Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

R.E.M.’s Mike Mills among songwriters to be featured for Thinc. at UGA

Mike Mills (Credit: Anton Corbijn)

Athens, Ga. – A performance by Athens songwriters at local nonprofit cinema and arts venue Ciné will feature a rare solo appearance by Mike Mills, formerly of the Grammy Award-winning rock band R.E.M.

“Songs @ Ciné” is organized by the University of Georgia Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research as part of the Thinc. at UGA Entrepreneurial Week. The event will take place March 29 at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave., with a 7 p.m. reception in the Ciné Lab preceding the 8:30 performance.

The songwriter showcase will be a “song swap” with five artists onstage simultaneously, playing and singing their songs in turn and sometimes together. Mills will be joined by Don Chambers, veteran Athens singer-songwriter; Dave Marr, formerly of The Star Room Boys; Hardy Morris, lead singer of Dead Confederate; and Thayer Sarrano, Athens singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

“Ciné is an arts-based nonprofit venture whose services are irreplaceable not only to the Willson Center and the university, but to Athens,” said Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Willson Center. “Thinc. at UGA offers us a chance to support and highlight entrepreneurship in all areas, and the arts and nonprofit sectors are crucial ones.”

Ciné executive director Gabe Wardell cited the entrepreneurial impact nonprofit arts organizations like Ciné bring to Athens. “As a development anchor on West Hancock Avenue, Ciné contributes in a meaningful way to economic growth in downtown Athens,” he said. “Studies show that cultural anchors like Ciné pump vital revenue into the local economy—restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other businesses—to the tune of about $27 per person, per event, in addition to the cost of admission.”

All proceeds from the event will go toward Ciné’s purchase of a digital projection system that will allow the theatre to continue to screen current films. Ciné will retain its capability to project 35mm prints for classic films and other special screenings.

Tickets to “Songs @ Ciné” are $30 in advance and will go on sale March 12 at 6 p.m. at Thirty single tickets will be made available free to UGA students at that time by emailing requests to Students must present a current UGA ID upon admission. If any tickets remain the evening of the event, they will be sold for $35.

Thinc. at UGA kicks off with Entrepreneurial Week March 22-29. The weeklong celebration includes lectures, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and networking events that promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence that will help take business ideas from concepts to reality. Events will showcase entrepreneurial efforts by UGA faculty, students and alumni and provide insights from nationally recognized entrepreneurship experts.

For more information about Thinc. and a complete schedule of events, see

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see