Meet the Board of DirectorsCurrent Officers and Members
Board of Directors
The Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts has a strong, engaged board of directors. The members come from varied careers and backgrounds. Each member of the board brings unique skills, strengths and perspectives to the governance and stewardship of the Arts Council. Meet your board members below.
Want to contact a board member? Contact us by email here.
Cindy Edwards, Chair
Cindy Edwards is the president of 17blue Digital Agency. She and her husband, Greg Edwards, have called Jacksonville home since 1993. Cindy has a life-long love of the arts – including visual arts, performance arts and technical arts. Her professional background includes serving the community as an educator, business owner and creative director. Her leadership in the community also includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce and the Onslow County Civic Affairs Committee. She enjoys helping others, serving her community, and working toward more diverse cultural arts opportunities in our area. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, writing, and traveling with her family.
Cathryn Akerman, Treasurer
Cathryn Akerman, award winning artist and Massachusetts native, is inspired by nature, humanity, and local history. Born into a family of makers, she is a self-motivated, life-long student of “all things art.” Joining her husband (USMC vet) in Onslow County in 2000, she dedicated years to a local agency managing sensitive data and developing critical reports. As a committee chairperson she designed fundraisers, established donors, and maintained budget projections. Teaching after-school camps reinforced her belief that everyone deserves a peaceful form of self-expression. Cat enjoys various mediums from sewing to tattoo design, and is most recognized for her versatility in watercolors, acrylics, and oils. A member of CFTA, OOPS, OAS, and WSNC, she also volunteers talent to local animal rescues and veteran charities such as Semper Fi Fund and #22KILL. She embraces the opportunity to impact our arts & community development. Cat’s family resides in Hubert; she enjoys yoga, micro-farming and coastal living.
Dr. Scott Playford, Secretary
Dr. Scott Playford is a physician in Jacksonville who specializes in Sports Medicine and Orthopedic care with EmergeOrtho. He is a former Navy physician and has been in Jacksonville since 2006. He is originally from Anderson, SC and attended the College of Charleston and the Medical University of SC in Charleston, SC. He completed a Masters of Business Administration from East Carolina University. Scott has been an active member of the Jacksonville community and completed the Jacksonville-Onslow Leadership Academy. In addition to the Council for the Arts, he also sits on the board of directors for the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission, serves on the Onslow County Schools Student Health Advisory Committee, and volunteers as the team physician for Richlands High School. He sits on the North Carolina Boxing Commission as medical advisor.
Scott has been a strong supporter of the arts in Onslow County since his arrival. Over the years he has sponsored local bands and dance teams as well as supporting and sponsoring local theater. Scott believes that sports and arts go hand in hand to reach across all borders and abilities to ensure everyone has an outlet for his or her energy and creativity.
Erica Mills, Community Activist and Onslow County native, is inspired by humanity and her love for the arts. She credits her passion for the arts to her high school art teacher, Renee Otero. Erica has a BA in Political Science from Fayetteville State University and a MA in Theology from Potter’s House Seminary & Bible College. A devout Christian and founder of IchallengeU Ministries. A ministry committed to giving back to the community. Yearly donations made to the Onslow County Homeless Shelter, community events, and back to school drives. Erica is an Assistant Clerk for the North Carolina Judicial System, with 11 years of service. She believes with a blank canvas and a paint brush, you can create your very own masterpiece.
Steve Zawistowski is a retiree from the State of North Carolina Department of Justice (SBI) and has been an accomplished full-time metal artist for over 10 years. During that time, he has assembled a unique collection of new, vintage, and custom-made tools. This collection allows him to work in the time tested old style methods, all the while incorporating the freedom of creativity allowed by the modern techniques. Steve considers himself a modern blacksmith, one who celebrates the old while embracing the new.
Working with the Arts Council has been an exciting opportunity for Zawistowski. He often talks about the need for artists to be able to interact with other artists. The programs of the council are a great way to make that happen. Steve believes the arts are integral to making a rounded person and helping that happen has been one of his long-term goals.
Earl Taylor brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Arts Council Board.. He retired from education after 35 years of service in the Onslow County Schools (OCS). He has served as OCS Director of Arts Education and Community Affairs, Past-President, North Carolina Music Educators Association and in many other community leadership roles. He is an active member of the Onslow County Board of Education, and has served as such since July 2012. Earl also serves as a member of Board of Directors, North Carolina School Boards Association; Governmental Affairs Committee, Jacksonville/Onslow Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Sponsors for Academic Talent, Inc. (SAT); Auxiliary Board, Jacksonville/Onslow Crimestoppers; Jacksonville Civitan Club; Treasurer, Onslow Chapter of the North Carolina Symphony; and Chairman, Church Administrative Council, Trinity United Methodist Church.