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Tech School benefit concert returns Friday

GREENFIELD — How to best fund the arts? Art.

That’s the rationale for folk-rock musician Ellis Paul’s return to Franklin County Friday for the second year of a Franklin County Technical School benefit concert established by the school’s chief money man.

Franklin Technical School business manager Russ Kaubris is a fan of the musician and met him at a concert in Williamstown, leading to a conversation and Paul’s agreement to participate in a benefit.

Last year’s concert in a Turners Falls restaurant sold out, so this year the benefit has a larger venue in the Arts Block on Main Street.

The fundraiser will benefit the FCTS Drum Line and the Electrathon Racing Team.

The drum line was an obvious choice for a musical benefit, he said, and the inclusion of a science group allows one of the event’s major contributors to participate.

Kaubris envisions expansion of the fundraiser as a feeding tube for malnourished art programs.

Since funding for arts programs has become increasingly tight, it behooves schools to try and raise money in other ways, he said.

“We’ll try to pull in other schools in the county to help fund their music and arts programs, as well as our own programs at Franklin County Technical School,” he said.

“It’s too late to do that this year, but we hope to get some grant funding to do this countywide next year.”

From Kaubris’ business point of view, the concert is a low-risk venture thanks to sponsors Travel Kuz Luxury Motorcoach Transportation of Gill and Siemens Building Technologies, who cover the cost of the musicians.

The concert is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. in The Arts Block Café, 289 Main Street. Indie-folk singer Rebecca Loebe, a former contestant on the NBC TV show “The Voice,” will open for Paul.

Tickets to the all-ages show are $12 in advance, $15 at the door and can be purchased through The Arts Block website, www.theartsblock.com, on the September calendar page.

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