OMA STATUS UPDATE
August 20, 2015 Update
OUTMUSIC INC. is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization that serves as an umbrella to support the work LARA (LGBTQ Academy of Recording Arts. It is home to The OUTMUSIC Awards (OMAs) the biggest night in LGBT music and entertainment.
For the last 8 years the OUTMusic Awards have been one of LARA’s most successful programs. Because of unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, the 9th OUTMusic Awards were postponed to a later date. We have not been cleared legally to give any further details but we want to assure you that we are working deligently.
We are in the process of rescheduling the production and programming of the OUTMusic Awards and we want to thank all of those who have expressed their support, and continue to support us, as we move forward in our efforts to ensure that LGBTQ music, culture and heritage will be included as an equally recognized art form.
Our mission is, and always will be, to promote the advancement and appreciation of LGBT music culture, and its heritage.
OUTMusic Awards event serves as a fundraiser for the organization. All ticket sale proceeds are non-refundable, and all membership dues are non-refundable donations.
We offer the following options as our policy:
When we produce the rescheduled production of the 9th OUTmusic Awards we will give you credit to attend with the same ticket purchase value.
If you are unable to use your tickets, you may donate them to the Outmusic Inc. for resale until 48hours before the show by emailing your receipt to info@theLARA.org. Ticket donations must be received prior to the performance date. Once your receipt/proof of purchase receipt is received, a tax deductible receipt will be emailed to you.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
OMA STATUS UPDATE
January 1, 2016 Update
Dear Members and Supporters,
As we close out 2015 and move into 2016, I wanted to take a moment to send a personal thank you for your patience, understanding, and compassion after the devastating setback our organization suffered.
Unfortunately, we had to abruptly postpone our production of the 9th OUTmusic Awards due to the fact that our organization is the victim of Financial Fraud Crime which caused significant and astronomical damages we were not able to recover from as fast as we wanted to. Hence, we were not able to deliver the production of the 9th OUTmusic Awards months later as we were planning. A Federal offense like this involved much more than we imagined handling. Investigations take time, which meant our organization had to take much more needed time than anticipated.
I wanted to share this information with you sooner, but because this was a crime against our organization, I was advised to not disclose any details to ensure the best possibility for justice to prevail in our favor. In addition, our organization and team needed to do some necessary restructuring and reorganizing. I have taken the necessary steps with the proper authorities and have been working with some generous business, media, and creative industry professionals who stepped up to offer their support in our endeavor to recover.
My hope is that you can understand what happened and what I and my core team had to endure. We have been diligently working to make our organization and the OUTmusic Awards even stronger.
When I was appointed as volunteer Executive Director by the founders of Outmusic Inc. in 2007, I was inspired by their dedication of 17 years of volunteer service to the mission of the organization they founded. I learned early on in my tenure that I was taking on an immense upward hill struggle because I clearly understood the cost of FREEDOM. I knew there would be huge sacrifice filled with setbacks, disappointments, and major obstacles. It was evident that I would be the target of intense scrutiny and harsh criticism but what I knew most of all is that "There is no excellence without hard work." - Henriette DeLille
"Where there is no struggle there's no strength. Nobody's journey is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks." - Oprah Winfrey
I never imagined I would find myself in the same position as high-leveled reputable business executives who are victims of Financial Fraud. Learning about other leaders and business professionals who have endured the emotional impact of fraud victimization, encouraged me to face what seemed to be insurmountable damage.
Throughout this process, I'm thankful for the law enforcement agents and the Witness Aid Services Unit. They make sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect. What happened to us disappointed many. My core team and I were devastated because we have tirelessly worked for the mission of our organization since 2009. Therefore, I needed to step back and give myself permission to break so that I could break through because I felt that I failed my team, members of LARA, and all of our supporters.
"Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a stepping stone to success."
- Arianna Huffington
To address the criticisms and allegations that I and my team have gotten away with scamming and cheating people out of money, I reflected on Dr. Martin Luther King's letter from Birmingham prison. He wrote, "Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work."
As the Agent of Change I AM, I too rarely stop to answer to false allegations and criticism of my work, but I feel it is important to state that I and no one on my core team stole nor did we cheat anyone out of money. We have worked tirelessly throughout the years and stand proud to continue in LARA's mission to promote the advancement of LGBT music culture, and heritage. Our efforts may not have been perfect, but we are not charlatans or thieves.
Although we must report the 9th OUTmusic Awards as a loss, we must not be defeated. In our continued efforts, I want to encourage you to embrace that we are all Agents of CHANGE, and we will win together as well as be defeated together.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Because it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
In closing, I want to thank those who have offered unwavering support through this difficult time. I and my core team value you and I apologize again for the disappointments and any inconvenience. I will give more details on our plans to resolve and move forward in 2016. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Chairwoman - LARA
The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts
CEO - Outmusic Inc.