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Meet Toni Ringgold

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Ringgold.

Toni, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Music has been apart of my life for so long, it feels like family. So many songs have played like a soundtrack in my life. Growing up singing in church, or cleaning up on Saturday morning, I have always had a melody to guide me through. In Kindergarten, we made a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up, I picked a teacher and a singer. Ironically, that is precisely what I am doing today. In addition to being a singer/songwriter, actress, and radio personality, I own a music academy, T. Ringgold Academy of Arts, where I coach different students using the gift of the arts every day.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have experienced many challenges in my life that could have halted my progress if I let it. I’ve endured abuse from childhood into adulthood. I’m a child of a parent who’s been incarcerated since I was a toddler. On paper, I should have been a statistic, but I chose to turn my PAIN into PURPOSE. My faith, support of those who love me, and sheer determination to succeed, have been my recipe to success. I’m a mother of three beautiful children and they have been my driving force to persevere. I started my business with $62 and a dream. Now as a woman in my early thirties, I am celebrating SEVEN years of business, and for that I am proud!

Please tell us about your work.
WHEW! Now that’s a loaded question! I wear so many hats. First, I own T. Ringgold Academy of Arts (formerly Premiere Music Academy) an award winning private performing arts school where I teach voice, piano, public speaking, and acting lessons virtually or in person. Secondly, I am a recording artist and songwriter. My latest single “SHINE” (available on all digital outlets) peaked at #30 on Amazon UK’s Soul Hot New Releases, #10 in Grenada’s Soul Charts, and has continuous airplay here in the states. In addition, I am a radio personality with a local community affairs show on #B106 called Sunday’s at the Square where I get the pleasure of interviewing local organizations and hometown heroes about the positive impact they have on our community. Finally, I am a budding, Broadway World nominated actress,have starred in several stage plays throughout Central Texas, and have been cast in my third film. After I take all of those hats off, what makes me most proud is the twinkle I see when I look in my children’s eyes. It’s the fact that my children can see me pursue my dreams relentlessly and in doing so, it gives them permission to pursue theirs. Trust me. They have BIG DREAMS and I’m going to see to it that they come TRUE!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have had many who have helped me along the way. Let me tell you this, there is so much POWER in a praying mother. I know my mother’s prayers have seen me through many dark nights and gloomy days. I also have to pay homage to my middle and high school choir teacher Lisa Alexander Jenkins who planted the seed of music within me. She exposed me to different genres of music even when I was reluctant. She told me my voice would put me through college, that it would make room for me. Her voice never left me, and as a wife and mother of two at the time, I went out for a music scholarship audition and the rest is still being written! Also, I have to say my clients have been my angels. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, my clients have been so gracious and understanding during our transition to virtual learning, Some have even paid EXTRA because they know that I am a single mother trying to stay afloat during these uncertain times. I am FOREVER grateful to each of them. Life is just beginning and I can’t wait to continue the adventure!

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