PVCC Welcomes Back Filmmaker Horace Scruggs for Two-Day Residency

Charlottesville, Va. – February 5, 2024 – The Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) Fine Arts and Performance division will host Fluvanna County-based musician, educator and documentary filmmaker Horace Scruggs for a two-day residency, February 16 and 17. Events include a showing of his recently completed documentary chronicling local African American history and the latest in his signature series of learning and listening concerts on elements of African American music. The film screening and concert will be held to mark Black History Month in the Main Stage Theatre in the V. Earl Dickinson Building.

The residency will begin Friday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m., with a free screening of “Traveling Our Ancestors' Journey: A Descendants' Reunion,” which sees Scruggs turn his lens to historical house and museum Highland, former home of fifth president of the United States James Monroe and a large community of enslaved persons. The descendants of those enslaved persons continue to explore their history and to tell the story of their ancestors' lives. Scruggs shines a light on their search for deeper understanding and gestures of remembrance through personal interviews and "fly on the wall" moments.

The screening will be followed by a performance featuring gospel, blues, smooth jazz and enlightening commentary Saturday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. “In the Mix: The Source, Sound and Soul of African American Music” features Scruggs's trademark combination of thoughtful inquiry, humor, and deep knowledge of his subject matter blended with soul-stirring musical performances. Scruggs will be joined by keyboardist/singer Travis Smith, vocalist Precious Anderson-Bland, bassist Wilbert Harris, and drummer Kavin Bates to explore elements of African American music and their context in the larger narrative.

A multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, conductor, and documentary filmmaker, Scruggs has worked as a professional musician since 1985. His extensive education in music includes studies at Longwood University, the Shenandoah Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. In addition to educating countless students of all ages in music education, Scruggs began to develop “lecture concerts” for the public, looking to provide in-depth presentations on the history of African American music and culture.

Upon retiring from public education in 2020, Scruggs produced a documentary film on the African American history of Fluvanna County. The work was featured in screenings by the Fluvanna County Arts Council, The 2021 Montpelier Juneteenth Celebration, and the 2021 Maupintown Film Festival. Other films followed, each one highlighting his unique approach to investigating and documenting local African American history by personal interviews with those who lived it.  

Tickets for the In the Mix: The Source, Sound, & Soul of African American Music concert are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Patrons may purchase advance tickets online at www.pvcc.edu/performingarts or by calling 434.961.5376 (major credit cards accepted). The PVCC Cashier’s Office, located in the main building, has tickets available for purchase during normal business hours. If available, tickets may also be purchased starting two hours prior to the performance at the PVCC Box Office, located at the main entrance of the Dickinson Building. 
The Traveling Our Ancestors' Journey: A Descendants' Reunion screening is part of the PVCC Visual Arts Department's new "Films Talk Back" series. Events take place on the third Friday of the month and feature popular and critically acclaimed documentaries, shown on the big screen and paired with a talk by a passionate expert–often the filmmakers themselves.

The V. Earl Dickinson Building is at the south end of 501 College Drive on the PVCC main campus in Charlottesville. Ample free parking is available.  

For more information, email boxoffice@pvcc.edu or call 434.961.5376. View all upcoming events in the Fine Arts and Performance season at pvcc.edu/performingarts.  

Media support for this event is provided by CBS19. 

About Piedmont Virginia Community College
Established in 1972, Piedmont Virginia Community College is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia – principally, residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. PVCC is one of 23 community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System. PVCC is committed to providing access to a college education for all who can benefit, an opportunity for each student to reach her/his potential and excellence in all programs and services. Visit pvcc.edu.


Susian Brooks                                                                                   
Director | Marketing and Media Relations                             
434.961.6574 | sbrooks@pvcc.edu


Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences Division