Inaugural Art Without Limits Conference

The inaugural Art Without Limits Conference was held on February 4, 2022. 

Download the February 2022 Art Without Limits Program

Virtual Program


Art Without Limits is presented in partnership with LaunchNET Kent State, Kent State University’s Arts Entrepreneurship Student Organization, and the Arts Entrepreneurship Podcast: Making Art Work.

For more information about LaunchNET Kent State, visit

For more information about the Arts Entrepreneurship Student Organization, visit

For more information about the Arts Entrepreneurship Podcast: Making Art Work, visit

Special Thanks

Art Without Limits would like to extend gratitude to the following, who helped to make this event possible.

College of the Arts

Dean Diane Petrella
Associate Dean Marie Bukowski
Assistant Dean Sandi Randulic
Assistant Dean LeAnn Starlin Nilsson
LuAnn Coldwell
Nick Petrella
Joni Koneval
Anna Mates
Mary Linger
Pam Hutson
Linda Colby
Matt Marquis


J.R. Campbell and Amy Nethken at the Design Innovation Hub

Tabitha Messmore and the team at LaunchNET Kent State

Mark Warzinski, Jason Forbes and the entire Teleproductions Team

Arts Entrepreneurship Student Organization

Students from the College of the Arts who are displaying art at Art Without Limits

Noel Palomo-Lovinski and Hillary Stone from the School of Fashion and Peter Johnson from the School of Art for arranging student displays of art
at Art Without Limits


Moderators for the breakout sessions:

Peter Johnson, Art
Adam Roberts, Music
Hillary Stone, Fashion
Gregory King, Dance
Gokarna Sharma, Computer Science
Nick Petrella, Music


Anna Kelberg-Kim
Anna Kelberg-Kim, Esq.

Anna Kelberg-Kim, Esq. is an Ohio-licensed attorney, who focuses her practice on intellectual property and entertainment law. Anna represents a diverse roster of clients that includes music artists, producers, record labels, literary artists, visual artists, filmmakers, performers and performing arts organizations.

Anna combines business and legal knowledge of the industry to offer comprehensive representation to entertainment professionals on matters pertaining to Copyright and Trademark; Clearance and Licensing Rights; Formation of Business Entity; and Contract Drafting, Review, and Negotiation.

Anna’s passion for helping people build their careers in entertainment comes from her personal experiences as a musician and as being a parent of a music artist. Anna, a classically trained violinist and pianist, grew up in an arts-rich environment – her family, professional music educators and music artists always stressed the importance and value of the arts as an integral part of their lives.

Anna believes that one of the keys to professional success is continuous learning and keeping current with industry trends.

Lauren Luna
Lauren Luna

Lauren Luna was born in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Kent State University’s School of Fine Arts with a focus in painting, she moved to New York City. She began teaching Special Education for New York City schools and entered a Masters program at Manhattan College. Upon graduation, she moved back to her hometown of Columbus along with her son and continued teaching. Later enrolling in the Academy of Art University for her second Master’s degree, in Fine Arts.

In 2011, Luna relocated to Houston, Texas, pursuing her new life as a full time artist and footwear designer.

Lauren Luna was named a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Scion Car Company, participated in Austin and Houston Fashion Week, was featured in British Vogue and Glamour Magazines, and had a shoe design in an exhibit in the Grassi Museum in Germany. She was honored to receive the Margot Siegel Award for Design by the Goldstein Museum of which two pairs of her hand painted shoes are a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

In 2015, after winning Best In Show at a juried art competition, she was commended by the Alvin Independent School District School Board, and was put into Congressional Record by the District’s State Representative.

Ohio native Lauren Luna, known as “Your City Painter”, has established herself as a Houstonian devoted to improving the quality of life of the citizens of Houston, Texas. Through her tenure as a teacher of art to elementary, middle, and collegiate students, to her participation in various Houston art events such as Bayou City Art Festival and the famed Via Colori, leading to her murals, and other work being showcased everywhere from billboards to outside of KHOU television station, and culminating in the establishment of the D.R.E.A.M. Affect Foundation and correlating D.R.E.A.M. Art Scholarship. Lauren has worked tirelessly to promote art across the city of Houston as a means to improve the lives of the city’s residents in accordance with the vision and goals set forth by the Mayor himself, the Honorable Sylvester Turner. Who as a thank you for her efforts, presented her with the proclamation of Lauren Luna Day, on July 11, 2020.

