ABOUT BLACK & X-CELLENT:
Hosted by two respected community leaders Aliya Johnson Roberts (Owner of Bustleton Learning Center) and Fayette Coppock-Brown (Founder and Artistic Director of The X-Perience Dance Company), both from Philadelphia. Brown and Robert’s paths originally crossed at the Philadelphia High School for Girls, but their relationship has grown into so much more over the years.
Black & X-Cellent (originally Black X-Cellence) was established by X-Press Yourself: Creative and Performing Arts, which is also the birthplace of the X-Perience Dance Company in 2016 to educated and inspire its students during Black History Month. For two years, the students and staff produced a full-blown musical production, which touched on various topics that the students felt were issues in our community. The event was also woven with homages to black community leaders and pioneers. In 2020, in the midst of rehearsals, XPY’s Drama instructor, who was the glue to the entire production, left suddenly due to personal reasons. This was an annual event that the students and families had come to look forward to and Fayette was determined not to let them down. With only a month to regroup, she decided to revamp the event’s entire format to still showcase her students’ talent, but to open the event to other youth groups and community organizations in the Philadelphia area as well. However, more participants would mean finding a larger venue. Luckily, Aliya Johnson- Roberts whose daughters are also Fayette’s dance students, was able to come to the rescue and offer her spacious facility at Bustleton Learning Center. The partnership sparked an entire rebranding of the event. Fayette didn’t want those attending to arrive with the expectation that they would witness what they had seen in previous years so, she decided that she no longer wanted the event to be simply a display of black excellence, but instead she wanted to make a declarative statement, that we are Black & X-Cellent!
Although X-Press Yourself: Creative and Performing Arts was dissolved in 2022, The X-Perience Dance Company lives on and has continued the partnership with Bustelton Learning Center to produce this event.