SATs, GPAs, AP classes, zero period … it’s hard being a high schooler these days. With so much pressure to make the grade, it’s tough for teens to take time to explore their extracurricular passions, let alone to get support in doing so. That’s exactly why dancer and arts administrator Julie McLeod founded Art Without Limit, a nonprofit organization dedicated to matching emerging artists with mentors who’ve carved out successful creative careers. This Saturday, March 19, McLeod is offering a daylong conference for teens (and their parents) interested in learning more about jobs in the arts. Art Careers Unlimited takes place at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1130 State St.) from 1-5 p.m. It’s free, though preregistration is required. Below are three reasons why you should check it out.
1. The Contacts: What your daddy told you was true: It’s all about connections. At this event there will be chances to mingle and schmooze with more than30 professional actors, filmmakers, writers, painters, dancers, and other arts professionals. Plus, you’ll get to ask questions, sit in on roundtable discussions, and listen to panelists discuss their careers in the arts. You never know where a contact might lead, so why not snag the opportunity to make some new connections.
2. The Inspiration: Among those presenting at the conference are Jackie Rotman, a student at Stanford University who founded her own arts organization while she was still in high school in Santa Barbara. Rotman has gone on to win numerous awards for her work with underprivileged teens and has been featured on America’s Best Dance Crew along with members of her company, Everybody Dance Now! She will deliver the conference’s keynote speech. And you won’t want to miss a performance by Tamarr Paul and his hip-hop dancers; Paul is an SBHS graduate who now owns and operates the popular Rhythm Dance & Fitness Studios in Goleta.
3. The Take-Homes: A conference isn’t a conference without some take-homes, and in addition to free refreshments, you’ll get information about classes and opportunities around town, plus a chance at raffle prizes and giveaways at the end of the day. But most importantly, you’ll go home with renewed enthusiasm for the arts, whether you’re a guitar player, a playwright, a singer, or a photographer.