As a public school and community college instructor in the Houston area, Lauren Luna has helped thousands of students deepen their love and appreciation for the fine arts, nurtured and mentored hundreds more, and set countless individuals on the path to artful endeavors themselves. Her passion for art has been transmitted to every student whom she has taught in a transformative way and she continues to train, inspire, and cultivate those creative souls.

Outside of the classroom, Lauren Luna has dedicated herself to the art community of the city of Houston, endeavoring to raise awareness of the need for more formally trained artists of color through the creation of the D.R.E.A.M. Affect Foundation, raising thousands of dollars to support young artists of color in their pursuit of a college education terminating in a degree in Fine Arts. Lauren participates in every major art event in Houston, to spread her vision of creating opportunities and a future in art for aspiring artists of color.   

Silas Hite
Silas Hite

Silas Hite is an Emmy-winning composer that began his career as an intern at Mutato Muzika, a music studio owned by his uncle, noted composer (and Kent State honorary doctorate) Mark Mothersbaugh of the band, Devo.  After quickly working his way up from intern to in-house composer, Silas spent seven years co-scoring TV shows for Disney, PIXAR, and Nickelodeon, blockbuster films such as “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, and video games such as “The Simpsons”, “Skate 3”, and “The Sims 2”.  Silas has also scored hundreds of commercials for clients such as Apple, Microsoft, and Sony, winning many awards along the way.

Following his desire to be freelance, Silas left Mutato in 2010, built his own studio, and has continued his career as a composer.  For the last 12 years, Silas has not only continued to score films and commercials, but also TV shows like “Chef’s Table” and “Street Food Asia”, as well as video games such as “Tetris ” and “ The Sims”  mobile.  Since becoming a freelance composer, Silas has expanded his career to include writing concert pieces for live orchestra, and collaborating with fine artists and dancers.  His collaborations with artist Jonn Hershend have played in such venerable institutions as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  In addition to being an in-demand composer,  Silas also makes time to write, record, and release albums in a multitude of musical genres.

Rhea Kulcsár
Rhea Kulcsár

Rhea Kulcsár is a Kent State Fashion Graduate, and the founder of RKNYC Jewelry. She has14 years of fashion industry experience; Target Corp., Calvin Klein, 7 of those years self-employed. Grass-roots style, Rhea took a $10k loan and built an $800k business in 3 years. Her brand is direct-to-consumer, revenue generated in NYC pop-ups & online. Her business is focused on supporting artisan handcraft, ethically sourcing rare natural stones, uplifting women & underserved communities, and low waste business practices. Rhea has employed 30+ Kent State Fashion School interns and remains a mentor & friend to those inspiring young women today. 


Jeff Davis
Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis creates abstract artwork using algorithmic processes. Using custom code to randomly determine compositional elements within specified parameters, his art explores geometric structure and color arrangement through computation and iteration.

Jeff has exhibited throughout the U.S. including Torrance Art Museum, Arizona State University, Lawrence University, the University of Minnesota, the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, and the Tucson Museum of Art and was recently included in the shows Natively Digital at Sotheby’s and The Digital for Miami Art Week.

In addition to his creative endeavors, Jeff serves as Chief Creative Officer at Art Blocks and is the founder of Davis Editions. He serves as the Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission for the city of Tempe and is also the author of two textbooks, Foundations of Design and Foundations of Color.

Gary Abbott
Gary Abbott

Gary Abbott began his career as a dancer in Atlanta, GA with Barbara Sullivan’s Atlanta Dance Theatre. There he developed his interest in choreography and created works for musicals presented by Jomandi Productions and The Clark College Players. Receiving a scholarship to attend California Institute of the Arts in 1979, Abbott studied with dance legends Crystine Lawson, Nicholas Gunn and Mia Slavenska. Abbott later moved to Los Angeles where he danced with Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Theatre.

In 1985, Abbott was invited to dance with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble of Denver, CO where he was nurtured by Ms. Parker-Robinson to create several dances which are still a part of the company’s repertoire. His career there allowed Abbott to study with many great luminaries of the dance world. Among them are Katherine Dunham, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare, Donald Byrd and Kevin Iega Jeff.

While residing in Denver, Abbott brought his choreographic talents to The Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the shows, Star Fever (based on The Bacchae by Euripides) and Don Quixote directed by Pavel Dobrusky. Abbott continued to work with Mr. Dobrusky at the Cleveland Playhouse, where he served as choreographer for the play Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca. It was during his 10 years with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble that Abbott first visited Gillette, WY and directed and choreographed a year long project called Harambee. After more than 25 years, Abbott is still teaching and directing artistic programming in the Gillette community. One among them is “Performing Arts Workshop” (PAW) co-founded by Abbott, Jeff and Suzanne Dowler. In 2013, PAW celebrated its 20th year of serving the Gillette community.

