Lectures & Workshops

Every decade has its musical phenomenon. The 1960s had Motown…and Motown had The Supremes. Here, as in other times, culture and social movements were intertwined in compelling and—sometimes—surprising ways. Read Tom’s recent Op Ed piece on the influence of music here.

Tom’s Pop Culture multimedia lectures take you on a trip back to a turbulent time in American history—an era when things were changing and the Music of Motown reigned supreme.  The impact of Motown reached deep into the social fabric of American society—bringing people from all walks of life together in ways never before seen. And the tumult of those times unquestionably helped shape the music of Motown and its artists, the 60s, and beyond.

Motown and the Civil Rights Movement

Stress tip_2Motown historian article for websiteThis engaging multimedia presentation traces the development of, and interconnections between, the escalating popularity of Motown and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s:

  • Were these two cultural and social movements working together to bring African American culture into the white mainstream?
  • Did the Civil Rights Movement use the popularity of Motown to further its causes?
  • Why has the Music of Motown remained popular to this day…54 years after its launch?

From his perspective as a pop music historian, and with the help of archival video and audio clips, Tom explores these questions—and much more—in this entertaining and educational presentation.

Girl Power: The Supremes as Cultural Icons

Tom grew up with The Supremes. Don’t misunderstand…Tom wasn’t raised in Detroit’s Brewster Housing Projects. Nor did The Supremes live in tiny Middletown, New York. Their cultural and physical neighborhoods were hundreds of miles and a world apart.

But, in 1964, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard—the legendary Supremes—burst into the American musical consciousness just as Tom was becoming aware of the music shimmering from his tiny transistor radio. In no time, we was hooked on the Music of Motown—and that began an obsession that eventually led him to work with some biggest names in music history…including Mary Wilson.

Girl Power takes audiences on a remarkable trip back in time—an engaging stroll into pop music history—to an era when the Music of Motown reigned supreme—and three young African American women from the Detroit housing projects conquered the world.

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Presenting venues include:

  • The National Conference on Race & Ethnicity
  • Berea College Distinguished Speaker Series
  • Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • The Long Island Museum
  • State University of New York/Geneseo
  • Albany Institute of Art & History
  • Alice Lloyd College
  • Valencia Men’s Club
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Worcester Institute for Senior Education
  • Worcester State University
  • Worcester Public Library
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Shrewsbury Public Library

The Tom Ingrassia Collection of Popular Music Memorabilia is Available for Museum/Gallery Exhibitions

Tom is an avid collector of pop music memorabilia dating to the early ‘60s. His extensive archive of Motown-related materials is suitable for exhibition in museums and galleries.

Memorabilia from Tom’s Collection has been exhibited at:

  • LBJ Presidential Library & Museum
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Albany Institute of Art & History
  • Barbican Centre (London)
  • Whitley Gallery
  • Lockhart Gallery

For information about bringing one of Tom’s programs to your venue, please contact us today.