January 28, 2019 by
Photography by Debra S. Kaplan

The 13th Annual Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards celebrated another year of prosperity and dedication to the arts last night, Jan. 27, at the Slowdown. View Omaha Magazine’s livestream of the awards on Facebook (click here).

Hosts Beaufield Berry and Dominique Morgan opened the show with witty banter balanced between heartfelt sentiment and unreserved laughter. Other presenters throughout the evening kept up the hilarity with a flask bracelet, creative name (mis)pronunciations, and a running joke about a limp microphone that just couldn’t keep it up.

As winners’ names flashed across the screen, some of the most hardworking and talented Omaha creatives made their way towards the stage to accept their awards. In a happy misfortune, several winners were unable to attend due to active tours or performances, a testament to the commitment and success these artists are living. For those winners in attendance, an ongoing theme emerged through the acceptance speeches: a love for Omaha, overwhelming support between fellow artists, and many shout-outs to moms.

Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Houston Alexander said it best: “It’s never been about me; it’s always been about we.” The hip-hop artist, DJ, and athlete was honored for all his contributions to Omaha’s creative scene and his passion for helping other artists pursue their dreams. “We are here for all the artists and all the artistry in this building,” he said.

The evening featured uplifting and moving performances by several nominees and winners, including Pony Creek,  Trac Schacht, and Esencia Latina. Artist of the Year Award-winner Jocelyn also took to the stage with a last-minute song change to her new track, “Not in Your Name.”

Many thanks to the OEAA board of directors, sponsors, and donors for making this celebration of Omaha’s artistry happen. Omaha Magazine is honored to be a media sponsor of the awards. For more information on how you can support the OEAA and local artists, visit oea-awards.org.

See below for a full list of winners in 2019, and don’t forget to cast your vote in the 2020 awards (open now).

2019 OEAA Winners


Best Rock: Freakabout
Best Hard Rock: Arson City
Best Alternative/Indie: See Through Dresses
Best Metal: Supermoon
Best DJ: SharkWeek
Best Americana/Folk: Andrea von Kampen
Best Country: Clarence Tilton
Best R&B: Dominique Morgan
Best Soul: Mesonjixx
Best Hip Hop/Rap: Dilla Kids
Best Blues: Hector Anchondo
Best Jazz: Mitch Towne
Best Pop: Jocelyn
Best Progressive Rock/Experimental/EDM: Plaque Blague
Best Punk: R.A.F.
Best World Music: The Bishops
Best Cover Band: Secret Weapon
Local Album of the Year: High Places, Matt Cox
Artist of the Year: Jocelyn
Best New Artist: Evandale
Best Recording Studio: ARC Studios
Best Live Music Sound Engineer: Dan Brennan

Lifetime Achievement Award

Houston Alexander

Visual Arts

Best Visual Artist: Watie White
Best Emerging Visual Artist: Celeste Butler
Best 2-D Artist: Camille Hawbaker Voorhees
Best 3-D Artist: Bart Vargas
Best New Media Artist: Ella Weber
Best Group Show: Museum of Alternative History at KANEKO
Best Solo Show: Love is a Rippling Circle, Camille Hawbaker Voorhees
Best 2-Person Show: Everything All At Once, Victoria Hoyt & Camille Hawbaker Voorhees
Best Public Art: 100 People, Watie White
Best Presentation in a Non-Traditional Format: Cream on Top at The Butter Factory

Performing Arts

Best Director (Play): Denise Chapman, The Mountaintop
Best Director (Musical): Jerry Jay Cranford, Newsies
Best Actor (Play): Bill Hutson, Eminent Domain
Best Actor (Musical): Regina Palmer, Once On This Island
Best Supporting Actor (Play): Raydell Cordell III, Stupid F#%*ing Bird
Best Supporting Actor (Musical): Cathy Hirsch, Singin’ In The Rain
Best Youth Performer: Chloe Irwin, Parade
Best Dramatic Play: Eminent Domain, Omaha Community Playhouse
Best Comedic Play: Stupid F*king Bird, Omaha Community Playhouse
Best Premiere of a New, Original, Local Script: Laura Campbell, Eminent Domain
Best Musical: Newsies, Rose Theater
Best Dance Production: African Culture Connection
Best Performance Poet: Trac Schact
Best Comedian: Aubree Sweeney
Best Comedy Ensemble: Live! At the Backline
Outstanding Lighting Design: Ernie Gubbels, The City in the City in the City
Outstanding Prop Design: Amy Reiner, The City in the City in the City
Outstanding Scenic Design: Robyn Helwig, Josh Mullady & Ben Adams, The Dairy Maid-Right
Outstanding Costume Design: Erin Bragg, Van Gogh and Me
Outstanding Sound Design: John Gibilisco, Eminent Domain
Outstanding Choreographer: Sue Gillespie Booton, Newsies
Outstanding Music Direction: Doran Schmidt, Spring Awakening

Visit oea-awards.org for more information.