Article Contributed by Sonic Guild Colorado | Published on Saturday, December 23, 2023

Sonic Guild (formerly Black Fret), a national music nonprofit that builds communities to support the creation and performance of exceptional local music, recently expanded into Colorado. With the support of local Sonic Guild members and partners, Colorado has invested nearly $100,000 in grants and thriving wage performance fees for local artists since its launch two years ago. Now, the organization is launching its People's Choice Award.

Sonic Guild Colorado is collaborating with local music businesses, advocates and industry leaders (Artist Proof Collective, Business Minded Musicians, Kirsten Cohen Photography, Dog House Music Studios, Factor E Creative, KRFC, Pressing Media, The Salt Lick) to provide a package of career catalyzing resources for the act the public selects as the People's Choice for 2023. In addition to their Sonic Guild Colorado grant, the People's Choice winner will receive a valuable package of professional services including photography, studio time, video assets, social content, coaching, graphic design, merchandise and more.

The public is encouraged to Vote for their favorite act by January 20. Sonic Guild Colorado will announce the People's Choice winner at their awards event on Thursday, January 25.


The 2023 Sonic Guild artists were nominated by the public, prior grant recipients, local industry experts and founding members. They represent a broad spectrum of musical genres and reflect the depth of Colorado’s remarkable local talent.

2MX2 * Britt Devens * Dzirae Gold * Lady Denim * Gio Chamba * Graham Good and the Painters * Megan Burtt * Neoma * Pink Fuzz * The Mañanas * HOPDODDY AWARD FOR COLORADO: Ramakhandra

"Once again, Sonic Guild has selected some of the hottest artists that I have been keeping an eye on in Colorado as the incoming class of grantees.” added Dani Grant, Sonic Guild Colorado advisor and owner, The Mishawaka.  “I am excited about the career potential Sonic Guild offers these musicians and the opportunity Sonic Guild generates for its members, who are true music fans. Attending these intimate exclusive performances produced at indie venues is by far the best way to see live music."

Sonic Guild is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Since 2013, Sonic Guild has distributed more than $5 million to empower musicians like Black Pumas, Shakey Graves and Wild Child to create and perform new music. The organization was founded by Colin Kendrick and Matt Ott, who saw the cultural value of and risk to Austin’s internationally recognized live music scene. Colin Kendrick added, “We created Sonic Guild as music fans. We love the music our city produces and wanted to find a way to support talented, hardworking local musicians while exposing them to new audiences. Colorado’s music scene is legendary and has been an inspiration to Austin.”

Colorado was selected as the third chapter after Austin and Seattle. The founders conducted extensive research on music industry trends and found Colorado has an abundance of emerging talent, a breadth of diverse genres represented in our music scene, and a live music culture that Coloradans support.

The Austin chapter, after 10 years of establishing the organization, is able to grant $250,000 to twenty local musicians annually. “We look forward to growing our impact in Colorado with the support of music lovers who believe local music deserves local support,” said Kirsten Vermulen, Executive Director of Sonic Guild’s Colorado Chapter. “Despite the incredible talent we have, Colorado is one of the more difficult markets to launch a music career. Given our geography, it’s expensive to tour, resources for artists are extremely limited, cost of living is high and our industry ecosystem is less robust than places like Austin, Nashville, Seattle and LA.”

Sonic Guild also provides national exposure and resources for local artists. Due to a partnership with HopDoddy Burger Bar, local artists Ramakhandra have also been selected as Tuned In awardees through Sonic Guild. The band was selected by employees and guests amongst seven national artists to receive a $8,000 grant. “Supporting our local Hopdoddy communities has always been at the forefront of our brand and music has been in our DNA since we first opened our doors in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World.” said Jeff Chandler, CEO, Hopdoddy. “Through our Tuned In campaign with Sonic Guild, we’re able to deliver more good vibes to our guests while introducing local musicians to new fans and awarding potentially career-making grants.”

The Sonic Guild grants are unrestricted allowing artists to invest in their most pressing development needs like recording, engineering, publicity support, video production, merchandising and touring. Eight of the ten 2022 grantees have already released new music supported, in part, by Sonic Guild grants. In addition to funds, the organization provides mentoring connections, in-kind career support and opportunities to play markets outside of Colorado.


“Working with Sonic Guild has felt like catching a strong wind in a sail that I’d worked hard to set and aim. Their support for artists like myself, who’ve long invested in craft and commitment to art, is already pushing this scene and artistic community forward.” Alysia Kraft, 2022 Grantee

“Sonic Guild has been a game changer!” said Kayla Marque, 2022 Sonic Guild Grantee. “For a long time, I have needed a support system and Sonic Guild has become the village that provides network expansion and nourishment to my creative pursuits. I have deep gratitude for this community.”

“Receiving the Sonic Guild Colorado grant in 2022 was an amazing kick-start after putting much of my very new music career on pause due to Covid lockdowns the previous two years. Soon, opportunities to play at Snowmass Rendezvous and Boulder International Film Festival followed.”

“I was able to fund the recording of my full-length record produced by Matt Hoffman, who has co-written some of the new songs and helped move my sound in a direction I couldn’t be more excited about. It felt like a snowball effect that helped me land sets at Film on the Rocks and JAS Aspen. Considering a two-year pause on live shows right after my first year in music, I’m excited about the year I’ve had, and I couldn’t think of a dreamier way to end 2023 than opening for DeVotchKa.” Claire Heywood, 2022 Grantee

In addition to announcing the People's Choice Winner, all eleven artists will be recognized at Sonic Guild Colorado’s annual celebration featuring live music by grantees Graham Good and the Painters on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at Meow Wolf Denver. Register, join or donate at


Thursday, January 25, 2024 - Sonic Guild Colorado Awards at Convergence Station, Denver. VIP artist and member reception 5:30 PM. Live music and celebration 6-8 PM. Free to Sonic Guild members and artists.


Founded in 2013, Sonic Guild is a public charity headquartered in Austin whose mission is to build communities to support the creation and performance of exceptional music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Together, Sonic Guild’s limited membership has supported musicians with over $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 and an incredible annual awards show named the Sonic Guild Ball. Grant recipients are selected annually through a yearlong process where members, advisors and prior grant recipients nominate, lobby for, see performances by and finally vote on their favorite artists. Those who wish to become a member of Sonic Guild can sign up at

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