The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville 44th Annual Arts awards is scheduled for September 2, 2020. The theme for this year’s event is “Bridges: Connecting Arts, Business and Community”.  To work within the unknowns of the current public health and social climate, they have planned an exciting hybrid event that will combine videos and interactive streaming for a virtual Arts Awards event that can’t be missed.

 “Moving forward with this reimagined Arts Awards will actually allow us to acknowledge the extraordinary individuals and businesses who are advocates and champions of arts and culture in our city to a much broader audience”, commented Jannet Walker-Ford, Cultural Council Chair.

“Originally, our theme of “Bridges” was about connecting our incredible artists and arts organizations with Jacksonville’s business community. Now, the theme has expanded to also mean re-connecting, as we emerge from the shut-down and begin to enjoy connecting with others outside of our homes,” said Joy Young, Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.

Throughout the years, the annual gala has taken on different forms, but this is the first year it will not be an in-person event.

 “Jacksonville’s dynamic and high impact artists are the lifeblood of the local arts and culture industry, as well as the heartbeat of the Arts Awards event. This year, we are holding a virtual celebration to safely honor our city’s awardees and their good work during these unprecedented times,”  added Diana Donovan, Cultural Council board member.

The 44th Annual Arts Awards
September 2, 2020
Streamed live @ 7:00 p.m.

We are excited to announce that this virtual extravaganza will be available to watch free on the Cultural Council, WJCT and Downtown Vision Facebook pages and website.

Pre-Awards Zoom Cocktail Party
6:00 pm
​Join us before the event for some virtual mingling!

 We will begin the evening with a virtual cocktail class, presented by Chef’s Garden, and learn how to make the Arts Awards signature cocktail ​(alcohol and non-alcohol option). 
While sipping on your beverage, we will be virtually mingling, seeing local performers and highlights of our auction, and drawing the winners for the 7-day Caribbean resort vacation.​
Thank you for your support! Proceeds from your cocktail ticket will go towards reaching our fundraising goals for continued programming and investing in the arts and culture of our community.

A Little About the Event

To work within the unknowns of the current public health and social climate, this year’s awards will be an exciting hybrid event that will combine videos and interactive streaming for a virtual Arts Awards event that can’t be missed!

The event, hosted by Tenikka Hughes, Anchor at Action News Jax and co-hosted by Al Emerick, Founder of ValueMapping, will consist of interviews with the presenting sponsors, award presentations, an online auction, performances by violinist Philip Pan and more!

Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page to stay up on all the details and links to sign in the night of the big event.

People’s Choice Award

We’ve added a people’s choice category for this year’s awards.
Vote now for one of the four nominees and the winner will be announced at the end of the evening’s event. 

The nominees for the People’s Choice Award were chosen for the following characteristics: a. tremendous influence in arts and culture; b. is a popular figure in the community; c. has a unique following of friends, supporters and/or customers.
The People’s Choice Nominees are: 
Nikesha Williams.   Word Revolt.   Elena Ohlander.   William McMahan. 

All Award Nominees are Listed Below:

Helen Lane Founders Award – Presented by PNC Bank
The nominees for this award are:

  • Maria Hane
  • Jenny Hager
  • Shawana Brooks and Roosevelt Watson III

Robert Arleigh White Award for Advocacy 
The nominees for this award are:

  • Geexella 
  • Toni Smailagić
  • Ulysses Owens Jr.

Art Educator of the Year Award – Presented by: The Baker Family Advised Fund
The nominees for this award are:

  • Amanda Holloway
  • Laurie Hoppock
  • Rebecca Levy

The Art of Giving Award – Presented by The Community Foundation
The nominees for this award are:

  • Tomas Vercher
  • Ted & Alexandra Stein
  • Mark Krancer

Business Award/Corporate Business of the Year – Presented by The Haskell Company
The nominees for this award are: 

  • Jacksonville Aviation Authority
  • Jacksonville Transportation Authority
  • VyStar Credit Union

Small Business Award/Small Business of the Year – Presented by Jacksonville Transportation Authority
The nominees for this award are:

  • Petra
  • Void Magazine
  • EU Magazine

Art Innovator Award – Presented by Brunet-Garcia
The nominees for this award are:

  • Mr. Al Pete
  • Paul Bourcier
  • Nicole Radacz

Community Impact Award – Presented by VyStar Credit Union
The nominees for this award are:

  • Nicole Holderbaum
  • Marguerite Richardson
  • Basma Alawee

People’s Choice
The nominee for this award are:

  • Nikesha Williams
  • Word Revolt
  • Elena Ohlander
  • William McMahan


Congratulations to all! Be sure to tune in to the exciting virtual event on September 2nd to hear the winners.

You can also get more information here:


The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s mission is to enrich life in Northeast Florida by investing in arts and culture. They serve as the official regranting and administrative agency for City of Jacksonville funding to arts and cultural organizations, as well as provide several programs that benefit artists and arts and culture organizations of all disciplines.