Krystal Banfield Named Associate VP of Educational Outreach
Berklee has named Krystal Prime Banfield associate vice president of Educational Outreach and Social Entrepreneurship. Banfield will oversee all of Berklee City Music’s programming and establish strategies to achieve its vision to become the world’s leading creative youth development program in contemporary music, dance, musical theater, creative entrepreneurship, and music production. Berklee City Music provides high-quality contemporary music education to youth from underserved communities at no or low cost.
Banfield joined Berklee City Music’s leadership in 2006 and embarked on transformational work empowering young people through music, providing them with pathways to college and careers. As dean, she was instrumental in building the Boston program and the Berklee City Music Network – which now counts 46 member organizations serving more than 46, 000 students in the U.S. and Canada each year. Banfield provides oversight of scholarship operations and setting academic standards for students and teachers for the Boston program and Network affiliates.
“Krystal has a demonstrated, passionate commitment to excellence in the arts as an educator, performing musician, and youth arts advocate, ” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “With more than 30 years of experience as an executive in higher education administration and nonprofit arts management, Krystal will continue to be a critical part of the college’s leadership team.”
In 2008, City Music was given the Coming Up Taller Award by the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program, which included a special invitation for the City Music All-Star Ensemble to perform at the White House during the ceremony. Banfield’s accolades include the 2016 Amtrak/Boston Celtics Pioneer Award for outstanding community service, the New England Women’s Leadership Award, 2016 GK100: Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color in education, and the Boston Arts Academy 2016 Educational Leadership Award. Banfield currently serves on the boards of the Boston Children’s Chorus and MassArt Artward Bound.
Prior to coming to Berklee, Banfield served as director of education for VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum, where she initiated and produced educational and creative programs, such as BandQuest and the Composers Suitcase, that represented people and their communities across the country. Banfield was also a voice instructor at St. Paul Conservatory of Music and an adjunct voice professor at University of St. Thomas. She has performed as a soloist and chorister in locales and venues including the American Embassy in Havana, Cuba; Krakow, Poland; Bavaria; the Kennedy Center, in Washington D.C.; and Orchestra Hall, in Minneapolis.
Banfield, a Detroit native, holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Howard University, a Master of Music from Indiana University-Bloomington, and a Doctorate in Education with concentrations in curriculum development, critical pedagogy, and educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas-Minneapolis.
Berklee City Music is a non-profit organization that leverages the power of contemporary music to empower youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially, and emotionally. Founded over 20 years ago by Berklee College of Music, the organization provides access to 1.4 million students annually through a variety of programs, partners and initiatives including City Music Network, City Music Boston, Amp Up NYC, and public school partners, all of whom have access to the innovative PULSE online music method. By using culturally relevant music as a vehicle for holistic youth development, Berklee City Music helps young people flourish as students, musicians, and—perhaps most importantly—confident and well-rounded individuals ready to shape the world.
Photo by Kelly Davidson