Tune into Georgia’s Music History inside Athens’ New Arena

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June 10, 2024

ATHENS, GA – June 10, 2024- Amplify your Athens experience by immersing yourself in Georgia’s rich music history. The Classic Center Arena, set to open at the end of 2024, will feature the Georgia Music Collections from the University of Georgia Libraries. This exciting addition is just one of the many attractions designed to entertain and educate visitors inside Athens’ newest venue.

The Georgia Music Collections will represent key players in every genre, from the beginnings of Soul and R&B in Macon and Augusta to the birth of alternative rock and new wave in Athens and the rise of southern Hip-Hop in Atlanta. Guests will have the opportunity to streamline the history through interactive displays, see original music artifacts, play music trivia, use up-scale technology, and more.


“We are partnering with local artists and UGA to create an experience that looks and feels all about music. Fans are going to love it, students will have a place to learn, and I am proud of the opportunity this will bring to our community,” said Paul Cramer, President/CEO of The Classic Center.

Once the idea of the arena developed, Cramer worked with the state and UGA to bring the collection out of the archives. They have been collaborating with Terence Healy from HealyKohler Design, a nationally recognized firm specializing in museum experiences, to design the arena’s theme around music. Cramer hired a lobbyist to work at the state level for several years to raise awareness and lobby for the money needed to fund the work that goes into the collection.

· Georgia’s State Representative, Houston Gaines, and Georgia Senator Bill Cowsert supported the partnership between The Classic Center and the University of Georgia, helping grant $2.6 million in state funding to invest in educational experiences, interactive exhibits, and new technology to make this collection a space for all ages to enjoy.

· In addition to the state funding, the Georgia Music Collections was made possible through a collaborative effort with $2.7 million in private funding from the ELEVATE campaign and additional money granted through the Riverview Foundation.

· Athens is home to the B-52s, Widespread Panic, R.E.M., and many more wonderful bands, and any given weekend in Athens, you will find live music. The collection being housed in the new arena creates a wonderful opportunity to build the music scene within the community.

· The partnership between the university, the city, and various stakeholders in Athens has been instrumental in curating this educational experience through the Georgia Music Collections. By leveraging resources, expertise, and connections from both the academic

and local communities, the exhibit promises to celebrate Georgia’s musical legacy while showcasing Athens’ unique contributions to the state’s cultural tapestry.




Located in Athens, Georgia, The Classic Center is a multi-use conference center, performing arts theatre, multi-purpose arena, and outdoor, covered pavilion hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, weddings, concerts, sporting tournaments, and special events for up to 6,000 people

Ivy Ramage
Ivy@ClassicCenter.com, 706.357.4414