how do we work?
Using the arts as a vehicle for societal change, we work to give voice to our lives through live performance events, and have been in the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ awareness and inclusion in the music, comedy, film, TV, and record industries. OUTmedia's message of "Changing the World One Act at a Time" has led to queer culture being transported globally in the last year to Mexico, Canada, the Carribean, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and India.
We've received kudos from HRC, the campus based National Day of Silence, Interpride, and ACPA's SCLGBTA for our outstanding work on college campuses and with LGBTQQIA youth. Shelly Weiss, OUTmedia's founder was the Spokesperson during the 1993 historic New York City Children of the Rainbow Curriculum battle against the Religious Right, which was the impetus for the development of OUTmedia.
Transforming Campus Communities
OUTmedia has been key in the promoting the positive visibility of LGBTQQIA people and inclusive multiculturalism through the arts. We have become a leading voice for queer arts and artists on college campuses, and joining with campus activists, we have transformed campus communities. We have, particularly, in our collaboration work with the Kinsey Sicks created something truly historic, reaching conservative, rural, and southern campuses, and have, in the words of Irwin Keller (Winnie) of the Kinsey Sicks, "changed red states into rosy shades of purple." As examples, 1600 people purchased tickets to see the Kinsey's at Homecoming (when alumni return) at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, a major naval and military town, they performed at 2200 capacity Lied Center at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and performed to standing ovations before an audience of 750 at 80% Mormon Salt Lake Community College.
Speaking out as queer cultural activists
Weiss has presented at professional conferences including the 2008 Q-Me Con (Queer Media Conference) Women's Summit, ACPA-NASPA, and the UCal LGBT Conference on "LGBTQ Programming: Breaking Out of Confinement to the Campus Core", National Women's Music Festival as a keynote speaker on "Feminist Culture in the New Millenium", at NGLTF's Creating Change conference as GLAMA (Gay/Lesbian American Music Award) Talent Exec on "Singing it OUT: Queering the Music Biz" with Tom McCormack, Michael Mitchell, Melissa Ferrick, and Eddie Slojack, at the 2003 Outmusic Conference on a panel with industry professionals including Larry Flick, Jamie Anderson, and Rich Overton, and at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) National Board Meeting on "Out Artists: Unseen and Unwelcome at Fine Arts Venues." Weiss was involved as an advisor in the formation of the Brooklyn Center for Lesbian and Gay Arts and Artists at BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) and was presented Brooklyn's 1st Out Citizen Award.
shaping the arts and entertainment industry
OUTmedia's model of activism has shaped a special role for it within the arts and entertainment industry. As OUTmedia has applauded live performance venues, for their achievements in promoting ethnic diversity over the last 20 years, OUTmedia is lauded by industry professionals for its efforts to widen the market, and develop new audiences for queer culture. We have worked on TV and film projects including VH1, Comedy Central, NBC's Last Comic Standing , Spielberg's On the Lot on Fox TV, The Letterman Show, MTV's LOGO, The View, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO-Cinemax's "Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House, The Roseanne Show, and the film Everything's Relative featuring Harvey Fierstein and featuring the music of Frank London and the Klezmatics.
OUTmedia seeks to change the way art is consumed in this country, promoting the vision of an inclusive multiculturalism. We are clear about the absolute importance of niche audiences, and celebrating our cultural representations within the LGBTQQ community. But, we are seeking broad, mainstream audiences for queer culture, on the heels of our learning that Chris Rock is not just funny in February, or Melissa Etheridge worth listening to only in October.
Before the APAP Board, Weiss confronted the absence of work drawn from the LGBTQ experience outside the confines of celebrated gay male choreographers such as Mark Morris and Bill T. Jones. She mused, " I've intentionally exposed my kids to Chinese acrobatics, Afro-Caribbean percussion, Klezmer and Brazilian capoiera, but I'm waiting for the day, some straight couple says on a Saturday night, "Honey, it's been so long since we've gone to see some great queer theatre."
