ROWITA Awards and Ceremony 2013
Keynote Speaker:
Jean Rahner

The Dr. Gail Pflster ROWITA Awards

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The St. Johns Cultural Council will hold the fifth annual Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 10, 2013 in the Black Box of the Limelight Theatre at 6:00p.m. Keynote speaker will be Limelight co-founder, Jean Rahner. The Limelight is located at 11 Old Mission Avenue, Saint Augustine, FL 32084.

Winners of the 2013 award and the Junior ROWITA Fellowship Awards will be honored and recognized during the program. A short reception will follow the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.

The Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA (Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts) is a lifetime achievement award for women in our community who have made significant contributions to the arts. They are chosen from nominations that have been submitted by members of the community. The Junior ROWITA Fellowships, one each in Performance, Visual Arts, and Literary, are awarded to graduating women high school seniors pursuing further studies in their art form at either a college level school-based arts program, summer institute or other specialized course of study.

Recipients for the 2013 Jr. ROWITA Awards are currently under review.This year's recipients of the 2013 Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA Awards are:


Diane Bradley-Arts Educator/Visual Artist

Diane is an artist and a lifelong educator with a passion for including youth in the arts. She became involved with The Saint Augustine Art Association as a Docent, Show Chairperson and then teacher of an after-school art program. She soon realized that she wanted to be more involved in the organization and sought ways to help it reach its full potential as a Community Arts Center.


Diane established a partnership with the St. Johns County Schools and for the past eight years, they have jointly presented the Annual All County High School and Middle School Art Shows. Her partnership with the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind led to the creation of their popular Annual Tactile Show for the blind and visually impaired, now in it's 12th year.


Diane is a tireless supporter of the Saint Augustine Art Association. She continues to work to ensure sound fiscal practices for the organization including the management of their biggest fundraiser, the annual Spring and Fall Art & Craft Festivals and the new, Nature and Wildlife Exhibition. During the recent restructuring of the Category II funding to Arts and Culture, Diane supported and participated in the creation of the Cultural Coalition of Saint Johns County.

Debbie McDade- Jazz Singer

Born in Lincolnville in 1928 as Emmaline Maultsby, Debbie attended Excelsior School and sang in the choir at Trinity Methodist Church. She went to New York as a teenager to seek her fame and fortune as a singer and at the suggestion of Louis Armstrong, she adopted the stage name, Debby Moore. In the course of her international career, she sang with Earl "Fatha" Hines, toured Asia representing the United States, made movies in Japan, and wrote songs. Some of her songs were recorded by Woody Herman and Louis Prima; others she sang herself on her 1959 record My Kind of Blues.


When she returned to Saint Augustine in the 1970's there were no opportunities for a Black jazz performer and she found work as a waitress and later at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Now retired, she is known as Debbie McDade. Debbie is listed in the Encyclopedia of Jazz. She has been active in many community efforts, serving as a board member of Excelsior Museum and Cultural Center, and the Foot Soldiers Memorial Project.

Patti Rang - Cultural Advocate &

Patti has been involved for over 30 years in the creation and organization of events to celebrate the colonial life of St. Augustine in both the Spanish and British periods. Patti has been a leader and contributing member of the East Florida Rangers and the 60th Regiment of Foot in both local and regional events, participating in numerous battle re-enactments. Patti was a "camp follower," traveling with her family who, at the time, were part of the fife and drum corps. She wrote a cookbook drawing on this experience in 1977, featuring the campfire recipes that she used to feed the group when in the field.


Pattie helped established one of St. Augustine's most famous holiday traditions, The British Grande Illumination, an event that has been held annually since it's inception in 1975. She was a leader of the Colonial Christmas Caroling in the historic district for many years and in the mid-1990's, helped produce Voices of the Past,to further entertain the large crowds the caroling attracted. Patti has also been involved with the St. Augustine Textile Arts Guild, a non-profit group founded in 1995 whose purpose is to teach and preserve textile techniques of the past centuries for future generations. Patti's work in all of these areas has been instrumental in educating and entertaining the public through her efforts to bring our city's colonial past to life.

Mary Siess - Arts Volunteer/Visual Artist

Mary is an artist who enjoys watercolors and pen-and-ink drawings as well as jewelry design. She donates many of her creations to fundraisers of the organizations she belongs to or supports.


She is an active volunteer with many arts organization in Saint Johns County. Since 1999, she has volunteered at the Saint Augustine Art Association in a variety of positions, including docent, computer expert, involvement with monthly art exhibits, and assisting with their fundraising festivals.


Mary has been one of the pillars of the EMMA Concert Association and established herself early on as a great leader and outstanding organizer. She has acted as Historian, organizer of the EMMA Music Master Series, member of the Program Committee, Tickets and Subscription Committee, President of the EMMA Guild, and Vice-President of the EMMA Board of Directors. Her computer skills helped launch the EMMA website and online ticket sales.


Mary has also volunteered her time with Altrusa's work with the Llambias House and Old St. Augustine Village. Her work with the Saint Augustine Textile Guild included helping with the Fall Textile Arts Festival and serving as a Docent in the Spanish Village.

Wendy Tatter- Arts/Visual Artist

Wendy came to Saint Augustine in 1988 after having lived in the West Indies, Mexico, and Central and South America. In Mexico she was introduced to the art of batik while attending Institution Allende. Fascinated by the technique, Wendy developed a style all her own and began exhibiting her work in local studios and restaurants. In July 2005, she opened W. B. Tatter Studio Gallery on San Marco Avenue. Wendy organized the San Marco merchants to participate in Uptown Saturday Night, an evening featuring art, antiques, boutiques, and music. This monthly event became successful at bringing life to what had been an overlooked area in Saint Augustine. Each month, Wendy featured different, and often, emerging artists in her gallery space. San Marco Avenue beautification efforts, the Uptown Saturday Night logo, and other improvements to the San Marco Avenue area can all be attributed to Wendy's energy, ideas, and support.

Wendy also encourages creativity through her workshops at elementary schools and civil associations throughout Florida. She generously contributes her artwork and her popular ,That Cat Book, to local organizations and libraries around the country. One month of the year she has made her gallery available to Flagler College business students for real life business experience. Over the years she has won awards and accolades for her work not only in Saint Augustine, but all over the United States.

A special Thank you to The Limelight Theatre
for their assistance in presenting this event.