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Interlochen Arts Academy guest artist Dr. Bill Banfield receives Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award

An award-winning composer, Banfield is currently working with Academy students, faculty, and guests to stage the world premiere production of his hybrid opera, ‘Edmonia.’

Bill Banfield headshot

Composer Bll Banfield

Interlochen Arts Academy guest artist Dr. Bill Banfield recently received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.

Founded in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and led by AmeriCorps in partnership with Points of Light, the President’s Volunteer Service Award honors individuals whose volunteer service positively impacts their community and inspires others to take action. The program’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have exemplified the willingness to provide a high level of humanitarian assistance to their profession, their communities, and this great nation.

As a recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, Banfield received a certificate and a congratulatory letter from 46th President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Banfield’s name will also be included in President Biden’s White House archives.

An award-winning author, composer, and Berklee College of Music Professor Emeritus, Banfield has led Interlochen Arts Academy’s exploration of the history, culture, and artistry of the African Diaspora since 2021. The three-year curriculum will culminate in Spring 2024 with the world premiere of Banfield’s groundbreaking hybrid opera Edmonia, a multidisciplinary dramatization of the life, career, and rediscovery of 19th century African American and Native American sculptor Edmonia Lewis.

Learn more about the African Diaspora curriculum