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A movement of community, inclusion & creative collaboration

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Our Story

This nonprofit movement began humbly as the vision of musician and filmmaker Martin Shore. Take Me To The River’ is an award-winning full-length documentary film directed and produced by Martin Shore. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording an historic new album. ‘Take Me to The River’ features Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Frayser Boy, The North Mississippi All-Stars and many more.
Within a record 3 years, the movement has expanded to include an Educational Initiative, a national tour and plans to tell stories of more cities, their rich musical histories and global impact.

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Our Approach

Access and exposure to the arts and culture is a given for many communities based on factors such as socioeconomic status, involvement and belief system. A 2015 impact report by the National Endowment for the Arts indicates a number of motivators for audience participation but most importantly, barriers: A staggering 31 million individuals are not able to attend an arts event for a number of reasons. 60% are adults having children who cite a desire to attend a family friendly event while others cite access to location as a barrier.  Other barriers are time, cost, and having no one to attend with. Among the reasons individuals attend events are: socializing, learning new things, exposure and supporting community.
Next to familial values, the ecology of a community dominants in steering cultural mindset. Among these ecological elements are social interactions, self-confidence, security, academic, social and personal behaviors. Take Me To The River demonstrates how community ethos serves as a prominent influencer in leading positive creative group think and global impact. Our approach aims to: 1) Demonstrate the power of the transformational properties and common threads that influence communal ecology; 2) Encourage communities to invest in building and sustaining cultural capital; and 3) Support the decrease of barriers that prevent individuals, especially youth, from participating in access to cultural events.

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Our Solution

Take Me The River consists of 3 connected streams that provide a robust experience:

Take Me To The River Films
Take Me To The River: Memphis is the catalyst for what has now become a movement with global appeal.  Music is as much a science as it is an art form.  It serves to heal as much as it carries messages to heal.  It offers complexities in harmonies and rhythms as much as it brings people together to simply create and express.

We provide screenings, panel discussions and Q&A sessions featuring our award winning documentary for community, school districts, special events and more. With Memphis as our first film, our anticipated documentary on New Orleans is around the bend.

Take Me To The River Education Initiative
The Take Me To The River Education is a not-for-profit initiative for the Take Me To The River Brand. We now offer our ‘Living History’ instructional resources, a comprehensive Social Studies curriculum that is aligned with national standards. The Education Initiative makes available robust educational resources that align with the documentary, Take Me To The River: Memphis and soon, our film on New Orleans as well as others to come.

Our Take Me To The River lesson plan is the second most used content on the Berklee CIty Music Network (BCMN) PULSE online learning platform, which is accessed by over 47 BCMN learning sites and reaches over 60,000 youth through BCMN’s AMP UP partnership with the NYC Department of Education.

Donations to the Take Me To The River are tax deductible. Support of the allows us to:

  • Develop documentaries, albums and tours with underserved artists
  • Develop and share educational materials across diverse platforms
  • Subsidize costs associated with presentations for schools and organizations
  • Subsidize costs associated with in-service professional development days for school districts, educators and administrators
  • Provide informative and exciting sound check experiences to communities on our tour schedule
  • Purchase tickets for communities to attend our events and in some cases, bring our documentary & tour performers to communities demonstrating need and access.

Between 2016-2017, we have made over 40 presentations in schools, community centers and school districts around the nation and in Haiti and Valencia, Spain. We currently have many requests for presentations in 2018  with plans to expand our peer reviewed curriculum to residencies with major colleges and universities.

Take Me To The River Tour:
Our Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue kicks off in September 2017 at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and plunges into an exciting 37 city nationwide tour.  We once again proudly partner with our Education Initiative in bringing this powerful movement to communities and school districts along our tour stops, including Berklee City Music Network sites by inviting educators, administrators, parents and students to sound checks. We have additionally arranged in-school visits along our tour as time permits.

With the support of donations that are made through our nonprofit TMTTR Education Initiative, we provide a limited number of tickets for members of the local communities along our tour.

In 2018 and in alignment with our NOLA film, stay tuned for the accompanying tour brimming with our national musical treasures from the Crescent City.


By way of Take Me To The River films, musical tours and the Take Me To The River Education Initiative, we seek to empower communities by promoting tolerance and respect for all people and cultures, creating a deeper understanding and relevance of history and civil rights, showing how cross-cultural collaboration in music and the arts have impacted our society.


Take Me To The River values a vision of promoting tolerance and respect for all people and cultures, igniting excitement about history, music and musical exploration and inspiring creativity and expression.

“The rich musical legacy of Memphis shines bright in Take Me to the River. By bringing historic legends together with contemporary stars, the film becomes much more than a documentary – it’s a testament to the power of rock and roll. While it often seems like so many things in today’s world divides us, it’s incredibly powerful to bear witness to music’s ability to truly connect us.”

– Jason Hanley, Vice President of Education and Visitor Engagement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


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    “Discover the heart of The Crescent City in Take Me to the River New Orleans. Director @themartinshore weaves social, cultural, and musical history in this compelling documentary. Narrated by John Goodman, it features legendary figures like @irmathomasnola and ledisi bridging generations through music.”

Thank you for sharing @relixmag! Link in our stories to read their full article. Watch #TMTTR NOLA on Amazon!
    Join us tomorrow, Thursday September 28th at 5pm PST, on @fansbelonghere to watch a live stream of our Take Me To The River All-Stars @hobnola show we had in May 2022! 🎶

In celebration of New Orleans music month, this live stream features the remarkable talents of @lutherdickinson, @codydickinson, @galacticfunknola bassist Robert Mercurio, @joeashlar, @ivanneville, @ianneville504,  @bigchiefmonkboudreaux, Big Chief @bo.dollisjr, @getchasumjelly, and @themartinshore.

Filmed live at the House of Blues in New Orleans, the show was the perfect kick-off to the second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and it's available to you for a limited time.

With special guests and incredible talent throughout the evening, this on-demand stream delivers musical magic — with soulful sounds and electrifying rhythms, it's a journey through the heart and soul of New Orleans music.

This is a FREE livestream, giving you the chance to make a meaningful impact by supporting our mission to empower underserved artists and educate communities through your generous donations.
    Watch our 2018 @npr @tinydesk concert on @youtubemusic! 🎶

Featuring Take Me to the River Memphis: @bobbyrushbluesman, @williambellmusic, @frayserbizzle, @alkaponememphis, @rev.charleshodges, LeRoy Hodges, @ashton_riker, @evvie_music, @jamelmitchell, @sainomo, and more!
    Behind the scenes during the recording of “House of the Rising Sun” by the Take Me to the River All-Stars featuring @therealbobbykimball and @andersosborne. 

Listen to our new EP New Orleans Lagniappe on all platforms!
    © take me to the river, a 501C3 Nonprofit

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