Photo by Amy Price
Black Fret

Black Fret's mission is to empower musicians to create and perform new music. For centuries, classical music has had the benefit of community financial support. Black Fret is an innovative evolution focused on supporting popular local music. It is a new model of arts patronage anchored by three main initiatives: providing grants and mentoring to exceptional musicians, gathering to see Black Fret nominees perform in unique locations, and building an endowment to allow for more grants and more performances.

Black Fret volunteers are driven, dedicated, reliable self-starters who help events run smoothly and safely, while also having a great time. The music, the people, and the overall energy of the community make it a special experience. The vast majority of performances occur every other Saturday night. Volunteers must be available from 5-11 pm. Black Fret asks that volunteers commit to at least one event per month. For more information, head here.


The annual Black Fret Ball, where yearly grant recipients are announced, is a star-studded musical evening at The Paramount Theater featuring live performances by Black Fret grant nominees for an audience of Black Fret members.

Black Fret members pay annual dues of $1,500 (80 percent of which is tax deductible) to fund artist grants and performance fees. Members nominate the bands they love, gather to see them perform in interesting venues all over the city, and vote to allocate Black Fret grants to exceptional artists at the end of each year, awarded at the Black Fret Ball. As a Black Fret member, you gain access for yourself and a guest to over 20 unique performance events each year.

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