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Brief Bio: Susheel Bibbs (aka Cheryl Susheel Bibbs)


Susheel Bibbs, a critically acclaimed touring classical singer and filmmaker and winner of the coveted Laid Foundation Award in voice, holds a Masters in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and did her undergraduate training at Boston University's College for the Arts in Opera. She debuted at Boston's Jordan Hall and appeared in leading and supporting on the roster of the Opera Company of Boston for three years; she then sang opera and did concert tours internationally to acclaim for over 20 years. Bibbs currently tours nationwide presenting original one-woman musical and dramatic programs and master classes on black classical song, and creates independent documentary films through M.E.P. Productions/Publications (divisions of Daya Kay Communications, Inc.). She has issued a book on Mary Pleasant's life and civil rights achievements called Heritage of Power and currently heads The Living Heritage Foundation, which sponsors professional artists/projects fiscally and gives grants related to unsung African American arts and women of note.

Media and Education:

Bibbs trained in media as a manager and producer in television and radio production through a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant at WGBH-TV and Radio in Boston and now holds an advanced degree (PhD) in Communications (emphasizing presentation via media of African-American history/culture). She taught stage movement in New England Conservatory's Opera Department and at The Santa Fe Opera and voice in Boston at NEC Extensions and Boston Center the Arts, and in California's Walnut Creek Civic Arts Education. For many years, she lectured at U.C. Berkeley as she toured internationally.


Susheel Bibbs' work has been recognized internationally through citations and awards. She holds a national EMMY-award for work as an executive producer at WGBH-TV, Boston (PBS), two "Best Program" awards from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a Silver Telly, and six international awards for her independent films on Mary Pleasant. She received the Highest Commendation of the Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco for her "tireless efforts" to research and present the classical song and spirituals of black composers and her groundbreaking research on Mary Ellen Pleasant. They have also dubbed her "the world's foremost authority on Mary Ellen Pleasant." Her film for television (AN UNSUNG MUSE) is now on DVD, and her feature docuemntary on Mary Pleasant was selected for official screening at Cannes Film Festival's (Marche du Film theatrical screenings) and has won five international film-festival awards. This feature continues on PBS through 2017. Bibbs was one of the first recipients of the Friends of Negro Spirituals' "Keeper of the Spiritual Award," and has received commendations from the St. Louis City Museum and Los Angeles' African American Museum for outstanding service to community and to Women's History.

Links to promos/trailers:

• Meet Mary Pleasant --film promo 2008 – now on PBS -- click here: Meet Mary Pleasant promo.
Password must be requested for the full film

• An Unsung Muse (Classical Song of Black Composers) film promo1991 (DVD issued 2013)
Click here: Unsung Muse Promo

• Voices for Freedom -- The Hyers Sisters pre-film promo 2013 --click here: Voices for Freedom Promo
(Password needed to see the full intro presentation)

Full films and presentations require a password and are only made available to some presenters on request: mepleasant1@gmail.com

Additional Bio and Award Detail:
Bibbs first won international notice for her singing with the Opera Company of Boston and later, for her touring concerts in the US, Canada, and on TV. Later she served on the touring rosters of the California and Missouri Arts Council's for many years and served as an actress-scholar on the California Council for the Humanities "History Alive" Touring Chautauqua Troupe from 1994-2002. Her one-woman touring programs on Mary Pleasant remain part of the National Parks Service's Underground Railroad Network-to-Freedom Program, and her new lecture-performance program on the Hyers Sisters is currently touring along with master classes on the Negro Spiritual.

Bibbs bases her work in independent film on "unsung African-Americans of note" on painstaking original research, which she correlates with historical and archival rare documents. Her works continue to be sponsored by museums, concert series, theaters, dance companies, festivals, conferences, and colleges in the US and abroad. Her research collection on which her works on Mary Pleasant are based has been certified by the California Council for the Humanities.

Bibbs Works/Links to Promos
Susheel Bibbs' works are sold on this site and on Amazon.com. Her award-winning book on Pleasant (Heritage of Power) is now available in an Enhanced Edition through this site and at barnesandnoble.com. Her specific awards for documentary films on Pleasant are as follows -- The Legacy of Mary Pleasant and Meet Mary Pleasant have won 1 broadcast and 6 International film-festival awards, including a Silver Telly (Northern Calfornia's premiere TV broadcast award) for THE LEGACIES OF MARY ELLEN PLEASANT, "Best Documentary Short"-- Peace Reel Medallion at the Berkeley Film Festival for MEET MARY PLEASANT, Best Historical Documentary and Best Director of a Documentary (MEET MARY PLEASANT (1 hr) from the New York International Independent Film Festival in Hollywood and New York, and The Gold Kahuna Award for Filmmaking Excellence from the Honolulu Film Festival. The one-hour film has been presented on 44% of all PBS stations and in Canada and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.