St. Johns Cultural Council celebrates Women in the Arts


The St. Johns Cultural Council celebrated the 2018 Dr. Gail Pflaster R.O.W.I.T.A. (Recognizing Outstanding Women In The Arts) Awards at their celebration ceremony on Sunday, March 11, at the Limelight Theatre.

 The four women honored for their lifetime contributions to the arts in St. Johns County were Linda M. Brandt, Deborah Dickey, Carolyn Juliet Fisher and Laurie Allen Klein.

Brandt has spent her life in the arts, mostly as a self-trained artist. She has taught art classes at the St. Johns County Council on Aging, is a board member of the St. Augustine School of the Performing Arts, is a co-founder of Artbreakers, as well as a member of the Ancient City Poets. Her work has been displayed in prestigious venues from Paris to London and New York to Laguna Beach.

Dickey is a playwright and theatre director who received a Master of Fine Arts in acting and directing from the University of Florida. She is a board member of A Classic Theatre, where she serves as a producer and director. She has a special interest in Florida themes and her most recent play, “Sweet Emmaline: The Musical Journey of Debbie McDade,” tells the story of a local artist who achieved fame as a jazz singer. 

Fisher received a Bachelor of Arts in education from Bethune Cookman University and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Florida. She was a school teacher in the St. Johns County School District for 35 years, receiving Osceola Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year award in 1998. Her other true passion is singing, and she began ministering through song at a very early age. Fisher has lent her singing talents to many organizations in St. Johns County and can be found singing at churches, weddings, funerals, festivals, schools, birthdays and other celebrations.

Klein is a book illustrator and artist whose work has impacted tourism, environmental causes and education in St. Johns County. Her creations can be found in the hallways and cafeterias of St. Johns County schools (R. B Hunt, Ketterlinus, Crookshank and Julington Creek Elementary), in area tourist attractions (St. Augustine Alligator Farm, St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, St. Augustine Aquarium and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve) and on the shelves of libraries through her illustrations of children’s books, adult and young adult novels and field guides.

During the R.O.W.I.T.A. Awards, Madeline Catton and Brianna Howard, both from Nease High School, and Lydia Karl, from Creekside High School, each received a $500 Jr. ROWITA Fellowship Award. The students intend to use the funds to further their artistic development.