St. Johns Cultural Council awards fellowship to three students


The St. Johns Cultural Council recently presented Jr. ROWITA Fellowship Awards to three young women, aiding the graduating high school seniors in achieving their goals of developing their artistic skills through higher education.

Delaney Maxwell of Creekside High School and Kierra Pheffer and Gemma Smith of St. Augustine High School’s St. Johns County Center for the Arts were the 2017 awardees. The students were each presented with a $1,000 check, a bouquet of flowers from 57 Treasury and a certificate and tickets for future shows, courtesy of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

Maxwell has set her sights on a career in medical and scientific illustration at the University of Georgia. Pheffer will continue her dance studies at Nova Southeastern University, while Smith intends to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre at the Florida School of the Arts.

ROWITA stands for “Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts.” In order to qualify for the award, each candidate was required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 while planning to continue their artistic skills through continued study. They also submitted letters of recommendation from their primary arts instructors, wrote one-page essays describing their relationship with the arts and submitted samples of their work to be eligible for the fellowship. Each application was reviewed by this year’s judges, a panel comprised of ROWITA awardees: Jan Tomlinson Master, Wendy Mandel McDaniel and Dr. Dorothy Israel.

Funds were raised for the fellowship through the Limelight Theatre’s production of “I Ought to be in Pictures,” which was the first show produced by the Limelight Theatre when it was opened 25 years ago by founders Jean Rahner and Anne Kraft. Rahner and Kraft have both received the Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA award for their significant contributions to the St. Johns County arts community.

Applications for the ROWITA and the Jr. ROWITA Fellowship are available at For more information, call the St. Johns Cultural Council at (904) 808-7330.