11 Seattle Area Musicians Receive $55,000 in Grants


(SEATTLE, WA – February 8th, 2022) Black Fret Seattle is happy to announce $55,000 in grants to eleven Seattle area artists, concluding its 2021 giving season. Each 2021 Black Fret Seattle artist will receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant to support their music career development.

Acid Tongue, Beverly Crusher, Black Ends, Caitlin Sherman, Da Qween,
Parisalexa, SassyBlack, Shelby Earl, Sol, True Loves, Zan Fiskum

The Austin based non-profit that launched its Seattle chapter in 2020 has managed to continue its work despite the pandemic. It’s been providing financial support to local musicians at a time when they need it most. With this year’s grants, Black Fret will have distributed over $150,000 directly to Seattle area musicians since its launch in 2020. The 2022 Black Fret Season begins February 26th.

“Black Fret has been a complete game changer for myself and many other local musicians, especially in communities of color and other historically underrepresented communities.”Tomo Nakayama

Each year, Black Fret Members pay dues ($750 for an individual, $1,500 for a dual, or $3,000 for quad membership) that fuel the organization’s events and grants. Members gain access to monthly private curated performances featuring the best and brightest of local music, the right to nominate artists for yearly grant consideration, and the ability to vote for the allocation of grant dollars at the end of each season. Along with sponsors, individual & corporate donors, foundations, government, and strategic partnerships, Black Fret has built a new model of  philanthropy to support the creation and performance of popular local music. Since its founding in 2013 in Austin, TX, Black Fret has distributed over $2.5 million dollars directly to the musicians of Austin and Seattle and is currently launching its third chapter in Colorado. You can join Black Fret by going to www.sonicguild.org/join/

“Black Fret supports artists that are trying to make their way to the next level. Being a recipient of these grants means we can work with who we want to work with. We could not do what we’ve been able to do throughout these times without it”Shaina Shepherd

Acid Tongue, Beverly Crusher, Black Ends, Caitlin Sherman, Da Qween,
Parisalexa, SassyBlack, Shelby Earl, Sol, True Loves, Zan Fiskum

Bearaxe, Chong the Nomad, Naked Giants, Sera Cahoone, Stephanie Anne Johnson,
The Black Tones, Smokey Brights, Tomo Nakayama, Tres Leches, Whitney Mongé

“The Black Fret grant has been amazing, and we’ve really been able to just kick that money back into our local music economy. We’re able to get back into the studio and hire local engineers and videographers to make new content. It’s keeping the lifeblood flowing through our music scene right now.”Ryan Devlin, Smokey Brights

In addition to the work Black Fret does to support artist career development, they’ve partnered with Seattle based musician health and human services non-profit, SMASH (Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare), to curate their annual benefit concert featuring artists like Dave Matthews, members of Pearl Jam, Guns & Roses, and Portugal. The Man collaborating with emerging artists from the Seattle community including a number of Black Fret grant recipients.

“I had an opportunity to see first-hand this year some of the ways that Black Fret and SMASH are working in the community to support Seattle-area musicians with opportunities, resources, connections, mentorship, housing, and better healthcare. Keep doing what you’re doing and thank you so much for doing it!”Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam

Black Fret also partnered with local retailer Nordstrom to help create music for their 2021-22 sonic branding campaign that featured past Black Fret grant recipient Bearaxe singer Shaina Shepherd.

“We are thrilled with how the song turned out and how it’s the perfect fit for Nordstrom’s Closer to You campaign. The fact we could work with non-profit Black Fret who connected us to Shaina and this group of fantastic Seattle musicians was a real win in the spirit of art, and community, which only grew when Sub Pop records said they wanted to release it as a single.”Pete Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom

Black Fret Seattle supporters include Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation, The Head & The Heart’s Rivers & Roads Foundation, Nordstrom, Tito’s Vodka, Port of Seattle, City of Shoreline, USI Insurance, The Bradley Family Foundation, SITY Foundation, King County, and Arts Fund. You or your company can donate to Black Fret at sonicguild.org/donate

Founded in 2013, Black Fret is a 501c3 public charity headquartered in Austin, TX whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is instead focused on supporting popular local music. Together, Black Fret’s limited membership has supported musicians with over $2.5 million in grants and direct payments since 2013. In return for annual dues, members enjoy a broad range of private events in a multitude of venues. Grant recipients are selected annually through a yearlong process where members, advisors and prior grant recipients nominate, attend performances by and finally vote on their favorite artists.

Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret can sign up at www.sonicguild.org/join.

For inquiries, please email sustain@sonicguild.org and for more info see www.sonicguild.org.

Ben London is a Seattle based music professional/recording artist who currently serves as Executive Director for Black Fret Seattle. Prior, London held senior positions with Experience Music Project (MoPOP), The GRAMMYS (The Recording Academy), Hewlett Packard and
Northwest Polite Society. London was the inaugural chair of the Seattle Music Commission and has served on boards including KEXP and the Vera Project. London’s music has been featured in a wide variety of movies and television programs. London’s prior bands include Alcohol Funnycar, St. Bushmills Choir and Sanford Arms. He currently performs as a member of the Seattle band STAG.

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Ben London