Earl Scruggs Center Grand Opening Planned for January

Destination Cleveland County announces the Grand Opening of the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories from the American South


Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014

103 South Lafayette St. Shelby, NC


This state of the art center will celebrate the life of banjo player extraordinaire Earl Scruggs and the place that gave birth to his music. The center is located in the heart of historic uptown Shelby, N.C., in the completely restored 1907 historic courthouse.


Activities for the day will include a dedication and ribbon cutting, open house, children’s activities, followed by “Remembering Earl: Music & Stories.” This unique evening event will feature nationally recognized artists, who will share music and personal memories of Earl to celebrate the life of this incredible music innovator. The event will be on the campus of Shelby High School in the Malcolm Brown Auditorium, where Earl performed in 2007 and 2009.


The family of Earl Scruggs is excited about the Grand Opening for the Earl Scruggs Center.


“My father fully endorsed DCC’s determination and efforts to establish a world-class facility in Shelby’s venerable ‘Old Courthouse,’ and items of historical significance in his life and career will be on display,” said Gary Scruggs, Earl’s son. “The Earl Scruggs Center will be a fun and educational experience for people of all ages.”


The completely transformed state-of-the-art and ADA-accessible Scruggs Center offers unique interactive exhibits. Visitors will be greeted in the rotunda by a Scruggs family instrument showcase of select instruments from Earl’s father, brothers, sons and Earl. A welcome gallery provides an orientation film introducing Earl, his family and Cleveland County while giving context to this area in the American South.  The remainder of the first floor houses three galleries tracing the unique history of the region from the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War to the heyday of the textile industry when Earl worked in the mills, to most recent times as the South and Earl’s music changed and took shape.  The themes of resilience and change personified in Earl’s life are reflected in the region’s history throughout the exhibits. The second floor has a rotating exhibit gallery, an oral history recording room, an education center for access to oral histories gathered during the last few years and for research.  Also on the second floor, the Great Hall, formerly the courtroom, which will be used for programs and special events throughout the year.


“It has been amazing to see the collaboration of the citizens, the city and the county to pull together to create this unique destination which is poised to became a national and international destination,” said Emily Epley, executive director of the center.  “We have folks coming from Japan and South Africa in the coming months and can’t wait to welcome the world to the community where Earl was born.”


Details of the grand opening and the artists performing will be announced prior to tickets going on sale. The Center will have a soft opening prior to the Grand Opening weekend in December 2013.  Follow the Center for updates on Facebook, Twitter and www.earlscruggscenter.org or call 704-487-6233.



Destination Cleveland County, Inc., is a unique citizen-driven, award-winning unique public/private partnership, a non-profit 501©3, with two projects- the Don Gibson Theatre and the Earl Scruggs Center. The Don Gibson Theatre opened in a renovated Art Deco movie house in November 2009.  This venue celebrates the life of singer-songwriter and native son and offers the visitor a premier performance space for nationally touring acts. 



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