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Lyric Opera Stage Artists (LOSA) Earns 501(c)(3) Status

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LOSA was formed in 2018 and was incorporated in 2020 by co-founders Cathy Dunn, Tyler Lee, and Pam Williams.

Lyric Opera Stage Artists (LOSA) Earns 501(c)(3) Status

LOSA (Lyric Opera Stage Artists) is now an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. LOSA received this news on September 7, 2021.

"Reaching this status is a dream come true that will allow LOSA to keep up our important mission while also expanding into new and more ambitious territory," said Cathy Dunn, LOSA Board President and AGMA member since 1991. "We strive to serve our community of Chicagoland in a meaningful way. Now being able to receive donations and apply for grants will propel LOSA to the next level. This has been an exciting development for all of us."

She added, "We cannot thank Bob Downs enough, a friend and longtime LOSA and Lyric supporter. He donated his legal expertise and helped us with this process, pro bono."

LOSA was formed in 2018 and was incorporated in 2020 by co-founders Cathy Dunn, Tyler Lee, and Pam Williams. It is a "pro Artist" service organization of current and former members of the AGMA shop at Lyric Opera of Chicago, including Choristers, Principal Artists, Ryan Opera Center Artists, Actors, Dancers, Choreographers, Stage Management, and Stage Directors. All members of LOSA are volunteers and do not receive compensation. It is led by a volunteer board of nine people, including LOSA members and co-founders Dunn, Lee, and Williams, as well as Amanda Runge, and non-members Bradford Newquist, Reid Taylor, Judge Kenneth Wright, Sam Ramey, and Dan Pyne.

LOSA aims to give back to the community all while bringing opera to people who otherwise might not have been introduced to the art form or can no longer attend at the opera house. LOSA has participated in many community outreach programs including volunteering at food banks, hosting concerts in senior centers, and sponsoring a tee-ball team. An excerpt of its mission statement reads, "By extending our talents and love of opera beyond the stage, we hope to bring the potential of music and theater to the lives of all those who need its lasting beauty and power."

"I congratulate LOSA for achieving such a significant milestone in their important work. As the performing arts emerge from the restrictions of the past 18 months, LOSA's focus on bringing the power of music and theater to as wide an audience as possible is even more critical," stated Elizabeth Hurley, Chief Advancement Officer, Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Since its formation, LOSA has put on over 140 performances (this includes over 100 virtual performances throughout the pandemic); has partnered with numerous senior living residences and senior community groups, as well as many nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago. LOSA has organized special fundraising concerts that supported Bushfire Relief for Australia, By the Hand Club for Kids, OPRF Infant Welfare Society, and local food banks.

All of this was accomplished by members of LOSA volunteering their time and reaching into their own pockets to cover expenses, with some of the partnering organizations paying accompanists outside of LOSA directly.

With its official 501(c)(3) status, LOSA is actively planning new ways to reach the community, especially when it comes to raising funds for future outreach projects and providing assistance to Lyric Artists. A benefit concert is in the works.

"Artists supporting Artists is something we love to see at AGMA," said Len Egert, National Executive Director of AGMA. "We applaud the AGMA members who have done so much wonderful work as part of Lyric Opera Stage Artists and congratulate them on this great achievement."

Tax-exempt donations can be made in support of Lyric Opera Stage Artists by visiting www.lyricoperastageartists.org/donate/ or sending a check to LOSA at 924 N Euclid Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302. Any AGMA Artists at Lyric Opera of Chicago, whether currently working at Lyric or not, are encouraged to become a part of LOSA. For more information, email communications@lyricoperastageartists.org.


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