ve been to many Black Fret events as a Founding Member, and they are without a doubt my most beloved local parties. You might expect “patrons of the arts” to create a stuffy atmosphere, but these are refreshing and vibrant people who want to make a difference in Austin. You’ll always find generous amounts of food and drink. And of course, the highlight of each evening is at least one private musical performance by one of the most talented artists in town.
I hope to see you at 3601 S. Congress Ave. Ste. G400 on January 24th when the doors open at 7 PM. If you want to learn more about Black Fret before becoming a member, review our collection of articles about the organization and its history.
@QuasiBrit wants to know:
Are you a member of Black Fret or do you know someone who’s involved in the organization?