Austin nonprofit Black Fret announces 2017 Grant Nominees & two SXSW showcases

Austin nonprofit Black Fret is proud to announce the first 18 of its 20 Black Fret Grant Nominees for 2017. They include Akina Adderley, Black Pistol Fire, Bright Light Social Hour, Carolyn Wonderland, Croy and the Boys, Daniel Eyes, David Ramirez, Eric Tessmer, Greyhounds, Jackie Venson, Kinky Machine, Leopold and his Fiction, Los Coast, Mobley, Sarah Sharp, The Deer, Warren Hood and Whiskey Shivers. The top two “Best New Bands” from the Austin Music Awards will be named Black Fret’s final two 2017 nominees on Sunday, March 12.

“Naming our fourth group of Black Fret Nominees after awarding $500,000 in grants in just our first three years feels great,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder. “There is such an amazing depth of talent in this town and we are excited to see such great artists year after year supported by our members in such a meaningful way.”

“I am so excited to be a nominee. Black Fret has helped out so many incredible artists and I am so honored to be one of them,” said 2017 Black Fret Nominee Jackie Venson. “I’m ready to put the work in and am pumped about continuing the journey.”

Black Fret sponsors Oskar Blues Brewery Austin and Ben E. Keith Distributors hosted the 2017 Nomination Celebration at their North Austin brewery and tap room where Black Fret members, guests and 2017 nominees enjoyed performances by 2017 nominees The Deer and Warren Hood and a special appearance by 2016 Black Fret Artist Wendy Colonna.

“The community we have seen come together around Black Fret embodies the love and passion Austin has always had for its music,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-founder. “Together, our members, sponsors, Advisory Board, volunteers and musicians are making a real impact on our city and its music. We are honored that so many of our citizens have joined Black Fret to support Austin’s local musicians. And this is just the beginning.”

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. The 2017 “Listening Period” will kick off on April 8 and will lead to the awarding of grants to all 20 of the 2017 Black Fret Nominees by Black Fret members at the 2017 Black Fret Ball on Dec. 9, 2017 at the Paramount Theater.

Over the last three years, Black Fret has awarded $500,000 to local Austin artists. Black Fret grant recipients must create new music, perform outside Austin or perform for other Austin nonprofits to “unlock” their grant funds. To date, Black Fret Artists have unlocked their grant funds through the creation of 190 new songs, 156 studio recordings and the release of 61 finished songs. They have performed 240 U.S. and 31 international tour dates and have held 84 community service performances for other local charities.

Black Fret will hold two festival events in March which will be open to the public to attend: the Black Fret SXSW Austin Music Showcase on Friday, March 17 and Saturday March 18 from noon to 6p.m. each day at the North Door in Austin, Texas. That will be followed by the Art City Austin festival at Palmer Auditorium on March 31 through April 2 for which Black Fret will curate the Black Fret  Music Stage. The  lineups  for  both  events will  include past Black  Fret Artists, 2017 Black Fret nominees and other special guests.  The private,  members-only Black Fret Listening Season will kick off on April 8. Those who wish to attend private Black Fret events may            become     a     member     of Black    Fret     by     signing    up    at     All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2017 Black Fret events, including the annual Black Fret Ball. For inquiries, please email [email protected] and for more info see

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, 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. For more information, please see

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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