Tom Ingrassia

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Basic Information

Address: PO Box 314, Holden, MA 01520
Phone Number: 508.277.6022
Director: Tom Ingrassia

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Tom Ingrassia
Tom Ingrassia
Tom Ingrassia

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Additional Information

Focus: The impact of music on culture and society during the 1960s
Grade Levels: 9-12
Length: 90 minutes
Pricing: $250-850.00

Motown and The Civil Rights Movement

Equiptment: DVD player & screen; CD player; lapel or hand-held microphone

Motown was the music that inspired a generation, a trendsetting sound whose artists broke down racial, cultural, gender and societal barriers. This engaging multimedia presentation traces the development of, and the interconnections between, the escalating popularity of The Motown Sound: The Sound Of Young America(tm), and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. From his perspective as a pop music historian, radio DJ, and collaborations with several of Motown's biggest stars, and with the help of archival video and music clips, "Motown Tom" Ingrassia takes you on a musical journey back to a turbulent time in American history--a time when the music of Motown brought people together more effectively than any other cultural phenomenon.

Mission Statement:

It is my mission both to preserve the history and legacy of Motown and its artists, and to inspire young people to dream, achieve and succeed--just as the young singers who made Motown the most successful record company in America did.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

It is my belief that in today's world, we need to remind people of the influential role popular culture plays in changing social attitudes and behaviors. The story of Motown and its artists is the story of overcoming obstacles to achieve dreams--and of changing the way the world viewed people of color.

Program History:

Since 1993, I have offered Motown and The Civil Rights Movement at colleges, schools, libraries, museums, and professional organizations around the country. Presenters include The Long Island Museum, The National Conference on Race & Ethnicity, The State University of New York, Berea College, Alice Lloyd College, Assumption College, The Valencia Men's Club, The Albany Institute of History & Art, The Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Historical Society, Worcester State University, Cape Cod Community College, Regis College, The LBJ Presidential Library, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, among others.

Testimonials: "Your session was particularly timely and important; the depth of information and ideas shared were absolutely perfect for our audience." Katrina Stacy, Worcester Art Museum "Through the use of images, music, and most of all your engaging personal recollections, the audience was instantly transported to the excitement that was the 1960s. You truly combined the perfect amount of history, music, and nostalgia in a way that everyone was able to relate to the turbulence and uniqueness of the era." Lisa Cuomo, Long Island Museum "What made this lecture particularly compelling for many in the class was Tom's personal connection to the topic. My students were particularly grateful that Tom was so accommodating during the extensive Q&A period following his lecture. Indeed, a number of my students commented on how much they learned from their exposure to Tom's vast historical knowledge." Dr. Jordan Kleiman, SUNY Geneseo "The members of WISE were enthralled by your insights into how The Supremes affected not only your life, but also a generation of music lovers. Shining a light on the significance of "three little black girls" from the Detroit ghetto during a time when African Americans still had to use separate water fountains was facinating. " Dr. Charlene Martin, Assumption College
Additional Information:

A motivational speaker and success coach, Tom is host of The Motown Jukebox on WCUW 91.3FM, in Worcester, MA. He is the author of Reflections Of A Love Supreme: Motown Through The Eyes Of Fans, named Best Music Book of 2015 by The National Indie Excellence Awards. Tom's first book--One Door Closes: Overcoming Adversity By Following Your Dreams--was named Best Self Help Book by the New England Book Festival. A documentary film based on One Door Closes is currently in production. From 2000-2005, Tom served as executive assistant to Mary Wilson of The Supremes. He also worked for a time for The Velvelettes, another Motown group.