Dates: January – February, 2025 (specific date details TBD)
Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Program Time: 4:30-6:30pm
Program location: Martha Miller No Longer Bound Community Center, 5616 Mitchell Road, Levittown, PA 19057
Performance location: Bristol Riverside Theatre Rehearsal Studio, 201 Cedar St, Bristol, PA (green building)
Congratulations to all youth who participated in Amplifying Black Brilliance 2024!
Amplifying Black Brilliance creates immersive experiences for youth to celebrate heritage within the African diaspora through creative expression, cultural appreciation, education, and mentorship. ABB is a free community program recommended for youth ages 7-17. Program participants engage in arts educational activities twice a week over the course of five weeks beginning January 2025 -February 2025. Celebrating their achievements as an ensemble, participants present their showcase to the community at Bristol Riverside Theatre’s rehearsal studio. In June, youth in ABB have the opportunity to perform excerpts from their showcase at the annual Juneteenth festival, located at Bristol Lions Park.
In 2024, Amplifying Black Brilliance took place on January 9th through February 9th. The program happened after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, with the exception of our final showcase week. During our final showcase week, program days ran Monday- Friday with a finale showcase on Friday, Feb 9th at BRT’s Rehearsal Studio. Learners explored Black History through playwriting, acting and social dancing; hip hop dance, ballroom dancing (Swing and Merengue styles).
ABB youth co-wrote an original play “Free’s World.” A young person by the name of Free travels with her friends through time via a magical cellphone using the the popular online platform, Tik Tok. Free and friends meet Black and Brown youth in New York City in the 1980s on the subway who teach Free and friends the five elements of hip hop and the origins of the culture of hip hop dance. On their journey through Tik Tok, they encounter the Queen of Swing during the Harlem Renaissance, Norma Miller. The Queen of Swing is a renowned African American dancer and choreographer, famous for her mastery of the Lindy Hop Swing during the 1930s and 40s. Norma Miller shares information about her career and teaches the student travelers Lindy Hop Swing.
On another stop through Tik Tok, Free and friends stop at a party celebrating LatinX culture specific to the Dominican Republic. The Characters experience the Merengue dance, exploring the influence of African tribal dance, Minuet, and French styles of movement within Merengue dance. We look forward to continuing to further develop this play with ABB youth in 2025! The process of creating the play, “Free’s World” as an ensemble provided ABB youth with immersive learning experiences, increasing awareness about Black History through performing arts!
Amplifying Black Brilliance is hosted by Bristol Riverside Theatre Education and No Longer Bound in partnership with African American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County.
History of Amplifying Black Brilliance
Amplifying Black Brilliance took place for the first time in person on February 1, 2022, at the brand-new Martha Miller No Longer Bound Community Center! This program is facilitated by BRT Education and No Longer Bound in partnership with African American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County. Amplifying Black Brilliance is in its 3rd year of programming, launching for the first time virtually in March 2021. Throughout the years, youth have participated in Acting, Poetry, Hip Hop Dance, and African Drumming classes.
In 2022, African American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County presented workshops for participants highlighting the life of Harriet Tubman through historical research, free hand sketching workshops, and performances about the life of Harriet Tubman by Louise Davis. Ms. Davis is a relative of Harriet Tubman, artist, and trailblazer of African American history & culture. Educational resources such as books by influential Black Americans in history were provided by African American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County. On March 18, 2022, youth in the Amplifying Black Brilliance program shined in their ensemble showcase, Harriet Lives.The showcase took place at Bristol Riverside Theatre’s rehearsal studio. In addition, youth in ABB performed excerpts from their showcase at the annual Juneteenth festival, located at Bristol Lions Park. We are so excited to continue Amplifying Black Brilliance in 2024!