Art Career Day Conference 2019

Saturday, April 27, 2019
10:30 AM – 4:30 pm

Garden Street Academy
2300 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA

The Art Career Day Conference (ACDC) is a free, annual event filled with presentations, roundtable discussions, and over 40 local professional artists donating their time and knowledge to the next generation of artists ages 13 to 25.

We believe in the power of the arts to transform lives and communities. We believe that the resources offered at the Art Career Day Conference will help aspiring artists build fulfilling and sustainable careers. But most importantly, we believe in you! You are the future artists of the world!

We hope that you all are as excited as we are for ACDC 2019! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date and we will see you in April!

BECOME AN ACDC 2019 Sponsor!
learn MORe ABOUT the SPONSOR benefits below.

2019 Program Schedule

  • 10:30 AM — Registration

  • 11:00 AM — Conference Welcome (In The Theatre)

Introductions: Jodi McLeod (AWoL Executive Director) & Julie McLeod (AWoL Founder and current Mentorship Director)

2019 Conference Emcees: Clare Carey (AM) & J.D. Lewis (PM)

2019 Mentorship Speakers: Rod Rolle & Erica Urech

Performance: Adam Phillips of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara Playing Instruments from Around the World

  • 11:50 AM - 12:45 PM — Roundtable Discussion Session #1

  • 12:50 PM - 1:30 PM — Lunch & Networking

  • 1:35 PM — Conference Festivities (continued)

Performance: Dos Pueblos High School Production of West Side Story featuring Nevaeh Harrington & Nolan Montgomery

Speaker: Wyatt Lavasseur (Animator)

2019 Keynote Speaker: Mayor Cathy Murillo

Performance: 2019 Santa Barbara Teen Star Sofia Schuster

  • 2:20 PM - 3:10 PM — Roundtable Discussion Session #2

  • 3:15 PM - 4:05 PM — Roundtable Discussion Session #3

  • 4:10 PM — Conference Surveys & Prizes (In The Theatre)

  • 5:00 PM — Conference Conclusion / See You Next Year!

2019 Speakers + Performers

Conference Emcees — Clare Carey & J.D. Lewis


Clare Carey is a film and television actress currently collaborating with J.D. Lewis's The Actor's Lab in the Advanced Teen Acting Class for local young people who have professional ambitions. Clare is best known for her television roles on series including CoachAquariusJerichoSo Little Time, and Crash. Carey also has guest star credits on CSIWeedsNCISRevengeERWithout a Trace, and House.

Between acting gigs, Clare developed an interest in teaching and directing. She co-created the Lab Rats, a theatre program for homeless youth with the legendary, Shelley Winters, and spent a few years teaching and developing original theatre works at middle schools in Hollywood, CA.

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J.D. Lewis is an acting coach by trade. He established The Actor's Lab in Los Angeles in 1990. He now has studios in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Charlotte and Portland. In addition to his success as a coach, he is also known for his philanthropic work. 

He founded The Twelve In Twelve Foundation in 2012. He has been celebrated for setting a world record: He and his two sons, 8 and 13 at the time, were the first family in history to have traveled to all 7 continents in one year, specifically to do humanitarian work.


Keynote Speaker — Mayor Cathy Murillo


Mayor Cathy Murillo is no stranger to the Santa Barbara arts community. The former journalist grew up in the East Los Angeles area of Boyle Heights and moved to Santa Barbara to obtain her B.A. in Dramatic Art at UCSB. She is a classically trained stage actor. 

After working as a legal assistant, Murillo pursued a career in creative writing and journalism. She has published with the Ventura Independent, Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Star, and Santa Barbara Independent. She was the News and Public Affairs Director for KCSB before she ran for City Council in 2011. Her Council experience led her to become Santa Barbara's first Latina mayor in 2017. 

Murillo has volunteered for various non-profits, including Santa Barbara Children's Theater, Community Recovery Network, Shape of Voice Youth newspaper, and Santa Barbara Channels public access television station.


Mentorship Speakers — Rod Rolle & Erica Urech


Rod Rolle produces "Images With A Global View." Since graduating from Brooks Institute in 1986 with a degree in Industrial/Scientific Photography, he has built his business and a reputation as a both a corporate photographer and a photojournalist. 

A native New Yorker, he has traveled and photographed widely. His work has appeared in many publications such as Time and Business Week. Sipa USA and Getty Images currently distribute his photographs and he has sold his images to over 220 publications around the world. His 2004 photograph of Michael Jackson standing on top of a SUV outside the Santa Maria Courthouse won him a spot in Getty Images’ Pictures of the Year Collection. 

He taught Basic Photography Workshops at UCSB, Video Production at The California Mens Colony through the UCLA Extension Arts In Corrections Program, as well as Advanced Photography, Digital Design, and Photojournalism at Santa Barbara City College. 

As a Mentor for the Art Without Limits Emerging Artist Mentorship Program, he previously mentored Shannon Jordan and currently is mentoring emerging photographers Erica Urech and Chelsea Dormevil.

Erica Urech is our newest emerging artist in the Art Without Limits Emerging Artist Mentorship program being mentored by fine art photographer Rod Rolle. Urech is a photographer who graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado with a B.A. in 2004.

She owns “Erica Urech Photography” studios based in Santa Barbara and London and seeks to strengthen her art form in photojournalism. Her art influences include Annie Leibovitz, James Nachtwey, and Doisneau.


