HOMER -- When promising young musician Hallie Hudson performs a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center, she won't be the first Homer student to sing for her studies. Hudson plays some of her original compositions to raise money for her next semester at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. Admission is a suggested $15 donation.
In 1990, another talented teenager raised $4,000 in a concert and auction when Jewel Kilcher asked the town's help in attending Interlochen Arts Academy.
Nineteen years later, the internationally famous singer, songwriter, poet and actress, who now performs as Jewel, returns to Homer to pay forward some of that help.
Jewel will perform at a benefit for Bunnell Street Arts Center's Artists in the School program in a concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for Bunnell members or $50 for preferred seating in the first four rows. They go on sale Thursday at Bunnell and the Homer Bookstore.
Atz Lee Kilcher and Tim Easton open for Jewel. Atz Lee also will open for Jewel's two Anchorage performances at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 and 21 at the Atwood Concert Hall. Tickets are $50.50.
"Her gift is to arts education, which I think is a beautiful thing," said Asia Freeman, Bunnell Street Arts Center director. "It's an expression to me of her maturity and generosity to do that."
The daughter of Atz Kilcher and Nedra Carroll, Jewel grew up on the Kilcher family homestead in Homer and in Anchorage. While singing in San Diego coffeehouses, she was discovered by Atlantic Records, who released her first album, "Pieces of You," in 1995. That album became a 12-time platinum best seller.
Jewel's seventh and most recent album is the country-western "Lullaby," released in May.
Tim Easton, a Joshua, Calif., folk and rock singer-guitarist, is on tour in Alaska this month. Known for his nonstop touring -- he's played from Alaska to Dublin -- Easton released his latest album, "Porcupine," with New West Records.
Following in the musical tradition of the Kilcher family, Atz Lee will perform with Easton. He opened for Greg Brown and has played local concerts with his father, Atz.
"He's remarkable. He has an amazing strong voice. He plays stand-up bass as a lead instrument," Freeman said of Atz Lee. "I really feel like he's just explosively coming out in Homer as a serious musician."
Through its Artists in the School program, Bunnell provides opportunities in all the arts for local students. With support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Artists in the Schools links artists, writers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers with students from kindergarten to high school, providing workshops and hands-on education.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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