It was appropriate that six young women from the St. Johns County Center for the Arts Guitar Ensemble kicked off the St Johns Cultural Council’s annual ceremony to recognize outstanding women in the arts. After all, the celebration was started in 2009 as a way to observe March as Women’s History Month. The annual event was created to recognize the impact and influence women have made to the literary, visual and performing arts in St Johns County.
The tenth Recognizing Outstanding Women In The Arts (ROWITA) Celebration honored six women with the Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA Award. The 2019 honorees Linda McAnarney, Dr. Dorothy Barrett, Margaret Jimeson, Regina Gayle Phillips, Dr. Susanne Schuenke, and Jo Sinclair were all in attendance to receive their award during the ceremony held on Sunday, March 31, 2019 in the Limelight Theatre.
Linda McAnarney is a Florida-certified K-5 Art Teacher with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master in Art Education degrees from Ohio State University. She is the visual art teacher at Julington Creek Elementary School. She constantly seeks out ways to develop new relationships between the St. Johns County School District and its community resources. She has cultivated collaborations with the Flagler College Art Department, local artists, the Mayo Clinic, and Compassionate St. Augustine.
Dr. Dorothy Barrett was a voice major at Westminster Choir College, earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rutgers University, and a doctorate in education of the gifted from Columbia University. She stands by her belief that music and the arts opens up options for people of all ages. To that end, Dr. Barrett volunteers with the St. Augustine Orchestra, the EMMA Concert Series as well as helping with the string instrument programs at The Webster School, Sebastian Middle School and St. Augustine High School Center for the Arts.
Margaret Jimeson graduated from the Arts Institute of Baltimore and has a Master’s Degree in Early Art Education. Her lifelong passion for the arts and for pottery led her to be the founding member of Clay Network, a north east Florida non-profit that provides education and educational opportunities, supports charitable causes in the community, as well as supporting its membership in sales opportunities, group support and mentorship.
Regina Gayle Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from University of Florida Ms. 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 Director, has created a vibrant and historical place in which to visit and learn that now hosts music events, historical presentations and cultural discussions.
Dr. Susanne Schuenke studied art history during her undergraduate years, received a Master Degree in Art History from the University of Cologne, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Cologne. She has imparted her belief that art enriches every human’s life through her work as a teacher, a writer/illustrator, curator of exhibitions for various local organizations, as well as being a lecturer and teacher at Flagler College and The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach.
Jo Sinclair graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Bachelor in Fine Arts and earned a Masters in Art Education from Case Western Reserve University. She shares her passion for creative encounters throughout her diverse art career with her work as an artist, art educator, teacher of youth and adult classes at Flagler College, The Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach and other local organizations.
Two students from St. Augustine High School, Layla Slate, a visual artist, and Susanna Matza, an actress, were each awarded a Jr. ROWITA Fellowship check in the amount of five hundred dollars. The Fellowships are awarded to graduating high school women to help in the development of their artistic skills through continued study and training.
Each year, the St. Johns Cultural Council receives nominations for the ROWITA awards from the general public. Applications for the ROWITA are due by December first and applications for the Jr. ROWITA Fellowship are due on the last day of February. Both applications can be found at www.stjohnsculture.com. For more information, please call the St. Johns Cultural Council at 904-808-7330.