About Romanza, St. Augustine Cultural Events
Mission: Romanza promotes and produces performing arts and cultural events that celebrate the romantic splendor of St. Augustine to enhance both the quality of life for residents and the lasting impression of The Nation’s Oldest City for visitors.
- Romanza Festivale – annual 10-day long celebration of St. Augustine Arts, Culture and Heritage
- St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival – annual large music and culture event
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade – annual heritage family event
- Romanza Gatherings – monthly Arts & Culture mixers
- Other Special Events
Romanza attracts local, regional and international audiences by featuring headliners and an exceptional cast of regional and emerging stars. Venues include traditional auditoriums as well as a collection of unique historic and cultural spaces most within comfortable walking distance.
“Romanza” in Spanish, is a love song. A chorus of voices celebrating St. Augustine’s rich cultural legacy, natural and architectural beauty, unparalleled history and creative energy.
“Romanza” in Italian, is a love affair. Here, Romanza is a love affair with St. Augustine. It’s a collection of unforgettable experiences in music, dance, visual arts, theater and cuisine, all steeped in this truly unique historical setting.
“Romanza Festivale, It’s not one thing… It’s EVERYTHING!
Music, Dance, Theatre, Art, Cuisine, Heritage and… Romance!
In the Nation’s Most Romantic City…. St. Augustine”
“Romanza Festivale” is a multi-day, multi-arts celebration centered in stunningly beautiful, historic downtown St. Augustine, Florida. It is an annual signature event for St. Augustine’s “Anniversary Years” leading up to the City’s 450th birthday and beyond:
- 2012 Celebrating the Bicentennial of Spain’s Constitucion and the world’s ONLY remaining Constitucion Monument – right in our Plaza!
- 2013 the 500th Anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s Discovery of Florida,
- 2014 the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Right’s Act,
- and in 2015 St. Augustine’s 450th Commemoration as the Nation’s Oldest City.
With your help, Romanza Festivale launches in May 2015, to kick off four years celebrating St. Augustine as “the oldest continually occupied European Settlement in the Continental United States”.
Nearly 40 organizations are planning over 50 productions & exhibitions in a week-long extravaganza to help kick off St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary Years. Click here for more information about Romanza Festivale.
Romanza Festivale is produced by Romanza – St. Augustine, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Florida not-for-profit organization. click for Romanza’s Strategic Plan
Romanza’s Board of Advisors:
George Gardner (former St. Augustine Mayor)
Lorna MacDonald (Raintree Restaurant)
Robert Silverman (Winter Properties, Atlanta, GA)
Gayle Nick (Aviles Street Merchant’s Assn.)
Joyce Hayes (Cuna Street Merchants Assn. / Starving Artist)
Jean Rahner (A Classic Theatre)
Frederic Sterry Smith (Sterry Piano)
Sue Agresta (Lincolnville Redeveloment Corp.)
Doni Dowie (Sister Cities / Lexes Associates)
Romanza’s Board of Directors and Officers
Romanza Co-Founder, Board Chairman, President and CEO.
Romanza Board Member since founding in July 2009.
Film score composer/music director, songwriter and recording artist: Syeles-Bio and links
Former Executive Director of SBC Communications (AT&T).
Certified Management Accountant.
Graduate of Duquesne University.
Albert has lived in downtown St. Augustine with his wife Pat since 2005.
Romanza Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and COO.
Romanza Board Member since founding in July 2009.
Board Member of First Coast Opera.
Former Board member of the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival.
Active with EMMA Concert Assn., St. Augustine Art Assn., and Limelight Theatre.
Managed and/or owned a number of retail businesses as well as a wholesale dealership.
Graduate of Duke University.
Phebe has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Romanza Board Member as of November 2011.
Associate Member – Fraternal Order of Police, Member-National Rifle Assn., Member-Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Member-Saint Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau
John served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, cumulatively, circumnavigating the world at least three times. He held a variety of positions from the lowest deckhand in charge of a paintbrush to department head responsible for combat and electronic systems readiness for 13 ships.
Since retirement from Naval service, John moved to St. Augustine with his wife and two children. With his wife Sherri’s help, they operate two small businesses (including Ann O’Malley’s Deli & Pub) and are actively involved in Romanza’s Celtic Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Big Band Dance, and many other community and cultural events.
In his application for the Board, John wrote:
The ability of a region to thrive is based in part on the variety of personally enriching activities available. Romanza professionally producing and promoting a diverse palate of cultural events will give residents and visitors a chance to see what St. Augustine is about. It will also give residents and visitors an opportunity to take part in events that have the possibility of adding some new, positive experiences to their lives, thereby enriching themselves personally and enhancing the ‘brand’ of St. Augustine.
Kathy Vande Berg
Romanza Board Member as of November 2011. Since moving to Florida in 2003, Kathy has been active as the Conductor of the St. Augustine Community Chorus, the St. Augustine Singers, the Flagler College Singers, interim Music Director at St. Paul’s by the Sea, Jax Beach, and accompanist and Music Director for First Coast Opera.
Kathy is a very active as a member of the Outreach Committee of Memorial Presbyterian Church, working with Food 4 Kids, Homelessness, SERRV and Racial Reconciliation. Kathy has taught General Classroom Music, piano, guitar, music history and choral music at all school levels, as well as at Flagler College. She is married to Dr. James L. Vande Berg and has 2 daughters, Jocelyn and Kirsten.
In her application for the Board, Kathy wrote: The concept of Romanza excites me because it has the potential to make St. Augustine a haven for the arts, to bring first class performances to the area and to add another dimension to the tourism industry. The concept of ‘Romanza Festivale(s)’ will provide the umbrella needed to forge a new dimension for the arts in St Augustine. I would like to be part of this exciting venture.”
Romanza Board Member as of November 2012. Anne is a co-founder of The Limelight Theatre and worked there in every capacity of theater (acting, directing, teaching and administration) for 14 years until retiring in 2006. She also served as Treasurer of the St. Augustine Community Chorus from 2010-2012.
In addition to serving on the Romanza Board, Anne is currently a member of the Limelight Theatre Advisory Board (2006-present) and Vice President of A Classic Theatre (2009-present). She is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.
A native of St. Augustine, Anne attended Ketterlinus High School and Florida State University. She went to NYC at 19, where she worked in a variety of theater, TV, and film opportunities, as well as a wide range of businesses for 25+ years.
Anne currently works part-time as legal assistant at the Gail E. Andrews Law Firm. She is the mother of one daughter and grandmother of three.
Romanza Corporate Secretary & Treasurer, Romanza Newsletter editor and publisher. Writer; photo and film editor. Retired paralegal, Steptoe & Johnson and Williams Mullen, Washington, D.C.