St. Johns Cultural Council to hold ROWITA Awards Celebration March 31

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The St. Johns Cultural Council will hold the 10th annual Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts (ROWITA) Awards Celebration on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine. 

The free event will honor the six women chosen to receive the 2019 Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA Award for their contributions to the artistic environment in St. Johns County. The 2019 honorees are Dr. Dorothy Barrett, Margaret Jimeson, Linda McAnarney, Regina Gayle Phillips, Dr. Susanne Schuenke and Jo Sinclair.

Barrett volunteers with the St. Augustine Orchestra, the EMMA Concert Association and the string instrument programs at The Webster School, Sebastian Middle School and St. Augustine High School Center for the Arts. 

Jimeson is the founding member of Clay Network, a Northeast Florida nonprofit that provides educational opportunities, contributes to charitable causes in the community and supports the Clay Network’s membership by providing sales opportunities, group support and mentoring. 

McAnarney is the visual art teacher at Julington Creek Elementary School. She has cultivated collaborations with the Flagler College Art Department, the Mayo Clinic, Compassionate St. Augustine and local artists. 

Phillips originally came to the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center as a volunteer. Within a short time, the Museum’s Board of Directors recognized her as having the skills to promote and expand the museum. Under her leadership as the museum’s director, the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center has become a vibrant and historical place to attend concerts, historical presentations and cultural discussions. 

Through Schuenke’s work as a writer/illustrator, curator of exhibitions for local organizations and lecturer/teacher at Flagler College and The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, she has imparted her belief that art enriches every human’s life. 

Sinclair has shared her passion for creative encounters throughout her diverse career as a professional artist and as an art educator of youth and adults at Flagler College, Ketterlinus Elementary School, The Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach, Butterfield Garage Gallery and other local organizations. 

The Jr. ROWITA Fellowship will also be awarded during the celebration. The Fellowship is a scholarship for graduating high school women who intend to develop their artistic skills through continued study and training. A meet and greet reception will follow the afternoon program. 

 The Dr Gail Pflaster ROWITA award recognizes the impact and influence women have made to the literary, visual and performing arts in St. Johns County. The idea for the award was conceived by the late Dr. Pflaster, a local writer and committed arts supporter.

 “There was no one in the community celebrating our local women arts leaders, so Dr. Pflaster and I created ROWITA,” said Joy D’Elia, St. Johns Cultural Council ROWITA programcCoordinator. “The ROWITA award identifies women who have inspired and vitalized our arts community in St. Johns County through their art and actions. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the women we have honored each year.”

Nominations for the ROWITA awards come from the general public. For more information, call the St. Johns Cultural Council at (904) 808-7330. 

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