Abbott and Jeff, along with Linda Spriggs, Diane Shober and LaVerne Alaphaire Jeff founded Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) in late 1995. The company’s mission to re-imagine and diversify contemporary dance by bringing together modern, classical, and African-American traditions in dance enables Abbott to continue to serve and grow as an artist. Abbott and Jeff’s artistic goals extend beyond just the dance world and into the world of musical theatre as well. From 2001-2003, Abbott served as choreographer and Jeff as director for Black Nativity presented by the Penumbra Theatre. In 2008 Abbott choreographed “Ballad of Emmet Till” directed by Oz Scott for The Goodman Theater in Chicago and in 2010 Abbott shared choreographic duties with Mr. Jeff, for “Aida” for the Bailiwick Theater of Chicago.

From 2008-2016 Abbott was privileged to teach at prestigious universities and workshops including special workshops at Tanzen, Vienna, Austria, Peridance Studios in New York City, as guest instructor and choreographer at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga, University of Missouri in Kansas City, Bar, Montenego, Sofia, Bulgaria and Durban, South Africa and Tianjin, China.

Kevin Iega Jeff
Kevin Iega Jeff

Kevin Iega Jeff is an accomplished dancer, award-winning choreographer and an acclaimed artistic director. Iega has collaborated on a wide range of professional and community-based projects including Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It;” The Academy Awards; and on Broadway in “The Wiz.” In 2005, the Juilliard School named Iega as one of its 100 Outstanding Alumni. He has received recognitions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Council for Culture and Art, and the International Association of Blacks In Dance. Iega has taught and lectured globally at universities, colleges, and cultural institutions.

In January 2020, Newcity magazine recognized Iega among the top 10 Players 2020: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago. That same month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed him to the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. In his evolved role as Creative Director, Iega is leading the institutional vision for the South Side Center for Black Dance and Creative Communities (SSDC). The SSDC will be an institutional home for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, partner organizations, Story-Bridge Community Performances, and Community Development Town-Halls. The SSDC is schedule to break ground in summer 2023, with its grand opening in spring 2024.

Iega’s Personal Philosophy

“I am guided by my intuitive spirit and I am inspired by brilliant Ancestors. I aspire for liberation through free thought and I pray for wisdom as I strive to contribute to a just world through art-making. I thrive in forums that inspire human excellence through collaboration and creativity. I want my work to grow truer, more focused, and relevant over time. My artistic practice is borne out of personal and human observation, and my desire to communicate what I experience or learn shapes what I create. For me, dance-making is a perfect catalyst for revealing one’s genesis, reflecting who we are and who we strive to become.”

Nick Petrella
Nick Petrella

Nick Petrella is on the faculty at Kent State University where he leads efforts in Arts Entrepreneurship in the College of the Arts, and is on the percussion faculty at the Glauser School of Music. An advocate of Arts Entrepreneurship, he co-founded “Arts Entrepreneurship Podcast: Making Art Work” in 2020, and has given arts entrepreneurship and music business lectures at universities throughout the US and in the UK. In 2018, he co-presented “The Entrepreneurial Mindset from Theory to Practice: Developing What Entrepreneurs Value in Their Young Colleagues” for the GenNext series from the College Music Society at NAMM 2018.

Nick has extensive music business experience. From 2000 to 2019 he was the Director of Education for SABIAN Ltd., where he was responsible for sales, marketing and artist relations for the Band and Orchestra/Educational division. Early in his career he worked in retail and as a drum stick distributor. Since 1992 he has been a consultant to companies in the music products industry and has designed 14 percussion implements, accessories and instruments currently on the market. In 2014, Nick was presented with the President’s Industry Award from the Percussive Arts Society. He launched for online lessons and presentations and has published numerous articles in US and European music journals. He is the author of two Carl Fischer publications: “The Ultimate Guide to Cymbals” and “The Multiple-Percussion Book,” which was translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. In 2006, Nick and Diane Petrella published “The Musician’s Toolbox, Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Music,” now available as an e-book.

