Christopher Racster, the Executive Director at Outfest, is stepping down from his position after being in leadership at Outfest for over 8 years. Racster lead as Executive Director of the organization known for promoting LGBTQ equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBTQ stories on the screen, for over three years.
A message sent by Racster and Outfest Co-Presidents Terry Franklin and Marissa Román Griffith, states that Racster has decided it was time to chart to the next course of his career.
“Christopher is a beloved member of the Outfest family and team,” reads the memo. “Under his leadership, Outfest has continued to be the leading LGBTQ arts organization in the world.”
The memo credits Racster’s for the following key contributions to Outfest:
- The expansion of trans-inclusion across all Outfest programs including initiating the Outfest Anthony Meindl Acting Fellowship, an annual scholarship program for five transgender and non-binary actors.
- The creation of a new strategic plan which focuses on building a pipeline of LGBTQ talent through Outfest’s education and mentoring programs and the eventual expansion of Outfest to small towns in the MidWest and the South who do not have the same access to content and mentoring.
- The expansion of more diverse voices in Outfest’s programs, staff, and Board. In 2017, 50% of the films at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival were made by women. And in 2018 over 2/3 of the filmmakers were women, people of color, transgender or non-binary. We also welcomed our first ally to the Board and (not only for the first time, but for two years in a row) Outfest has had two Board Co-Presidents who are persons of color.
Christopher Racster is helping the Outfest Board find a new Executive Director who will continue to uphold Outfest as a pillar of excellence and ensuring that this transition is as seamless as possible. The organization has already formed a transition committee and engaged Kevin Chase Executive Search Group, a national executive search firm, to help identify the next Executive Director.
Outfest’s lineup of 2019 programs, include the highly anticipated Outfest Fusion LGBTQ People of Color Film Festival (March 1st – 5th) and Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival (July 18th – 28th), as well as new Outfest UCLA Legacy Project restorations. Soon Outfest will be introducing you to this year’s OutSet Fellows and the first recipients of the Outfest Anthony Meindl Actors Fellowship.
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the leading organization that promotes LGBTQ equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBTQ stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBTQ lives. Over the past three decades Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 20,000 LGBTQ films and videos. Outfest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
For more information on Outfest, visit outfest.org.