Art is the gateway to all that we do in the world. When this door opens, the creator is free to enter a space in which she or he can think, feel, and see the world from different perspectives. Art empowers, teaches, and heals. It instills skills like discipline, self-worth, and confidence. Art is an especially useful tool in teaching and empowering young people. With art, youth discover that they can do and be anything.
NLAT's mission is to inspire, motivate, educate, and facilitate healing through art by providing a safe space for artists to share, learn, and grow.
The No Limits Arts Theatre (NLAT) was founded in 2006 by fashion designer, interior design professional, and artistic event planner, Audrie Austin after being inspired by her son who is a visual artist. NLAT's mission is to inspire, motivate, educate, and heal by providing a safe space for artists to share ideas, learn how to express themselves artistically and experience both artistic and personal growth.
NLAT has been working to establish a creative hub to build relationships in the community by hosting positive, inspiring events for Dallas-area youth and creating artistic works designed to spark conversations that can help bring about change in the Dallas community.
NLAT's purpose is to provide a platform that fosters an environment of healing through art by offering youth in underserved communities a safe place to showcase their talents and support teachers, veterans, first responders and their spouses. It is NLAT's belief that art can serve as a source of healing because it allows individuals to creatively express what they are feeling internally when unable to articulate it verbally.
One of the strongest demographics to benefit from the use of art to heal is youth because oftentimes, they feel unheard and/ or misunderstood which could lead to lost chances or destroyed dreams that impact their future. Therefore, art allows youth to pour their emotions into the creative process, help them to decompress, and subsequently take pride in their artistic achievements.
Additionally, teachers who spend a significant time with youth also deserve support because they are the first point of contact, outside of the parents, to help shape a child’s imagination. As a way to demonstrate support to those who can facilitate a creative atmosphere, NLAT has been dedicated to furnishing school supplies to teachers to help relieve some of their financial burden, which would in turn allow them to give their best to their students.
As with youth, military veterans and first responders are also forced to deal with a high level of stress. Just like art can serve as a release valve for children, the same is true for this population as well. The members of NLAT have had the opportunity to witness first hand how participating in art-based programs, activities, and events has helped veterans and first responders cope with PTSD and anxiety. By specifically offering them and their spouses free art classes, the mission and goal of NLAT guides them to find a medium of art that can help them heal which results in being beneficial to them, their families, and the community.
In the last 17 years, NLAT has held over 18 events with talented youth and local artists, gifted over $10,000 in school supplies and backpacks to teachers, and began a series of art workshops for veterans, first responders, and their spouses.
Meet The Team
Audrie Austin is a fashion designer, interior design professional, and artistic event planner. Austin has actively participated in the arts for most of her life. Austin studied fashion and interior design at both Wade College and El Centro College and later became the owner of Audrie Austin LLC. She has been designing custom apparel for almost 30. Austin is an accomplished woodworker and has been building and restoring furniture for over 20 years. In 2006, Austin founded the No Limits Arts Theatre (NLAT) to provide a space for youth artists, ages 6-18, to showcase their talents. Subsequently, Austin established the Art Meets Art project and has hosted the event every year since 2012. In addition, realizing that the arts can serve as a therapeutic tool, Austin has supported veterans, first responders, and their spouses by offering free art classes through NLAT and providing a source of healing through art. While working with adolescents to help spark their imagination and support their creative outlets, Austin expanded her outreach to include teachers. Since the inception of uplifting teachers, NLAT has donated $10,000 in school supplies. As the President of her neighborhood association, Austin is very active in her community and has volunteered to plant trees, host neighborhood cleanups, and participate in beautification projects. It is through these outreach efforts that Austin is inspired to build a legacy through NLAT by providing artistic healing to the very community that she serves.
My career has been in Heathcare for more than 30 years. As a facility manager, I oversee Hospital AR for three programs and Medicaid Specific programs for 17 hospitals across the United States. I manage a team that focuses on resolution for cash collections to increase hospital AR. This is my "day job"... I received my MBA focused in Healthcare in December 2022, and I begin my PhD/ DHA on February 6, 2023.n Lewisville Texas. Felisa, joined NLAT as Secretary in January 2020.
Jock McMIllan Jr.
Jock McMillan is an artist and entreprenuer. He and his family run a successful screen printing business and he is part owner a thriving valet company.
Board of Directors
Shawn N. Guy is a multi-talented artist who has showcased her exceptional abilities in various creative disciplines such as acting, writing, spoken word performance, dance, and public speaking. Prior to relocating to Dallas, Texas in 2009, Ms. Guy established herself as a prominent figure in the St. Louis, Missouri theater scene, having participated in nearly 20 theatrical productions. She also honed her craft by enrolling in acting, vocal, and dance courses at esteemed institutions like the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre and the Black Theatre Workshop at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Notably, she demonstrated her versatility as an artist by delivering a remarkable performance in the stage play "A Long Time Since Yesterday." In addition to her stage work, Ms. Guy made appearances in noteworthy industry films, including "The Telephone Doctor" and "Centene." Furthermore, she shared her talent for praise dance in various worship services in both St. Louis and Dallas from 2002 to 2013. A testament to her literary prowess, in 2011, Ms. Guy independently recorded, produced, and published a spoken word CD entitled "SPIL," which featured poignant poems encompassing themes of love, cultural pride, and social injustice. The following year, she further demonstrated her creative vision by writing, directing, and producing the stage play "Silent Screams," which aimed to raise awareness about the various forms of sexual abuse. Throughout the past two decades, Ms. Guy has actively contributed to the arts and entertainment community, often serving as a writer, mistress of ceremonies, or host at numerous artistic, radio, church, and social awareness events. Her recent spoken word performances have continued to captivate audiences, with notable appearances as recent as December 2022 and January 2023. Presently, Ms. Guy has embarked on a new literary endeavor, crafting a crime fiction novel. The completion of her manuscript is scheduled for submission in the summer of 2023, showcasing her dedication to producing high-quality creative work.