Award winners announced after Arts in the Heart wraps up

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 12:19 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 11:17 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta’s Arts in the Heart held its third and final day Sunday – and announced the award winners.

2023 fine arts winners:

  • First place: Leif Johansen, Booth 934-936
  • Second place: John Carraby, Booth 960-962
  • Third place: Lisa Mote, Booth 930-933

Merit award winners:

  • Stephen Koury, Booth 941
  • Jenny Alpaugh, Booth 745
  • Noah Kirk, Booth 933

2023 Global Village food winners:

  • Best Meal: India - majarani platter and mala dosa
  • Best meat on a stick: Vietnam and Laos
  • Best sessert: Germany - apple streudel
  • Best specialty drink: South Sudan - Pineapple tropical drink
  • Judges award: Trinidad - special mention

The opening was delayed by an hour Sunday due to rain but that didn’t stop people from coming out and enjoying the festivities on the last day.

“Rain kind of slowed us down but once the sun came out it brought the crowd with it, so we’re grateful. We’re thankful for everybody who supported our Samoa booth,” said volunteer Victor Moli.

He says they were busy all weekend.

“Open to close, open to close all day, every year, you know, we love serving the community. You know, like I said, we love giving everybody a taste of home,” he said.

People were also working hard behind the scenes.

“Things got more expensive this year. So of course, you know, we pay almost $75,000 for our tents, and stages, and pretty much the same to power everything up. And then the city helps us pay for our security detail. But it’s a very, very expensive event over the weekend,” said Brenda Durant, Executive Director for Greater Augusta Arts Council.

The prices for security also went up.

“Security for Arts in the Heart went up from $55,000 to almost $80,000. So it’s very expensive to secure us. But we have to do it like safety is our main priority,” Durant said.

They take a lot of extra precautions, including having security at every gate.

“They’re also all over the festival, you know, walking, watching campus in different zones watching what’s going on. And so we really feel like we have a great team partnering with the city on this to keep our keep our festival safe,” she continued.

Allowing numerous people to come enjoy the event, regardless of the weather.

“It’s just a testament to our community, to Augusta community no matter what it is, we are all gonna try to support local,” said Moli.

They are still figuring out their final tallies in foot traffic and money earned, but they expect the festival to bring in millions again this year.