“Kickstarting” the OMAM Fund!

While many artists, musicians and filmmakers are taking to crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to raise money to produce their independent projects, Washington, DC “artistic entrepreneur” Kayona Ebony Brown has decided to think outside the box.

For the last two years, Kayona has been developing a television series entitled, Of Music & Men, based in-part on her own life as the young, female owner of a fledgling independent record company in Washington, DC, who like most single women, find navigating the DC dating scene to be quite the rollercoaster ride. The show aims to capture the same elements as hits like Entourage and Sex & the City balancing friendship, dating and careers.

As an actress and writer, Kayona has worked with many of the area’s filmmakers and has experienced first-hand just how difficult funding such projects can be. So, in an effort to do something new that none of her filmmaker friends had ever tried, Brown created, developed and designed The OMAM Fund (The Of Music and Men Fund), a fundraising initiative that uniquely blends crowd-funding and investing with a traditional e-commerce website that sells promotional merchandise and other products.

Although I like the idea of Kickstarter, the business model just doesn’t work for me: the extremely high fees, a limited timeline, low stipulations for artists’ ‘credibility,’ and of course the all-or-nothing game. My business model is much more personalized to the business and marketing plan for this show, which allows fundraising in perpetuity and for more involvement from our supporters.”

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The show, Of Music & Men, is a spin-off of her novel, Tenth Letter. Brown’s goal to make this a successful franchise is part of what fuels her creatively, allowing fans to grow with one group of characters over various media platforms: books, blogs, television and eventually movies, while using her hometown, Washington, DC as the backdrop.

I’ve set some very lofty goals, but I’m confident that they can be achieved. Along with fans, right now we’re looking for sponsors and partners, preferably DC-based small business and cultural influencers. What better way to capture the pulse of the city than to work with those at the heart of it all?”

Of Music & Men will begin airing in 2014. And don’t forget to connect:

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