NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — DownStreet Art (DSA), a program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), will partner with West African drumming group Marafanyi Drum, Dance and Song to host a series of creative labs as part of the “Marafanyi Meets the Mural” project.

The project is a creative response to Egyptian artist Alaa Awad’s mural, “Justice,” commissioned by DownStreet Art in 2014. The mural will serve as inspiration for this community art-making collaboration led by teaching and performing artists of Marafanyi Dance, Drum and Song - Lara Gonzalez, Yael Shacham and Lisa Gonzalez-Howell.

For this community artistic collaboration, Marafanyi will join with inter-generational community members of all abilities during the four creative labs, where they will compose, choreograph and arrange a unique music/dance/spoken word interpretation of Awad’s mural.

Labs will be held at Common Folk Artist Collective located at 33 Main Street on the following Saturdays: July 30, Aug. 20, and on Sept. 3 and 24 from 2-4 p.m.

A culminating “Art Share” will take place at the final DownStreet Art celebration of this season, on Thursday, Sept. 29.

All those who wish to participate are encouraged to sign up for all four labs in preparation for the DSA :Art Share. Open to all ages and abilities, children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent.

MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center provides opportunities, resources, and support to the Northern Berkshire Community. BCRC brings together the Northern Berkshire, MCLA and greater creative communities through its cultural programming, including: MCLA Gallery 51, DownStreet Art, Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), and MCLA Presents! The BCRC promotes, facilitates and encourages a dialogue to foster a sustainable, creative community.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

For more information about DownStreet Art events and the BCRC, go to and .

For more information, and to sign up for the creative labs, please e-mail Marafanyi at or call 877-904-2362.