Introduction Letter from Melinda Paradis - New Director of Communications for LARA

Dear members and supporters,

My name is Melinda Paradis and it is my absolute honour to serve as the new Director of Communications for Outmusic - The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA). First and foremost, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your lasting support of this historical LGBT institution for the arts. Your support is truly what makes the core team go on every day, to push for an equal platform for our beautifully diverse LGBT alliance of musicians and performers.

When I learned of the organization being defrauded and having to abruptly halt the production of the 9th Outmusic Awards, I was moved to show up regardless. I flew to New York city anyway, and met the Chairwoman and CEO Diedra Meredith. I watched her face uncertainty under a pressure that many of us could have been broken from. I immediately offered my help and support.

Over the next months, the aftermath was a hard road for the organization, and despite what critics had to say, despite the adversaries Ms Meredith had to deal with, I knew I wanted to be a part of the mission to revive the organization. Therefore, I stepped up in my capacity as a media professional and eventually accepted the appointment of Director of Communications.

I wanted to stand on the right side of history in joining a core team of dedicated creative industry professionals, who have worked restlessly for many years to bring Outmusic this far. Their years of dedication spoke volumes and without hesitation I said: “count me in”!

Over the past 2 years, I have learned even more about the rich history of the organization and its artists’ community, from nominees, to winners, to honorees, to the voices who have paved the way for us. As a musician, and a member of the LGBT community, I believe in the importance of not only protecting our history, but in advancing the platform to ensure that we create the opportunity for artists we support to be recognized and celebrated equally in the media and entertainment industry.

It is important to me, to revive the essential mission of LARA and revamp the format for the Outmusic Awards. Our goal remains the same, and that is to bring this music and entertainment platform to an equivalent level of exposure so our music, our heritage, our stories and voices are seen and heard throughout the world.

As we re-emerge from a major unforeseen financial hardship, I want to share with you that we took our time to gradually rebuild our infrastructure to ensure the legacy of an important organization, with 26 years of existence, will continue on. What happened to this organization should have never happened and we are hopeful that the ongoing FBI investigation will be victorious in our favor. In the meantime, we must press forward.

I want to personally ensure you that I stand with the core team of LARA and will do my best to get the work done! We are hopeful that we can count on your continued support and for you to reaffirm your commitment to rise together as the powerful, beautiful and diverse community of artists that we are. As announced in the previous November letter from our Chairwoman, we were preparing to launch, we have now soft launched our new promotional digital platform Outmusic Television Network (online) in our efforts to revive our essential mission.

I will be reaching out to you soon to encourage you to participate in our online Social Media Donation Pledge Campaign to build our online community! Get ready to build higher with us by inviting your friends and fans to Like, Follow and Share our social media pages. Facebook and Twitter @OMTVN @OutmusicAwards Instagram @OMTVN @Outmusic_Awards.


Melinda Paradis

Director of Communications, Outmusic - The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA)

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