Austin music supporters descended on the majestic Paramount Theatre on Saturday, November 8 for Black Fret's inaugural Black Ball. Part fundraiser, part concert, this unique evening was a chance for Austin music supporters to gather for a night of festivities — and some really good music.
Black Fret is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to providing annual grants to local musicians. Through an annual donation of $1,500, Black Fret's Patrons of Local Music members provide more than $2 million annually to the organization. That money is then handed out in $10,000 grants for the upcoming year and provides financial support for Black Fret's concerts and services.
At Saturday's member-only event, Black Fret supporters saw the inaugural induction of grant recipients in between short musical sets by 16 of the nominees. The 2014 nominees included Amy Cook, Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger, 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.
Opening act Mother Falcon set the tone for the evening, bringing their melodic, delicate and — at times — raucous sound to the stage. (The group went on to snag a grant later that evening.) Between performances, Chairman, President and Founder Colin Kendrick and Vice Chairman Matt Ott applauded the members of Black Fret, discussed the mission of the organization and revealed grant winners.
In addition to Mother Falcon, Amy Cook, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Lincoln Durham, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys and Wild Child were also named winners. "I'm still in a state of delighted shock at having been awarded a Black Fret Grant," said McQueen of her grant. "The amount of talent in the nominee field was staggering, and reaffirmed to me how lucky I am to live in this city."
Grant recipients will receive a total of $10,000 over the course of the year as well as mentoring opportunities. For more information, head to Black Fret.