March 'Tricks of the Trade' to Focus on Political Art, North Adams Event to Feature Sekou Sundiata Documentary Screening


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) announces its "Tricks of the Trade" series for the month of March will focus on political art, especially as it encourages social activism and political awareness in a community.

The next installment of this series will take place March 6-8, with three seminars to be held throughout Berkshire County. The events are free and open to the public. All seminars begin at 6:30 p.m.

On March 6, MCLA Gallery 51 in North Adams will present a screening of a 30-minute documentary film, "Finding the 51st (dream) State: Sekou Sundiata's American Project," which explores the artistic development of Sekou Sundiata's "The 51st (dream) State" through his national, communal exploration of American identity and citizenship. 

After the film, there will be a presentation and conversation on "The American Project," led by Samita Sinha, one of the performers in "Finding the 51st (dream) State."

An artist, educator and activist, Sundiata created "The America Project" to bring together creative process and public engagement in service to imagination, civic dialogue and critical citizenship. "The America Project"informed and culminated in Sundiata's 2006 performance: "Finding the 51st (dream) State." 

Sinha is an artist, composer, and vocalist whose work spans a range of genres, scenes, and contexts, moving from contemporary/experimental art spaces to jazz clubs to traditional home settings to theaters where she brings people of diverse backgrounds together to create new public rituals.

Sinha works closely on MAPP's "American Project" community programs, leads community sings, and was the key artist advisor on the creation of "The People's Potlucks" series during the summer of 2011. Sinha was the curator of last year's "WeDaPeoples Caberet" and led a community chorus project through the Coleman Center for the Arts in Alabama.

This presentation and conversation is supported by "The America Project," a program of MAPP International Productions with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Nathan Cummings Foundation.

MAPP International Productions carries forward "The America Project" by developing and supporting artist-driven initiative that empowers people from many walks of life to explore the powerful connection between their citizenship and their creative voices. 

To see a full schedule of the monthly "Tricks of the Trade" workshops or to download a free brochure, go to BCRC. For more information call: (413) 664-8718. To register, contact Valeria Federici, BCRC program coordinator, (413) 663-5253 or

Tricks of the Trade is presented by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center and co-presented by Ferrin Gallery and IS183 Art School. This program is made possible with support by Appelbaum-Kahn Foundation, Excelsior and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.