Evergreen concert billed as ‘a great family experience’

Many Mid-Ohio Valley families will be seeing red this weekend. Red Grammer, that is.

The popular award-winning children’s artist will perform at Graham Auditorium Saturday afternoon as part of the Evergreen Arts and Humanities series.

“I am planning to take my 4-year-old son Luca,” said Angie Iafrate, 34, of Marietta. “I have heard Red’s name and I looked him up. He seems to have a positive message about being kind to others and appreciating yourself. I think it will be fun.”

Iafrate said she and her son have attended two other programs in the Evergreen series this season and have enjoyed both.

“(The series) is really good for families on a budget looking for something fun to do,” she said. “People should take advantage of the program because it takes people showing up to keep these national acts coming.”

Tanya Wilder, chair of the Evergreen Arts and Humanities series, said it is thanks in part to donations from area businesses and grants from Artsbridge and the Ohio River Border Initiative that these shows can continue.

“The generosity of these groups allows us to work in a budget that enables us to bring performers the caliber of Red to the area,” she said. “We are beginning our fundraising period and we really seek and need the support of the community to be able to do what we do.”

Wilder said her children were fans of Grammer growing up and when she had the chance to ask him to come to the area, she didn’t hesitate.

“It is because of performers like Red and Raffi that we have people like The Wiggles today,” she said, referring to an Australian musical act with global and multi-generational popularity.

Red Grammer was nominated for a Grammy award in 2005 for his children’s album “Bebop Your Best.” Though Grammer has been to Ohio, this will be his first visit to the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“I have done lots of concerts down the Ohio River in the Cincinnati area but have never been to Marietta,” Grammer said in an email to The Marietta Times Wednesday. “I am looking forward to coming as I hear it’s a beautiful part of the country.”

Grammer, who has been called the best voice in children’s music by Parents magazine, said the audience can expect an “up-close, interactive show.”

“This is a great family experience where parents have as much fun as kids and everyone leaves feeling better about themselves and the world we live in,” he said. “Pure happiness!”

There is no cost for the event but to ensure everyone gets a seat, it is recommended to contact Wilder in advance to have your name placed on a list for seat passes. She can be reached at twilder@wscc.edu or 374-8716, ext. 2107.