NASHVILLE, TN — XQ and Pop-Up Magazine Productions today announce XQ Super School Live — a new, one-of-a-kind, immersive storytelling tour to inspire people to reimagine high schools in their own community.

XQ Super School Live cities and dates are:

March 2nd: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: Nashville, War Memorial Auditorium

March 7th: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: Denver, Ogden Theatre

March 8th: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: Colorado Springs, Shockley-Zalabak Theater

March 14th: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: San Diego, Spreckels Theatre

March 15th: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: Los Angeles, Wilshire Ebell Theatre

March 30th: XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE: Chicago, Harris Theater

All proceeds from ticket sales benefit local non-profit organizations.

This innovative tour is coming to Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 2nd for a night of high school drama — full of stories, selfie confessionals, viral gratitude, and multimedia adventures that celebrate the everyday heroes transforming America’s high schools.

“From Homer to hip-hop, storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to connect people to possibilities” says Russlynn Ali, executive producer, XQ Super School Live and CEO, XQ. “XQ Super School Live will take people on a multi-media journey, using true stories to show how high schools can foster curious, creative and collaborative students. Today all too many don’t. It’s up to us to change that – for every student, no matter their race, gender or zip code. Our students deserve nothing less.”

“Pop-Up Magazine is one of the most vibrant and exciting storytelling platforms of our day,” says Marc Ecko, producer, XQ Super School Live and Chief Creative and Strategy Officer, XQ. “Bringing this blend of live performance journalism and theater to the public is powerful —especially in these times. We’re building a new platform for community engagement and civic empowerment.”

Contributors on the tour include Chris Duffy (Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas), Clio Chang (Splinter, New Republic), Dana Bialek (Panoply, Slate), Christina Esquivel (education activist, Communities in Schools), and Andrew Boryga (New York Times, New Yorker). Stories will be accompanied by illustration, animation, photography, an original score performed onstage by Magik*Magik Orchestra, and 17-year-old DJ Prince.

“We’re thrilled to partner with XQ on this innovative, one-of-a-kind tour that brings Pop-Up Magazine Productions’ signature storytelling to life — live, multimedia, reported — to help shape the way we think about our high schools,” says Derek Fagerstrom, producer, XQ Super School Live and Director ofSpecial Projects at Pop-Up Magazine Productions. Stories such as Mike Floyd, a Texas teenager who in his senior year of high school decided to run for school board. And won. Or Gary Chery, a student whose hilarious cafeteria reviews amazed his teacher — a future professional comedy writer who celebrated Gary’s creativity — but who struggled in a traditional high school environment. From the minute the audience walks into the theater, they will be immersed in XQ Super School Live — greeted with art installations by world-renowned artist and XQ Super School Live Creative Chair Hebru Brantley. Brantley is creating special-edition versions of his iconic, youthful Flyboy and Lil Mama.

Brantley’s work challenges the traditional view of the hero with his iconic characters and XQ Super School Live saw parallels with the work needed by everyday heroes to reimagine high schools. This innovative and immersive night continues, from the audience receiving an “Orientation Pack” when they enter to being integrated into the actual show (with phones off!), to a reception after the show that fosters network and community-building to help people connect and take on the work of changing our high schools.


XQ is a growing and passionate network of educators, students, families, and civic-minded citizens reimagining high school education in the United States. Our mission is to fuel America’s collective creativity to transform high school, so every student succeeds, no matter their race, gender, or zip code. We want to see that change underway in every high school and in every community — in all 14,000+ school districts. XQ launched in September 2015 as an open call to the nation to reimagine the American high school. More than 10,000 people from all 50 states took part. More than 700 teams created unique ideas for innovative, student-centered high schools. From these, 18 Super Schools are now turning their visions into reality.

Super Schools are just one element to XQ’s work. We offer free, open source tools and materials so that every community can rethink their high schools. And because we believe that great high schools for all are a hallmark of a great nation, we are carrying that message into homes, schools, and neighborhoods across the country to tell stories that show how innovative and creative high schools can and should be.

XQ is led by Co-Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights under President Barack Obama, and Co-Founder and Board Chair Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective. Board members include Geoffrey Canada, Marc Ecko, Jimmy Iovine, Michael Klein and Yo-Yo Ma.


Pop-Up Magazine Productions brings unforgettable multimedia storytelling to major theaters across the nation with the acclaimed live event, Pop-Up Magazine, called “a sensation” by The New York Times and “beautiful” by the Los Angeles Times. Renowned writers, photographers, radio and podcast producers, and filmmakers perform new, true stories onstage, accompanied by a live band and original score. Pop-Up Magazine Productions also publishes The California Sunday Magazine, the national magazine featuring ambitious reported features and photography from across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America. The California Sunday Magazine, founded at the end of 2014, has been named a finalist for 10 National Magazine Awards, including Magazine of the Year and General Excellence, and won three, including the National Magazine Award for Design and the National Magazine Award for Photography two years in a row.

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