As a performer, Nick has commissioned and premiered over a dozen compositions and has many solo and chamber music performances to his credit. He has performed with the Kansas City Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Michigan Opera. In 2002, he and pianist Diane Petrella formed the Petrella Ensemble, which has appeared throughout the US, Europe and in Mexico. Nick has appeared as a clinician, adjudicator, teacher and performer in over 30 countries.

Nick previously taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Oakland University, Texas Christian University, and the Royal Northern College of Music where he developed a percussion pedagogy course. Additionally, he served as the percussion instructor/arranger for the marching bands at the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and TCU. Twice, Nick was the percussion coach with the World Youth Orchestra, and in 2008 was the percussion coach for Xenakis’ Pleiades at the BBC Proms Festival in Royal Albert Hall. Under his direction, the TCU Percussion Ensemble performed as the first percussion ensemble invited to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

Nick received a DMA from the University of Iowa, an MM from the University of Michigan and a BSMusEd from Penn State University.

Andy Heise
Andy Heise

Andy Heise is Managing Director of the Regnier Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Additionally, he is Adjunct Instructor in the Entrepreneurial Studies Minor at Kansas City Art Institute where he coordinates the curriculum and instruction for the minor.

Andy’s  work experience includes roles of Program Coordinator and Associate Director of Programs and Operations for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University’s Tabor School of Business from 2008 to 2016.

Andy has significant experience in program development and administration, and  mentoring and teaching students. He has presented on a variety of entrepreneurship education topics at the Coleman Fellows Summit, United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Annual Conference, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC), the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education.

Andy is an upright bassist and has played with regional symphonies, jazz ensembles, and rock bands. He also has experience in recording, mixing, and mastering audio. ​Andy received his Bachelor of Music and MBA from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

College of the Arts Announces ArtsLAUNCH! 2022 Winners

The College of the Arts is thrilled to announce the winners of the ArtsLAUNCH! 2022 Grant Competition, co-sponsored by LaunchNET Kent State

The competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Kent State University. Applicants were asked to submit proposals in one of two categories: 1) the creation of new art demonstrating creativity and uniqueness or 2) the creation of a new art venture that would positively impact the arts economy.

Congratulations to our 2022 ArtsLAUNCH! winners Maysun Perez (New Art, Undergraduate), Brittany Gorelick (New Art, Graduate), and Marina Di Franco (New Arts Venture, Undergraduate). 

The proposals were judged by a panel consisting of Marie Bukowski, Eric van Baars, Peter Johnson, Tabitha Messmore, and Nick Petrella.

About ArtsLAUNCH 2022! Winners 

Maysun Perez

Program of Study: Fashion Merchandising
Category: New Art, Undergraduate 

Project: "The Act of Getting Dressed"

Watch Maysun Perez's Video Submission



Brittany Gorelick

Program of Study: Print Media and Photography
Category: New Art, Graduate

Project: "Large Scale Chemigrams"

Watch Brittany Gorelick's Video Submission



Marina Di Franco

Program of Study: Visual Communications Design
Category: New Arts Venture, Undergraduate

Project: "Sun in Leo – An Upcycled Circular Brand"

Watch Marina Di Franco's Video Submission



Congratulations to All Our ArtsLAUNCH! 2022 Finalists

New Art Undergraduate Level

Madison Ledyard-King
Maysun Perez
Sophy Wen

New Art Graduate Level

Alex Anthes
Brittany Gorelick
Inti Hayna Jimenez

New Venture Undergraduate

Isabella Zaz Alvarino
Marina Di Franco
Alexis Moore

Watch Finalist Submissions

Each applicant was required to submit a video describing their potential project. To view the finalist's submissions, view the video below.



Watch Inti Hayna Jimenez's Video on YouTube

Special Thanks

Special thanks to our judges Marie Bukowski, Eric van Baars, Peter Johnson, Tabitha Messmore, and Nick Petrella.

Anna Kelberg-Kim, Entertainment Attorney

Legal Topics for Creatives



Lauren Luna, Visual Artist

Paint Slinger: One Artist's Journey from Dream to Fruition



Silas Hite, Composer and Performer

Broaden Your Mind and Invite Success



Rhea Kulcsár, Jewelry Designer

Fashion Entrepreneurship – Create Your Own Path



Jeff Davis, Blockchain Expert and Visual Artist

My Journey as an Artist and Entrepreneur



Gary Abbott and Kevin Iega Jeff, Dancers

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: From seed, to organization, to Chicago Institution



Nick Petrella and Andy Heise, "Arts Entrepreneurship Podcast: Making Art Work"

Developing as an Arts Entrepreneur