Art Without Limits (AWoL) is a manifestation of its founder’s knowledge and passion for mentorship in the arts.

The First Mentorship

AWoL Emerging Artist Jackie Rotman - Photography by Clint Weisman

AWoL Emerging Artist Jackie Rotman - Photography by Clint Weisman

When Jackie Rotman was 14, she had a dream about creating a dance outreach program for underserved youth. Others had told her she was too young to make it happen, but she was determined, and contacted Julie McLeod for help. Julie said, “Let’s go, Jackie!” With Julie’s mentorship and guidance, Jackie created Everybody Dance Now!, an after-school program where teens teach free dance classes to Santa Barbara youth, instilling self-esteem and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Today, EDN! has its own nonprofit status and offers more than 80 classes per week in 8 cities. EDN! has served more than 20,000 youth across the nation and has offered programs in 25 different cities throughout throughout EDN!’s history. EDN! has been featured on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Jackie was highlighted as one of Glamour Magazine's “Top 10 College Women” and has spoken at TEDx Stanford and other venues. She is a scholarship graduate of Stanford University and has been the Executive Director of Spark, a millennial philanthropic network focused on women and girls’ causes. Jackie is currently a concurrent graduate student obtaining her Masters in Business Administration at Stanford and Masters in Public Administration at Harvard.

Jackie says, “I am so grateful for Julie and her incredible mentorship and friendship. Julie’s mentorship has had an exponential impact, and tens of thousands of students’ lives are now being touched through the work she helped foster.”

Our Story

Broadway Dancer Julie McLeod - Original West Side Story

Broadway Dancer Julie McLeod - Original West Side Story

In operation since 2009, Art Without Limits was created as a result of the experience between founder Julie McLeod and Jackie Rotman. Julie recognized the power of mentorship to advance the careers of artists in ways that could not be accomplished in traditional academic settings.

After listening to the needs of artists and arts leaders around Santa Barbara, she established Art Without Limits with the mission to provide artists of any discipline with the guidance they need to thrive as successful professionals in the arts. AWoL would seek to become a catalyst to further the vision of artists are flourishing in every community.

Today, AWoL is best known for strategically matching arts and business professionals with emerging artists for intensive, one-on-one, free mentorships. Meanwhile, we offer BizArts (Business Workshops), Fiscal Sponsorships, Art Career Day Conferences, and career-launching Gallery Exhibitions and performance opportunities for emerging artists across Santa Barbara County.

Guided by the principal that “GIVING BEGETS GIVING,” all program participants are expected and encouraged to give back to their mentors, AWoL itself, and to the future generation of artists. With proper training, support and guidance, talented artists can flourish in their careers and strengthen our communities. When artists thrive, communities thrive.

Our Staff at Art Without Limits


Jodi McLeod

Executive Director

Julie McLeod

AWOl Founder &
Mentorship Director


Dana Patterson

Grant Writer

Brett McDaniel

Media Coordinator

Art Without Limits Advisory Board

  • Rona BarrettMedia Commentator for Rona Barrett Foundation

  • David ChartrandArtist (Needlepoint, Photography, and Set Design)

  • Marianne ClarkAnnual Fund Director for The Lobero Theatre Foundation

  • Nina DunbarVisual Arts and Nonprofits | Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens

  • Phil Hawes Attorney-at-Law

  • Jeffrey HudginsWebsite Developer | Graphic Artist

  • Howard HudsonCertified Public Accountant (C.P.A.)

  • Rod LathimArtist (Photography and Assemblage) | Theatre Producer and Director | Nonprofit Manager

  • Sarah York RubinExecutive Director of Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture

  • Paul RuppDirector of The American Institute of Architects

  • Dug UyesakaArtist | Laguna Blanca School Art Teacher | Santa Barbara City Arts Advisory Committee Member

Header Image: Physical Meditation II - Acrylic on canvas painting by Si Jie Loo (mentored by Mary Heebner)