Arts council announces award winners

(Featured photo courtesy Red Wolf Advertising)

The Greater Augusta Arts Council announced the winners of its annual awards May 16.

Jamie Jones receives the Artist Award; Scott Seidl, the Arts Professional Award; Cyndy Epps, the Kath Girdler Engler Public Art Award; Jennie Montgomery, WJBF, Media Award; Sean Mooney, Show Pony, Sponsor Award; and Pat Knox-Hudson, the President’s Award, according to a news release.

Nominations were submitted by the public, and the finalists were chosen by a panel of local arts community leaders. The Annual Augusta Arts Awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m. June 15 at The Knox Room in the Miller Theater.

President’s Award – Pat Knox Hudson

Over the years, Pat Knox Hudson has served on many, many boards: Episcopal Day School, The Augusta Symphony, The Augusta Museum of History, Saint Paul’s Tuesday Music Live, The Augusta Choral Society, and the Family Counseling Center. She still serves as an emeritus member on the board of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center and the Jessye Norman School of the Arts board of directors, according to the release.

David Watts with the Miller Theater said “Pat’s love for arts and culture, as well as her passion for historic preservation, were instrumental in the rehabilitation of the Miller Theater. She helped us stay afloat during the pandemic, cares deeply about our staff and never seeks out recognition or demands reverence. She is a shining light in our theater and community,” the release said.

Artist Award – Jamie Jones

Name a local nightclub or major local music festival and most likely Jones has played it from small, intimate places like the Fox’s Lair and Joe’s Underground to large venues like the Bell Auditorium and the Imperial and Miller theaters.  In recent years, Jamie has returned to his country music roots as the drummer of award-winning Whiskey Run band, which was formed in 2013 and released its debut album in 2018.  It already has become one of the area’s most popular country music groups. Over the past four decades, Jamie Jones has made thousands and thousands of local music fans of all kinds happy with his music,” according to the release.

Arts Professional Award: Scott Seidl

Scott Seidl has achieved renown as the creative business executive and artistic director of the Augusta Players. He is responsible for encouraging the growth of a popular theatre company (with an established seventy-eight-year history) and turning it into a preeminent regional arts destination. In less than five years, using an exceptionally diverse set of skills, he grew the operating budget by one hundred twenty percent, improved audience attendance by twenty-four percent and created a collaborative arts culture among all of the performing arts entities in the Augusta area. At the same time, he created a more diverse and expansive volunteer base and audience; expanded the organization’s creative and educational excellence through a welcoming culture of inclusion; and implemented current theatrical practices and technology.”

Kath Girdler Engler Public Art Award: Cyndy Epps

Cyndy Epps has participated in numerous public art projects including Augusta’s Art on the Wall, Art the Box and It All Flows to the Savannah.

Epps teaches drawing, painting and art appreciation at Augusta University as well as working as a professional artist with works hanging in galleries.

Media Award: Jennie Montgomery

Jennie Montgomery is a household name in Augusta. A stalwart presence in the Augusta community, she has proven over the past 28 years to be both an outstanding personal supporter as a participant in much of what goes on here culturally AND a steady, reliable, enthusiastic promoter of such activities through her role as the co-anchor of the WJBF weekday newscasts and as the hostess of a weekly talk show “Jennie,” which focuses on women’s issues, family, and community events.

Sponsor Organization Award: Sean Mooney, Showpony

When the pandemic shut down businesses and arts organizations, Mooney stepped in with his “We Give a Shirt” Campaign to help raise dollars.

“What started as a simple way to put money back in the pockets of some of their favorite organizations evolved during the pandemic into a full-fledged fundraising platform. It was particularly helpful to small locally-owned businesses and Augusta’s non-profit cultural organizations. Schools and other worthy causes across the CSRA also benefitted, but among the most visible beneficiaries were Augusta’s cultural organizations, including Arts in the Heart, Augusta Canal Authority, the Augusta Players, Augusta Pride, Colton Ballet, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Jessye Norman School for the Arts, Leadership Augusta, and the Morris Museum of Art,” the release said.

Tickets to the banquet are $90 for members or $100 for not-yet members. The event is cocktail attire and includes dinner and an open bar. RSVPs are required by June 6th.

Reservations can be made online at or by calling the Arts Council at (706) 826-4702.