(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
Class of 2021
Acid Tongue, Beverly Crusher, Black Ends, Caitlin Sherman, Da Qween,
Parisalexa, SassyBlack, Shelby Earl, Sol, True Loves, Zan Fiskum
Class of 2020
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
“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
Shaina Shepherd Never Be Another You VIDEO
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.
Press Contact
Ben London