Andy Grammer Headlines Kaleidoscope Concert for Cincinnati Children’s

Spend an evening with an award-winning singer and help raise money for pediatric mental healthcare at this Saturday concert.
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Feels good to be alive right about now,” sings Andy Grammer, draped in color and practically crackling with energy. Satisfaction from a steak and seafood dinner lingers as guests sway and watch laughing kids from Cincinnati Children’s pulled on stage to join the festivities. That’s what organizers hope concertgoers will experience at Cincinnati Children’s Kaleidoscope this weekend, a fundraiser for pediatric mental health care and a night of overall positivity.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Over the past few years, the hospital’s annual fundraiser has evolved from the black tie Celestial Ball into the musical bites-and-cocktails event guests can expect on October 7.

“Kaleidoscopes are about what is new and ever-changing,” says Jim Saporito, the hospital’s Senior Vice President of Development. So, in the spirit of its name, the event remains flexible in our ever-changing world.

Post-pandemic attendees requested more face-to-face time with peers, so Saporito’s team scrapped the sit-down dinner of years past and now offers a more social dining option: Prime Cincinnati small plates under a tent spanning Sixth Street as a scrumptious precursor to the Aronoff Center concert.

COVID-19 has skewed more than just partygoer preferences. Quarantine hit kids especially hard, adding social isolation to their growing pains, and experts saw pediatric mental health plummet. For event organizers, selecting internal mental health programs as the fundraiser’s beneficiaries was an easy choice.

“It’s not normal for kids not to socialize. It’s what kids do and what people do,” explains Saporito. “What else could be better than mental health?”

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

With the country’s largest in-patient pediatric facility right at home and new research on the horizon, dollars from Kaleidoscope will go far, Saporito says. Along with community programs for early depression detection and anxiety and suicide prevention, proceeds will support a joint venture with Oak Ridge Laboratory. The first-of-its-kind research project will analyze early indicators of psychological trouble (grades, social behavior, and even socioeconomic status and zip code) and get kids professional help before the point of hospitalization.

Beyond raising money, Kaleidoscope aims to fight the stigma around mental health. How does Sports Emmy Award-winning star Andy Grammer fit the cause? Of course, titles like “Honey, I’m Good,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Don’t Give Up on Me” reveal the singer-songwriter’s propensity for positive and uplifting lyrics, but his dedication to mental health goes deeper: Grammer is relatable. He pulls kids onstage and talks to them during shows. He has even visited Cincinnati Children’s and worked with pediatric patients at Seacrest Studios. Most importantly, Grammer speaks openly about his struggles and affirms they are not a source of shame.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

“I’m seen as a positive guy, so maybe it carries a little more weight when I say I was depressed during the pandemic and had to get into therapy to work through it,” Grammer says. “I hope that gives other people permission to seek help. It’s worth all of us just being honest with ourselves about where we are. And if we need help, to make sure that we get it.”

You can support pediatric mental health at the Kaleidoscope Concert on Friday, October 7 at 8:30 pm at the Aronoff Center. Tickets start at $55.

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