Growing up in Austin, we recognize that our hometown has been a music mecca for decades. And, we love that! Music and musicians have been instrumental as a driving creative force in building Austin’s character and culture as we know it today.
However, with the growing popularity of our city comes a higher cost of living that’s shutting out these artists. That’s where Sonic Guild comes in, an organization of music patrons.
Recognizing the vulnerability of the creative soul of our community, Black Fret has stepped up. Building a new institution capable of supporting sustained artistic, cultural, and economic growth for our cities and the artists who call our cities home. Ever-evolving, a new chapter is now operating in Seattle as well.
Black Fret, a 501.C3 non-profit, believes music is an art and is worthy of support. It’s built on the same models supporting local opera, symphony, ballet, and theater. As a member, you enjoy access with a guest to over 20 intimate musical performances a year. Enjoy shows at house concerts, music venues, and other exceptional locations around Austin.
You participate in sharing, nominating, and dancing to the bands you love. At the end of each year, all the members vote for their favorites to determine the allocation of grant dollars. Then, we all gather with the musicians to celebrate the awarding of those grant dollars at our annual awards show.
Since its 2013 inception in Austin, Texas, Sonic Guild members have funded over $2,100,00 in grants to exceptional Austin bands and over 350 individual musicians. Among their numerous business expenses, these grant dollars help artists pay for studio time, buy and repair instruments, music recordings, and touring.
Vital Support for Starving Artists
Most folks may not realize it but there’s a crisis going on in the music industry. The major labels rarely promote and grow talent anymore. Plus, as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, competition is so fierce that the average musician makes less money now for a show in Austin than they did 20 years ago.
Black Fret is the vital support Austin artists really need, and not just financially. Musicians are provided mentoring and advice from a board of Austin’s leading music industry professionals, including, producers, engineers, lawyers, and managers. So bottom line, we’re helping artists with the money, the tools, and the network they need to build their music into a viable business.
Copeland Jewelers was founded in Austin in 1983. We enthusiastically support local live music. It’s an integral part of what makes our city one of the best places to live on the planet. At Black Fret’s request, we’ve created a pendant for members only, using the unique flying raven logo of the Black Fret organization that so embodies the vibe of this groundbreaking group. (50% of proceeds go to Black Fret.)