Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Outfest

Quick Facts

aka Outfest

Los Angeles, CA

Mission

Outfest is the leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on screen. We exist to develop and inspire storytellers, to build and affirm our community, to promote equality and equity, and to change lives through the power of our voices and stories captured in moving image.

Outfest works to end homophobia and empower the LBGT community through the arts. We believe that storytelling has the power to create cultural change and that cultural change leads to political change. LGBT visibility and positive representation has improved, but there is still a dearth of diverse, complex, and real images of LGBT people that are easily accessible. We are addressing this issue by ensuring that LGBT stories are created through Outfest Forward; shared though our exhibition programs Outfest Los Angeles and Outfest Fusion; and protected by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.

Ruling Year

1991

Executive Director

Christopher Racster

Main Address

3470 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #935

Los Angeles, CA 90010 USA

Keywords

LGBT, Film, Festival, Gay, Lesbian, Archive, Transgender, Education, Youth, Equality

EIN

95-4089601

 Number

2209630177

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Film, Video (A31)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival

Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival

Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation

Outfest Forward

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Outfest works to end homophobia and empower the LBGT community through the arts. We believe that storytelling has the power to create cultural change and that cultural change leads to political change. LGBT visibility and positive representation has improved, but there is still a dearth of diverse, complex, and real images of LGBT people that are easily accessible. We are addressing this issue by ensuring that LGBT stories are created through Outfest Forward; shared though our exhibition programs Outfest Los Angeles and Outfest Fusion; and protected by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.

Our organization has different strategies for fostering visibility, empowerment, connection and professional development within our community, and these strategies are unique to each program.

For our Outfest Forward Program, we foster empowerment by showing the narrative of youth from underserved arts communities on screen. We empower these young artists by surrounding them with professional writers, directors, producers, and production designers, and make their scripts move from the page to the screen. Our work assures that they graduate our programs with real-life professional skills.

For our UCLA Legacy Project, we foster connection and assure our continued visibility by preserving and screening LGBTQ films that might otherwise be lost. We screen films we've preserved and restored quarterly, providing the opportunity for our community to connect, and always facilitating a Q&A after to provide time for meaningful conversation. By showing these classic films that represent our history, we are empowering this generation of storytellers to continue to showcase their narratives and assuring our diverse experiences continue to be represented.

Our programs that showcase current LGBT films are our Fusion Festival and Outfest Los Angeles. Our Fusion Festival spotlights the diversity in our community, ensuring that all voices, on screen and off, are heard. By providing screenings, and workshops that are free to the public, as well as the chance for novice filmmakers to submit their own one minute films, we empower the community on a grass roots level.

Our Outfest Los Angeles Festival is 11 days of film screenings, filmmaker panels, and workshops. We use our flagship festival to share stories on screen that spark conversations, and allow the space and opportunity for our audience members to connect.

Outfest has a thirty five-year history of producing high quality events with excellent programming that engage the LGBTQ community and its allies. We continue to build on our excellent relationships with filmmakers and community partners through our international outreach, including relationships with Sundance, the Berlin Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and other prestigious entertainment industry and arts organizations.

The artistic components of our festivals are managed by Outfest's experienced programming team, comprised of industry professionals with backgrounds in film development, festivals such Sundance, Tribeca and AFI, organizations such as Film Independent and the International Documentary Association, academia and other allied fields.

We have an active Board of Directors that use their personal and professional networks for fundraising and to deepen community connections. We have a year round staff of 12, most of whom have worked for Outfest for over five years. Their skill set includes extensive event production experience, academic program development, curation, film development and production and fundraising.


Our organization knows that its making progress through both internal and external assessment, to measure how we are meeting the goals of the strategic plan, annual organizational goals, and financial goals.

We collect comparative historical data that measures number of: tickets sold, attendees, stakeholders by group, print materials distributed, web traffic, as well as surveys from audience members and filmmakers that include demographic information and extensive qualitative questions. We conduct extensive exit surveys with our program fellows that includes their personal satisfaction with the program and solicits constructive critical feedback. We also collect year round feedback from our year-round and seasonal staff as well as our Board of Directors through written evaluations and verbal plus/delta assessments. We use data to access our successes and strategize solutions to address our challenges in the following years budget.

We also actively track the professional trajectory of our filmmakers and program fellows. We tally the number of alumni filmmakers receiving awards, distribution or prestigious screenings at other festivals. We track their new projects and their development. We maintain communication with our program fellows to follow the trajectory of their careers. All of this data allows us to assess the effectiveness and relevancy of our programs.

Outfest has made great strides in our goal of fostering visibility, empowerment, connection and professional development for our program participants, but there is still work to be done.

Over five years of our young filmmakers program, Outfest has produced 25 films, all made to empower the stories of artists between 16 and 24. We have also seen in increase in the connection of youth to the organization, with a 17% increase in youth attendance at our events in 2016 as compared to 2015. Our other larger accomplishment in the 2016 year was an increase of engagement within communities of color by 20%. This goal of empowering queer people of color was also furthered this year by expanding our Fusion Festival to from 24 to 36 programs, 10 of which were free to the community.

Outfest is still hoping to increase our engagement and connection as it applies to youth and specifically, LGBTQ Youth of color. Outfest offers free membership to those between 16 and 21, but we face challenges in retaining that membership for members in their early 20's. As part of the work Outfest does, we need to continue to make this age group feel tied to the organization and provide opportunities to increase their connections at Outfest.

Outfest invests significant effort into assuring that we are playing a role in developing and showcasing female filmmakers. Women are still underrepresented behind the camera and their stories continue to be underrepresented on screen. Over the past two years we have consistently had over 40% of our festival films made by and for women. In our education and mentoring programs we have achieved gender parity and fostered significant films and artists. However, support for these filmmakers and their stories outside of Outfest still continues to be a challenge and we continue to try to form relationships and foster support for our alumni as they continue to work as entertainment professionals.

External Reviews

Financials

Outfest

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes