By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Red Tie Arts

With the weather warming up in the 209, people are heading outdoors and Red Tie Arts (RTA) knows just where you can go to get great live entertainment. The RTA Summer Concert Series will once again be held outdoors at Lucca Winery in Ripon bringing the 209 a variety of artists and some new special events.

RTA is non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers special arts grant programs for underserved children who display talent and potential in all the arts. RTA was founded by Jerry Cooper and John Griswold, the two collaborating during the inception of the historic State Theatre where Cooper served as the volunteer coordinator and Griswold was the director.

Working with area school districts and music teachers, RTA assists with funding students to pursue the arts by connecting them to a professional music instructor for music or voice lessons. They will purchase or rent instruments and in certain cases assist with travel expenses for performances. There are certain criteria for a student to be considered for the program or scholarships.

After doing a ton of research and studies from credible agencies and Ivy League schools, Griswold found that kids being exposed to music at a young age has incredible positive benefits including getting better grades and being more productive. These proven studies have been a driving force for RTA to bring the arts to the youth in the area and help make “artistic dreams” come true.

There are about nine members who make RTA possible including Cooper, Griswold, and Education and Granting Coordinator Carole Mason-Loux. There are no paid positions and they do not have an office but they all are committed to the organization and work every event.

The participants in the programs have also volunteered to help with the events and they have even hit the stage with some of the artists who are performing.

Mason-Loux explained that when they first started they had a fair amount of participation but since COVID it has been more difficult receiving student recommendations.

The concerts presented by Red Tie Arts are all fundraisers to be able to provide the funds and services to the kids. The concerts have been known to sell out and each act is handpicked by Griswold, who is very passionate about music and very particular about who is selected to perform in the 209.

“I do my research,” stated Griswold about selecting artists for the Lucca Winery stage. “I listen. Sometimes I call other venues where they have been. We’ve got to listen to it so it better be damn good.”

Kicking off the summer series is Heartless, a tribute to Heart, on June 4 with a lead singer who Griswold said is amazing.

On July 2, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood will hit the stage bringing guests funk, soul, and R&B from their original albums.

Joey Riedel pays tribute to Sir Elton John on July 30 and has toured across the globe taking guests on a musical journey.

On Aug. 27 the ultimate party band from San Francisco, the Big Bang Beat, will perform ‘60s Motown, funk from the ‘70s, and dance hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

They are in the planning stages for a Night in Rio on Sept. 24, which is slated to be a night of all things Brazil including food, music, and dance.

They are also working on a Black and White Ball for later this year that will be an evening of elegance, dancing and dining.

For more information on the concerts, grants and programs visit