The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke is hosting a temporary installation featuring selections from over 34 years of documentary footage filmed in communities across Virginia. The people in the 15 videos selected by the Virginia Folklife Program are more likely to be your neighbor than a famous artist. Together, they represent the diverse cultural heritage of our state.

Folklife refers to the arts of everyday life that help us make meaning and express identity to ourselves and to each other. The Virginia Folklife Program of Virginia Humanities works to document, sustain, present, and support cultural traditions across the Commonwealth.

Filmed between 1990 and 2024, these selections include short documentary films featuring Folklife Apprenticeship teams, live performances, and archival interviews with musicians. Since 2002, the Virginia Folklife Program has awarded annual apprenticeship grants to teams of individuals dedicated to teaching and learning a cultural tradition.

Enter the installation to hear music played by Virginians in their home communities, from old time fiddle to Persian classical music. You will sample our state’s diverse culinary traditions, from intimate Ethiopian coffee ceremonies to the Filipino bakeries of Virginia Beach, and discover generations-old craft traditions including instrument building and Patawomeck Indian eel pot weaving.

Brad Hatch, a Patawomeck archeologist and mentor artist, built eel pots from white oak strips with his apprentices Reagan Andersen and David Onks at the Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center in Fredericksburg on Sunday, 12/11/22.
Pat Jarrett/Virginia Humanities
Brad Hatch, left, a Patawomeck archeologist and mentor artist, built eel pots from white oak strips with his apprentices Reagan Andersen, right, and David Onks, center, in 2022.

Museum Hours

Friday: 10AM – 5PM
Saturday: 10AM – 5PM
Sunday: 12PM – 5PM

Featured Virginia Folklife Films

For full video descriptions and film credits, please visit our YouTube channel.

  • “Never Been So Lonely,” Earl White jam at Big Indian Farm, (Floyd County, VA on June 26, 2021)
  • “Reclaiming the River” by Horace Scruggs for the Black Waterways Apprenticeship 2022, Horace Scruggs, Hannah Scruggs & Niya Bates (Along the James River in central VA, 2021)
  • Appalachian Ballads Apprenticeship 2023, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Elsa Howell (Rural Retreat, VA in 2023)
  • Diablada Dance by Fundacion Socio Cultural Diablada at the at Virgencita del Socavon Carnival (Fairfax, VA, March 10, 2024)
  • Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony Apprenticeship 2022, Lemlem Gebray and Datta and Akeza Seyoum (Richmond, VA, 2021)
  • Filipino Baking Apprenticeship 2022, Lelis Garcia Olaes and Ken Garcia Olaes (Virginia Beach, VA, 2021)
  • Gullah Geechee Gospel Apprenticeship 2023, Bernadette “B.J.” Lark and Alanjha Harris (Roanoke and Petersburg in 2022)
  • Instrument Building Apprenticeship 2022, Chris Testerman, Karlie Keepfer and Sophia Burnett (Independence, VA, 2021)
  • Instrument Repair Apprenticeship 2022, Walter “Skip” Herman and K.T. Vandyke (Abingdon, VA, 2021)
  • Interview with National Heritage Fellow Eddie Bond (2018)
  • Jessie Lovell and Evelyn Farmer, “Caty Sage,” “Letter Edged in Black” and Interview highlights (Filmed in Fries, VA in 1991)
  • Patawomeck Eel Pots Apprenticeship 2023, D. Brad Hatch, Reagan Andersen and David Onks IV (Fredericksburg, VA in 2023)
  • Persian Tar Apprenticeship 2023, Kazem Davoudian and Alexander Sabet (Washington, DC, in 2023)
  • Puerto Rican Bomba Dance Apprenticeship 2023, Margarita “Tata” Cepeda & Isha M Renta López (Puerto Rico and Richmond in 2022)
  • Violin Building and Repair Apprenticeship 2023, Daniel Smith and Richard Maxham (Lynchburg, Alexandria, and Richmond, VA, in 2022 and 2023)