Founded in 1990, OUTMUSIC INC. is the premiere 501c3 non-profit organization created to promote the advancement and appreciation of LGBTQ music culture & heritage as a recognized artform, create opportunities to support the development of young aspiring artists, increase visibility in honoring, documenting and archiving the contributions and achievements of marginalized LGBTQ artists into music & entertainment history.
The organizaton started in the living room of life partners Dan Martin and
Michael Biello in their East Village apartment in New York City.
In 2001 the first Outmusic Awards was established to honor excellence in recordings prior to 2000. This event was created to fill the void of the Gay & Lesbiano American Music Awards (the GLAMMA's). When the OMAs started, there were only 5 categories, Outstanding New Recording, Outstanding Legacy Recording, Outstanding Live Performer, Outstanding Life Performer and Outstanding Support Award.
Under the new leadership of the appoitned Executive Director Diedra Meredith the organization was re-founded and a new infrastructure was created. Meredith created divisions LARA - LGBT Academy of Recording Arts and commuinity outreach programming through the Outmusic Foundation including the I AM MUSIC PROJECT and the Sponsor A Young Person Initiative, advocacy via the Freedom of Expression Print Advocacy Campaign.
The Outmusic Awards was redisigned and relaunched which included the design and creation of the OMA Trophy. Luis Perez was commissioned in 2009 to design the new OMA award trophy. The award categories were overhauled to meet the needs of the growing generes among the artists submitting.
Today the OUTmusic Awards has grown from a small gathering of 300 local LGBT music people to an international platform event.