Winter Wilson Back in Athens

Photo by Kisha Ravi

Photo by Kisha Ravi

Grace Dearing

After spending many months abroad, Athens native, Winter Wilson, will take the stage at Donkey Coffee and Espresso on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. for her first hometown performance since being back to campus.

Wilson, a junior studying environmental studies and journalism, is also the president of the Sierra Student Coalition and commissioner for Environmental Affairs for Student Senate. She has spent the past few months studying abroad in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Cambodia as well as interning with the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C.

“I did a lot of traveling growing up, that’s always been something that I believe I benefit greatly from,” Wilson says. “I absolutely love [traveling] and experiencing different places and people and cultures in the world.”

Wilson attributes her knowledge of the world and its people to her study abroad opportunities. 

“It’s really important to understand that my community is not the only community in the world,” she says. “You know, creating global connections and meeting people, having new experiences, gives you new perspectives on different issues and I just think it’s important to make those connections, learn from others and experience different cultures.”

While abroad, Wilson was also given the opportunity to play her original music in coffee shops around the world. Through this experience, she was able to see first-hand how deeply music can influence communities.

“You’re in a situation where you maybe don’t speak the language of the person that’s sitting across from you, but someone picks up a guitar and none of that matters,” Wilson says. “It’s cliche, but music is sort of that universal language.”

This passion for music has run through Wilson’s veins long before she performed overseas. Raised as a trained classical pianist, Wilson spent 11 years learning and performing classical piano. In eighth grade, she taught herself guitar and began songwriting in college. Since then, Wilson has performed at Donkey, Frontroom and the Cider House in Athens. 

After months abroad, Wilson has finally returned to Athens and will once again take the stage at Donkey to share her music and her message of the importance of community.

“[Songwriting and environmental studies] do seem like very different things, but an underlying foundation of both is understanding the concept of community and bringing people together to understand these issues,” she says.