Recognizing Outstanding Women In The Arts (ROWITA) represents lifetime achievement and is awarded to women who have made significant contributions to the St. Johns County arts community. The ROWITA awards were established in 2009 by the late Dr. Gail Pflaster. The awards are the result of a coalition of six arts organizations (St. Johns Cultural Council, National League of American Pen Women-Saint Augustine Branch, Tale Tellers of Saint Augustine, Jane’s Stories Press Foundation, Limelight Theatre, and Cyprian Center for Expressive Arts) that worked together to establish a recognition program during Women’s History Month. In an effort to ensure their longevity, the ROWITA committee decided to have the St. Johns Cultural Council become the sole sponsor of the awards in 2012.
Dr. Pflaster was a tireless volunteer associated with many arts related non-profit groups, such as the St. Johns Cultural Council, Tale Tellers of Saint Augustine, the Limelight Guild, the EMMA Guild, The SeaQuills, National League of American Pen Women-St. Augustine Branch, and Jane’s Stories Press Foundation. After her death in 2012, the St. Johns Cultural Council decided it was only fitting to name the award after her. Women are chosen from nominations that have been submitted by members of the community.