2019 Performers / Performances

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Sofia Schuster is a 9th grader from San Marcos High School and the 2019 Santa Barbara Teen Star. Santa Barbara Teen Star is a non-profit providing scholarships, supporting performing arts in our schools and showcasing the incredible talent in our community. Born with paralyzed vocal chords, Sofia was never supposed to talk, let alone sing. But at the age of six months she made her first sound. Two years ago, Sofia wrote and performed on her first album, titled Golden Gate, and donated all sales to Girls Rock Santa Barbara, a music education program for girls in town. She is currently working on her second album and loves playing the guitar. 

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Adam Phillips is the Founder and Music Director of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara and one of our Music Roundtable Leaders! has had an extremely varied career as a vocal, instrumental, and stage performer as well as a voice teacher and music director. Adam received his  undergraduate training at the State University of New York at Fredonia,  earning a BFA in Musical Theatre while making the Dean’s List and performing in a variety of theater and opera productions, recording  several vocal albums, and receiving numerous awards and honors including a Voice Faculty Scholarship and a nomination for Best Actor in Musical Theatre in Buffalo, New York. Since moving to Santa Barbara, Adam has sung with Quire of Voyces, with Opera Santa Barbara, with the Adelfos Ensemble, and as a cantor at Old Santa Barbara Mission. At ACDC 2019, Adam will be playing a variety of musical instruments originating from locations around the world including the gaita galega (bagpipes) from Spain, the smallpipes from Scotland, and the fujara from Slovakia.

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Dos Pueblos High School Production of West Side Story featuring Nevaeh Harrington and Nolan Montgomery. Nevaeh Harrington is a junior at Dos Pueblos High School and plays Maria in West Side Story. Singing and acting since she was very young, Nevaeh has had leading roles in the Goleta Valley Junior High School Productions of Once Upon A Mattress and Legally Blonde. Nolan Montgomery is the president of the Dos Pueblos Theater Company and a senior at Dos Pueblos High School. He has been a part of several other DPHS productions including Spelling Bee, The Addams Family, and Newsies.

2019 Roundtable Discussions + Leaders

Session I

  1. Photography

    Isaac Hernandez and Macduff Everton

  2. Graphic and Motion Design

    Ulrike Kerber and Rodrigo Aguilar

  3. Journalism

    Joan Tapper and Nancy Black

  4. Galleries and Museums

    Sasha Karlova and Yessica Torres

  5. Music

    Ian Putnam, Adam Phillips and Michael Andrews

Session II

  1. Ceramics and Sculpture

    Joan Rosenberg-Dent, Patrick Faulk and Chris Rupp

  2. Acting and Directing

    J.D. Lewis and William Davies King

  3. Painting

    Connie Connally and Seyburn Zorthian

  4. Promoting Your Art

    Andi Garcia

  5. Film and Media Arts

    Karin Stellwagen and Alison Learned-Wolf

Session III

  1. Dance

    Tonia Shimin and Nancy Colahan

  2. Poetry and Prose

    Perie Longo, Grant House and Susan Gulbransen

  3. Costume, Fashion Design and Makeup

    Louise Wallis, M’Lynn Hass and Patricia Guerrera

  4. Architecture

    Susanne Kortz Tejada

  5. Animation

    Wyatt Lavasseur

2019 Sponsors

For eight years, Art Without Limits (AWoL) has hosted a unique Art Career Day Conference (ACDC) in Santa Barbara for youth and young adults interested in pursuing a job in the arts. This would not be the case without all of our Sponsors and their continued support. For that, we thank you and invite you to become a sponsor of ACDC 2019!

To become an ACDC 2019 Sponsor today, click here!

Below are the Five Levels of Sponsorship and the Benefits of each:

ARTS HERO – $3,000

  • Company name as presenting sponsor on all press materials, fliers, and advertising

  • Opportunity to display promotional materials at registration table

  • Dedicated social media promotional acknowledgements

  • Full Page ad in event program & name/logo on event program cover

  • Name/logo on ACDC event webpage for one year


  • Company name listing on all press materials, fliers, and advertising

  • Dedicated social media promotional acknowledgements

  • Full Page ad in event program & name/logo on event signage

  • Name/logo on ACDC event webpage for one year

VISIONARY – $1,000

  • Company name listing on all press materials, fliers, and advertising

  • ½ Page ad in event program & name/logo on event signage

  • Name/logo on ACDC event webpage for one year

ARTS CAREER Accelerator – $500

  • Company name listing on all press materials, fliers, and advertising

  • ¼ Page ad in event program & name/logo on event signage

  • Name/logo on ACDC event webpage for one year

Friend of Art Without Limits – $250

  • Company name listing on all press materials, fliers, and advertising

  • Name/logo in event program & signage

  • Name/logo on ACDC event webpage for one year

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2019 Conference Venue

Garden Street Academy

2300 Garden Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone: 805-687-3717
Fax: 805-456-1897

Download a campus map here.


“Garden Street Academy is committed to providing an education which enables and empowers a diverse group of students to develop their intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical gifts and to understand and respect the similarities and differences among themselves and others in their local and world communities.”


“We are an independent non-profit school whose purpose is to complement the work begun in the home by parents, a child’s first educators.  We believe in the unique and intrinsic value of each individual. We strive to promote a meaningful, integrated curriculum, challenging students to respond at many levels of thinking and learning. Students participate in meaningful activities designed to facilitate the development of values, respect for themselves and others, cooperation, and a healthy self-esteem.  We execute a plan according to each student’s talents and needs to promote intellectual development leading to academic excellence.  We foster a life-long love of learning in a supportive and informal environment.”


Thank you to Garden Street Academy for serving as the 2019 Art Career Day Conference Venue!

Past ACDC Programs











Header Image: Speakers and Roundtable Leaders from the 2011 Art Career Day Conference