Take Me To The River began with the vision of musician and filmmaker Martin Shore to bring together multiple generations of award-winning Memphis, Mississippi Delta and New Orleans musicians, following them through the creative process of recording historic new albums. The award-winning full-length documentary film featuring Memphis musicians and culture was the catalyst for the movement that quickly expanded to include the Take Me To The River Education Initiative that seeks to inspire a deeper understanding of history, culture, and the meaning of intergenerational and cross-cultural collaboration by using the film, the artists and their stories.
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, a Movement of Social Consciousness, 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.
We lead and leave with our 6 C’s – Commit to Communicate so you can Cooperate to Collaborate inclusively where you can Create amazing, beautiful and lasting 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. We demonstrate 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.
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. To bring the Six C’s to life we provide a variety of experiences to better support and promote communities whether they are schools, museum or performing arts centers:
- Share screenings, master classes, Q&A sessions allowing for students, teachers and the community to directly interact with the artists and educators for appreciation of American culture that has inspired and influenced the world’s popular music
- ‘Living History’ instructional resources, a comprehensive Social Studies curriculum that is aligned with national standards to promote tolerance and respect for all people and cultures
- Common core curriculum design in partnership with Berklee City Music at Berklee College of Music available on Berklee PULSE, currently accessed by over 45 Berklee City Music Network members, New York Public Schools and other schools and educational organization with over 300,000 PULSE accounts to inspire students to explore and express their own musical creativity
- Professional develop for middle and high school teachers to ignite excitement about history, music and musical exploration
- Music history college course developed in partnership The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music that celebrates the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis and New Orleans in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. It looks at how these musical cultures were merged and then influenced popular music around the world, and asks fundamental questions about the origins of American music. Currently being taught at the University of Chichester (United Kingdom)
- Capstone course designed with Berklee’s Africana Studies
- Residencies at college and universities offering teaching in film and music production, ensemble coaching and collaborative performances
- Education Initiative stops on the Take Me To The River tour allow us to invite educators, administrators, parents and students to sound check as well as in-school visits along the tour
- Smithsonian Museum
- Grammy Museum LA
- Stops at affiliates of Berklee City Music Network Members
- Berklee City Music Network Summit 2014, 2015, 2016
- PD with Philadelphia Schools and Clef Club – two PD days
- Michael Crabtree Foundation and East Bay (2016/17)
- Residency at Berklee Valencia Sept 2015 – 1 week; music history, production; song writing (William and Al Kapone)
- Education in Amsterdam – in conjunction with Milk Wig Club; screen and panel; Feb 2015 and Sept 2015 and later 2015coupled days
- Education in Norway – Sept 2015 – The Bergen
- Education Events with Museums: St. Louis Blues Museum, Houston Museum of Modern Arts, Smithsonian (DC)
- Numerous Education Events for Grammy Museum LA and Grammy Museum Mississippi
- Delta State residency 2x
- First one to sell out a show the Grammy Museum MI nighttime and education event (3 day event) because it was so successful invited back to start tour
- California Film Institute – Education program did programming in the schools (Drake High School, Redwood High School)
- Boys and Girls Club – San Francisco – became a member of the BCMN through Notes for Notes (connection through TMTTR)
- Corporate Education – Proctor and Gamble featured speaker for VPs across; inclusiveness in the workplace;
- 2018 Event with New School and Grammy during Grammy Week – Group Photo (credit Ben Ferari)
- 2018 College Course at New School
- South Africa (2019) screen and panel with South Africa Schools and Youth
- Fall 2022
- NYC DOE Professional Development Day for Teacher January 2023
- Launch of the TMTTR New Orleans Curriculum with Berklee and Soundtrap for Education
5 Million +
Thanks again for an INCREDIBLE day at the Museum! You guys were amazing and we look forward to having you here again. I keep hearing everyone in the community talking about how awesome the performance and film were and how educational it all was. It was such an awesome day at the Museum. The students in the morning had so much fun and were fully engaged the whole time. And our sold out audience hasn’t stopped talking about how much they enjoyed the show that night.Jane Marie Hawkins, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
The Screening, the workshop and the concert were collectively a HUGE success. The responses that we’ve received from guests have been overwhelmingly positive. I believe that people came expecting to enjoy themselves and were blown away at the energy and talent displayed. I truly can’t say enough about each and every one of them and I again want to share my admiration and sincere gratitude.Jacqueline Dace, National Blues Museum
Request the Education Initiative
To learn more about what we do and how we can support your community please email
Donate to the Education Initiative
Donations to the Take Me To The River Education Initiative are tax deductible.
Support of the allows us to:
- 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.