Each year the St. Johns Cultural Council recognizes women who have profoundly influenced the artistic environment of St. Johns County with the Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA (“Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts”) Awards. Nominations were received from the community about numerous women who have made significant contributions to the arts in St. Johns County through their work, leadership, and philanthropic support.
This year, three local women have been named as ROWITA recipients including Donna Guzzo, Executive Director and CEO of First Coast Cultural Council, arts philanthropist, women’s professional empowerment leader and mentor; Teresa Radzinski, Trustee for the Lightner Museum, philanthropist and supporter of the arts and renowned museums, and Managing Director with Bank of America; and Jane Sims, Tale Tellers of St. Augustine founding member and professional storyteller, educator, and fine arts promoter.
According to Christina Parrish Stone, the Cultural Council’s Executive Director, this year’s nominees have all positively impacted the cultural community. “Our final selections are women in the visual, literary, and performance arts, and are educators, presenters, and philanthropic supporters as core leaders in our regional arts community. They were eligible for the award as were past nominees who have not been selected,” said Parrish Stone.
Honorees were selected by a panel of community members in January and the annual ROWITA celebration will take place on Saturday, March 26 from 2-4 PM at the Waterworks Building, 184 San Marco Avenue in Uptown St. Augustine, Florida. There is no entry point from San Marco Avenue: enter the Main Branch St. Johns County Public Library from US-1 for parking.
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Former honorees will also be recognized at the March event including St. Johns County arts professionals Roxanne Horvath, a preservation architect and artist, arts advocate, and current member of the City of St. Augustine City Commission; Dr. Leslee Keys, Assistant Professor of Humanities, Director of Historic Preservation at Flagler College, and a leader in the conservation of historical and architectural resources; Carole Prior, an award winning drama instructor, Teacher of the Year, artist, writer and director; Leslie Robison, a Kenan Distinguished Associated Professor of Liberal Education in Art at Flagler College, arts advocate, and artist, and Karla Wagner, film aficionado, former proprietor of the Corazon Cinema and Café, and film and entertainment festival producer. Additionally, the March 26 event will feature Junior ROWITA scholarship recipients