Kristal Pacific

Program Officer


A Brooklyn-born first-gen Caribbean-American, Kristal is an empathic cultural sector leader whose mission is to drive positive change by supporting people and places working to make our communities more equitable and enjoyable. Kristal is a trained soprano (B.M. Music History & Classical Voice, Temple University) with varied international performance experience as a soloist and member of several prolific ensembles including the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and MasterVoices. Outside of performing, Kristal has had an active career as a cultural worker holding fundraising positions at Symphony Space and Harlem Stage and serving as an adjunct instructor for Drexel University’s Arts Administration and Museum Leadership graduate program (her alma mater). Selected as a Sphinx Organization LEADer in Excellence, Arts & Diversity in 2019 and member of artEquity’s inaugural BIPOC leadership circle in partnership with Yale School of Drama in 2020, she has since emerged as an arts philanthropy practitioner. She has implemented national grants programs and social justice initiatives as Director of Social Equity and Grantmaking at OPERA America and has managed hyper-local cultural investments to organizations near her current residence in Harlem as a Program Officer at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation. Kristal is thrilled to join the team at the Howard Gilman Foundation to continue her passion for supporting arts and culture in New York City.

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I envision a thriving NYC performing arts sector that reflects the gorgeous diversity of peoples and cultures that call this city home. This is a big city and there is more than enough room for every single person who has something vital to say or play to have the opportunity to do so.