The Earl Scruggs Center will host four students from the Center for the Study of the American South's (CSAS) Southern Oral History program. The program, Star Spangled Sounds: Performing Veteran Oral Histories, will feature four students presenting the results of their oral history project which concentrated on oral histories of veterans. With the current special exhibit, "Star Spangled Sounds: Stories of Music and the Military", leaders of both institutions thought the Scruggs Center would be the perfect place for the students to present their findings. The event will be held at the Scruggs Center, Wednesday, December 14 from 12-1:30. Program admission is free but pre-registration is suggested. Bring your lunch or order a prepared lunch in advance when you register at www.EarlScruggsCenter.org. Thanks to the Earl Scruggs Center's Star Spangled Sounds exhibit sponsor, The City of Shelby, admission to the Earl Scruggs Center is free for all active duty military, their families and veterans through the January 7th run of the exhibit.
The relationship goes back to 2007 when leaders of Destination Cleveland County, the Center's governing body, met with the heads of the Center for the Study of the American South and the Southern Oral History Program. Since that time, the relationship has developed from seeking advice, borrowing items to exhibit from UNC's Wilson Library Archives to receiving training for the local oral history training. Dr. William R. Ferris, imminent professor of history at UNC-CH and Senior Associate Director of the Center, was here in November 2010 to open the Smithsonian exhibit which the Earl Scruggs center hosted. Dr. Ferris served on the National Advisory Board for the Earl Scruggs Center and attended the Grand Opening in January 2014.
In November, Emily Epley, executive director of the Earl Scruggs Center was again at UNC Chapel Hill, this time to participate in a Bluegrass Summit. The summit was two days of concerts, lectures, research presentations, panels, an exhibit, and a workshop to celebrate the launch of the Carolina Bluegrass Initiative. UNC-CH has just introduced a major in bluegrass and the summit brought together leaders from the Bluegrass world and leaders in the academic world to explore and discuss topics and opportunities related to the program.
Presenters during the summit included presentations by various UNC CH professors as well as students from UNC CH, Virginia Tech, and Pomona College. Other industry participants included Dave Freeman (County and Rebel Records), Marian Leighton Levy and Ken Irwin (Rounder Records), and Barry Poss (Sugar Hill Records), the Steep Canyon Rangers and bluegrass writers Fred Bartenstein, Jack Bernhardt, Tommy Goldsmith, and Penny Parsons. Emily Epley said, "The opportunity to be in Chapel Hill for this two day summit extends the growing reputation of our Scruggs Center here as well as discover more ways in which we can partner with UNC-CH."
The event on December 14 at the Scruggs Center is a culmination of the Southern Oral History Program's student interns' training in oral history in which they will use the narratives of their interviewees to highlight the lived experiences of the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country.
The Earl Scruggs Center and the Don Gibson Theatre are projects of Destination Cleveland County, Inc., a citizen-driven award winning unique public/private partnership, a non-profit 501©3.
Submitted by Emily Epley