African American News


Two venerable San Francisco Bay Area arts organizations merge to achieve shared stability and increased community impact

­OAKLAND, Calif.May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Following a thorough review by each organization’s board of directors, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) has accepted an invitation from Oakland Youth Chorus (OYC) to become its acquisition partner. OIGC’s acquisition of OYC embraces a legacy choral program with an outstanding reputation and expertise in serving the youth of Oakland to its program roster, leveraging OIGC’s strong leadership and infrastructure. Initial acquisition discussions began in September 2021, and the deal finalized in April 2022 after a six month review process under the guidance of a task force made up of leadership from both organizations. OIGC will work with legal and nonprofit consultants to ensure a smooth transition over the summer, supported by a generous Organizational Effectiveness grant from the Hewlett Foundation.

Small arts organizations like OIGC and OYC, continue to be impacted by the loss of funding revenue due to COVID-19. With funders shifting priorities and high rates of leadership turnover, Oakland’s vibrant and vital cultural landscape has felt the impact. “Our board assessed our options and chose to refocus on our choral program,” says Patrick Zimski, Board President for OYC. “OIGC’s mission aligns so well with our own, and their leadership and longevity make them an ideal partner.”

“The acquisition of OYC fits seamlessly into a recently completed five-year plan,” says Maren Amdal, OIGC Executive Director, “which includes a heavy emphasis on robust youth programming and organizational stability.” OYC will retain its name and legacy, as well as rehearsal space at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Remaining in service of OYC are Artistic Director, La Nell Martin, and Development Manager, Nikole Wilson-Ripsom, both of whom will join the OIGC team.

Community support will continue to be an essential component of success. OIGC welcomes well-wishes and donations in celebration of this commitment to community and looks forward to the opportunity to feature each of its six member choirs at public performances for years to come. Visit for more details or to download the full press release.

SOURCE Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir

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