Reaching the Media
Our work has been covered in news sources including 20/20, the Early Show, VH1,The New York Times, Newsweek, Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard, SPIN, Out, Campus Activities Programming, Inside Arts, the Journal of the Country Music Association, Crain's New York Business, bloomingOUT radio on 4/19/07 , and the Daily Nebraskan. OUTmedia's OUTCultureFest/GLAMA "Come Out & Play" was broadcast around the world on the internet by GAYBC.
Reaching the broader culture
Our work reaches way beyond colleges into the broader culture through our presence with fine arts venues, concert clubs, festivals, LGBTQQIA, progressive and feminist organizations and in the off-Broadway and TV world. OUTmedia spearheaded the summer development runs in Provincetown, MA of Margaret Cho's, "Notorious C.H.O." sold-out national tour and the Kinsey Sicks' Off-Broadway show, "Dragapella!" at the legendary Studio 54. "Dragapella" was called "riotously funny" and "sublime" (Variety), and earned them a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Lyrics and two Lucille Lortel nominations, including for Best Musical in 2001. OUTmedia associate produced the off-Broadway run of Rob Nash's Holy Cross Sucks! (now entitled School Sucks!)that won rave reviews in the NY Times & Variety and was chosen Top 10 Broadway/ Off-Broadway by Time Out NY.
becoming a leading talent resource for presenters and programmers
OUTmedia is a leading source for LGBTQQIA and LGBTQQIA-affirmative celebrities and other multicultural talent and speakers. We are deeply committed to the promotion of diversity within mainstream and LGBTQQIA culture, giving voice to African-American, Latino/a, Asian, Jewish and women artists.
Breaking Multi-culturalism out of confinement
We have long been on record refuting the marginalization of multiculturalism. While we welcome the recognition and visibility of LGBTQQIA, women's, African-American, Asian and Latino/a cultures on college campuses, we belive that diverse campus communities need to reflect diversity throughout the year, rather than only during a designated week or month. While discreet campus communities need opportunities for members to come together, we are most interested in building bridges between campus communities and creating much needed alliances and future coalitions that continue to transform campus cultures to rich and accepting environments reflective of our very diverse world. Our task to bring voice to a rich multi-cultural, tapestry is even more important on very homogeneous campuses and communities, and after 10 years, we now see legions of students and campus professionals willing to take risks to provide such programming. Their efforts are an inspiration to all who are a part of OUTmedia.
Providing technical support on creative development, strategic enhancement of profile and perception, nurturance of projects and career building, cultivating promotional materials and media coverage, and developing new markets and wider audiences.
Producing and talent coordination
Producing and talent coordination services to wide range of LGBTQQIA, progressive, feminist, and Jewish events including the historic Lesbian & Gay Jews in the Jewish Community Conference at Stephen Free Wise Synagogue, Europride, the historic 2004 Boston Pride celebrating the legalization of same sex marriage in MA, OUTmedia's OUTculture Fest, Lesbian and Gay Business and Entertainment Expo, COLAGE/ Family Pride Coalition's Lesbian and Gay Family Weeks, Rally for Justice, Brooklyn NCOD, Twice Blessed featuring Laura Wetzler and the Klezmatics, Queer Schmear! series at StandUP NY with guest appearance by Robin Williams, OUTmedia's Queer Riot! for national and global touring, Caroline's Come Out Laughing. HinJew Hysteria!, and GLAMA (Gay Lesbian American Music Awards) featuring Melissa Etheridge, kd lang, and Ru Paul as presenters, and a rich array of nationally known indie artists.
giving professional and ethical service and giving back
We pride ourselves on great service, professionalism, prices, and most importantly, politics! OUTmedia is a proud sponsor of LGBTQQIA youth events including MBLGTACC, True Colors, National Day of Silence. Midwest, Eastern, UCal, Southeast, Northeast GLBTQA Regional conferences, COLAGE, ACPA Nat'l Conference, SCLGBTA events, HRC's OUTVOTE, and Reaching Out MBA '05, and '08 Conferences, and our new partnership with Campus Pride. We so value your support!