Bio: Susheel Bibbs (aka Cheryl 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:
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
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
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.