Art Therapy Today

The American Art Therapy Association congratulates this year’s distinguished recipients of awards in art therapy leadership, scholarship, research, clinical practice, and legislation. We also thank our generous funders whose contributions make it possible for AATA to offer these prestigious awards each year. 

During the AATA’s first virtual awards ceremony on November 4, president Margaret Carlock-Russo, EdD, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, and president-elect Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC, bestowed the following awards and distinctions. 

We are deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of Cliff Joseph, ATR, art therapy pioneer, artist, and activist. He died on November 8, 2020 at the age of 98 in Chicago. We invite colleagues, friends, and students of Mr. Joseph to share moments, pictures, and other notes in remembrance to be included in an upcoming article.

National Native American Heritage Month is a reminder each year to celebrate Native American people, arts, culture, and heritage. There are 3 million Indigenous people in the United States, belonging to 574 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, and native villages) in the United States. (See map). This year, we want to join our mental health allies in a call to address the health disparities that Native American/Indigenous people are experiencing, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) congratulates Joe Biden on winning the 2020 election as the next president of the United States, and Kamala Harris for becoming the first Black woman—the first woman—and the first Indian American elected to one of the two highest offices in the land. The historic significance of her election cannot be overstated.

For art therapists, Veterans Day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the mental health of veterans and service members. Among veterans who have served since the September 11, 2001 attacks, approximately one in five experiences mental health issues, including PTSD, major depression, and anxiety, according to the RAND Corporation. 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the AATA Board

There are still seats available in the below Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Listening Session groups:

Men Art Therapists and Students - 01/06/2021, 8:00 p.m. (EST)
• Former or Never Been Members of AATA - 01/04/2021, 8:00 p.m. (EST)
• LGBTQIA+ Art Therapists and Students - 01/11/2021 at 8:00 PM (EST)
• Art Therapy Students
- 01/12/2021 at 8:00 PM (EST)
• Art Therapists and Students with Disabilities
- 01/13/2021 at 8:00 PM (EST) 

Register here. You may also join the waitlist for the other groups that are at capacity. Our goal is to learn through hearing diverse experiences, views, and responses to questions about DEI in the field. We will use what we learn to do better to meet and support DEI in all that we do as an association. Visit the FAQ page to learn more!

The "Art Therapists are Heroes" masks are back by popular demand! At a time when our country is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis on top of a pandemic, art therapists are on the job, helping people of all ages experiencing stress, anxiety and trauma. In order to continue celebrating these amazing heroes supporting mental health every day and showing pride for the art therapy profession, we are reopening the pop-up shop for a limited time. Get your orders in between November 23 and December 6!
M.A. Counseling Art Therapy Specialization
Caldwell University
The first CACREP accredited program of this type in the nation. The program fulfills educational requirements in both art therapy and mental health counseling.
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The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Architecture, Interior
Member Corner
AATA Member Services

To our members: We wanted to take the time to thank you for being a part of our community this year and beyond. It has been a year of unique challenges and circumstances, but it's been truly rewarding to see our community come together and support each other. As a new year approaches, we look forward to continuing to serve you as your art therapy membership organization. And, if you renew your membership before 12/15/20, you'll be automatically entered into a raffle to win one of five prizes: $250 Faber-Castell Gift Card (x2); $250 Worth of AEM Hi Arts Supplies (x2); and $200 Visa Gift Card.

For questions about membership or for assistance with your renewal, please contact or 888-290-878.
Asli Arslanbek, MA, ATR-P

I am still a part of the community center where I worked in Turkey. Due to COVID-19, children’s services had been suspended. Many of the children didn’t have access to art materials to continue art therapy via video calls. When I was in Turkey this summer (from July to September), I arranged a box of art materials to send out to each child. This way, children could continue art making with the support of their families. 

Mark your calendar! This year’s Annual Meeting of the Membership will take place on Monday, December 7, 2020, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. EST. With the event online and accessible from your home for the first time, we look forward to broad participation. Stay tuned for more details on the program agenda and how to register.
Master of Science in Art Therapy
Mount Mary College
Develop a sophisticated professional identity as an artist-therapist through Mount Mary University’s Master of Science in Art Therapy program. This accredited program is grounded in a profound belief in the healing power of the arts and creative process. Students implement theory and practice in a wide range of clinical contexts.
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Adler University
Cedar Crest College Undergraduate
Art Therapy in the News
The State Press

Margaret Carlock-Russo, president of the American Art Therapy Association, said she has been working in the field of art therapy for over 25 years, initially inspired after learning about art therapy from a coworker at a nursing home. More art therapists have been working in the past several months, Carlock-Russo said, as more and more people recognize that artistic endeavors can act as an avenue for seeking psychological relief during the pandemic.

At a virtual ceremony earlier this month, NYU Steinhardt professors Ikuko Acosta and Marygrace Berberian received the American Art Therapy Association’s (AATA) Rawley Silver Research Award. The award is one of the highest honors in clinical art therapy research, providing funding for and honoring the professors’ work on an exploratory research project called ExplorArtPD. 

The management of a hospital in the Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) community of Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada are thanking health-care staff with a mural dedicated in their honour.
Tampa Bay Times

Licensed creative arts therapist Candace Rivela acted as facilitator, explaining what vision boarding is and how it can help people move toward a future they cannot yet see. She asked that we introduce ourselves and tell the group a little about our lives and why we had signed up for the workshop.

Art therapy programs will be implemented in up to 100 Tennessee nursing homes thanks to a $600,000 grant. The programs will help residents explore creativity in the hopes of improving autonomy and cognitive function. A research study will look at how residents' moods and behaviors change with the therapy and see if they rely less on psychotropic drugs over three years.
Cuyahoga Community College

VIDEO: Cuyahoga Community College’s Creative Arts/Art Therapy Departments' virtual exhibition of the 20th Annual Art and Healing Exhibition was called "Art of Empowerment: Social Justice, Mental Health, and the Arts."
In Your Area Newsroom

A remarkable story of human dignity and courage in the face of the most appalling oppression and suffering is about to be unveiled in Manchester. It is the lost journal of Marie Paneth who taught art therapy to the orphans of Auschwitz in the North West immediately after the war.
Pittsburgh Action News 4

VIDEO: Jasmine Cho, who is a registered art therapist, won a national television baking show, but her treats don't just satisfy a sweet tooth. Cho said she's known as "the cookie activist."
LASALLE College of the Arts Ltd
Naylor Association Solutions

The AATA's Art Therapy Today includes a digest of the most important news selected for the AATA from thousands of sources. Guest articles may be submitted to Publication of any guest article is at the sole discretion of the AATA. The opinions expressed and/or contents of guest articles, advertisements, and external links included in any AATA publication do not represent the positions or policies of the AATA. The AATA makes no warrenty or representation concerning the accuracy of such content.