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.
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.
Carol Long, Treasurer
Carol Long has served the citizens of Onslow County through many community volunteer efforts, leadership roles and areas of service. She is the Director of Onslow United Transit System (OUTS), a member of the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee, and is integral in the facilitation of community events like the 9-11 Memorial Observance and the Freedom Fountain Ceremony. She is active in Trinity United Methodist Church and also supports Onslow Community Outreach and Christmas Cheer. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her beautiful grandchildren.
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 artist to be able to interact with other artist. 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.
Cathryn Akerman, Secretary
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.
Will Artis joined the Board in the summer of 2015 and maintains his full-time employment with the Department of Defense. Will and his family relocated to Onslow County in 2001 from New York City, where he was born and raised. Will served in the United States Marine Corps and since making Onslow County his home, he has served in various professional roles. Some of those roles include crisis response leader, Social Worker, Victim Advocate, Operations Officer, mentor and volunteer. Will’s extremely passionate about leadership, community development and education. Will exhibits his passion for leadership not only through his professional career, but by also serving the citizens of Onslow County as the Chair of the Onslow United Transit System Board of Directors, Treasurer for the Council of Arts Board of Directors and a member of the Onslow County Civic Affairs Committee. He has also held other roles in the community: Past Chair of the Seven Times Anointed Ministry Inc. and Member of Minority Business Services Division Steering Committee for the Chamber. Will’s avid love for education has led him in the pursuit of multiple doctoral level studies; successfully completing his Doctor of Philosophy from the North Carolina College of Theology in June of 2016.