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In response to the results of a recent survey of potential conference attendees and new District of Columbia public health guidelines, the American Art Therapy Association has determined that we must pivot our fall conference to be fully virtual (rather than also offering an in-person option). The safety and well-being of our members and conference attendees has remained central throughout AATA’s 2020 conference decision-making process. While we are disappointed that we cannot gather in-person this year, we look forward to connecting as a community online. We are excited about offering education and networking opportunities - and providing all attendees with flexibility and a library of on-demand learning.
At this time, we have temporarily suspended registration for the conference. Stay tuned for more details about this year's virtual conference in the coming week! If you have already registered for the conference, or are scheduled to present, you will receive a personalized email communication from the AATA National Office within a week. We thank you for your patience in advance.
Louvenia Jackson, Ph.D., LMFT, ATR-BC
Why do we need racial diversity, equity, and inclusion? Let’s think about a muslin canvas frame. Many painting frames are created for white canvases. These muslin canvases are primed with white gesso to prepare them for the colors that will impact their base coats. When white paint hits a white canvas it is absorbed, blending with its background. It is reaffirmed. When color is added to a white canvas, it becomes a focal point while still being bound by the white canvas and frame. With little color, the frame and background dominates, dictating where the eye or field of view becomes relevant. With lots of color disbursed throughout the canvas, many perspectives are shown, leading the viewer to find what they are drawn to, finding their relation to the canvas, again within the confines of the frame.
What if the creation existed on a colored background, with many colors depicted on it? The narrative of the art changes, allowing for different perspective to arise with complexity, intrigue, and without colonization.
AATA Multicultural Committee
AATA's Multicultural Committee is launching a digital art project, the Healing Quilt, for which we encourage art therapy professionals, students, local chapters, and art therapy academic programs to contribute a digital copy of an artwork. Fill out this form to submit your entry!
We realize there is a need to address the hurt, pain, and unease within our art therapy community and society at large, as we all try to come to terms with the life altering impact of both a worldwide pandemic and nationwide pattern of systemic racism and abuse. These events speak to us as art therapists. As a way to respond and reflect on the issues that have been thrown into sharper relief by these crises, we hope you will submit your artwork for this shared creation.
U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) introduced a resolution to designate the month of July as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month. The American Art Therapy Association strongly supports the goals of this bicameral resolution to bring awareness to the disparities in the incidence of mental health-related challenges faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and to encourage Congress to act to address the systemic drivers of those disparities through culturally informed mental health services. Find the House version here (H.Res. 1064) and the Senate version here (S.Res. 657).
Have you visited our COVID-19 Resources page recently? You can find updates on Coronavirus and other health-related legislation, scroll through art therapists’ artwork, and explore a variety of topics related to the pandemic.
From the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, AATA has joined our coalitions in mental health, specialized instructional support personnel (SISPs) in schools, and the arts in congressional COVID-19 relief package negotiations and working with federal agencies. A list of COVID-19 related Mental Health Liason Coalition letters can be found here. In addition, AATA has signed on to the following recent letters:
The National Resource Center of the National Endowment for the Arts has recently launched new Creative Forces page full of resouces for clinicians, researchers, artists, and community art providers. The hub aims to support the NEA Military Healing Arts Network "to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life of trauma-exposed military service members and veterans, as well as their families and caregivers, by increasing knowledge of and access to clinical creative arts therapies and community arts engagement." Available are media, models/frameworks, and publications and presentations on art therapy and other creative art therapies, ranging from general community to telearts/telehealth engagement. The page also includes an art gallery of work from this network.
Two articles from the current special issue on art therapy and disability studies of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association will be publically available for free until September 30:
-Embodied Practice: Reflections of a Physically Disabled Art Therapist in Social and Medical Disability Spaces
Journal cover artwork: "Whitman and the Meandering River" by Jennifer Radil
We are so pleased to be able to welcome our members to AATA’s new Student Corner, an online community forum created especially for student involvement. Students are the future of art therapy, and we look forward in being able to share in your insights and discussions about the student experience in art therapy! Although the Student Corner centers the student experience, members who are at other points in their art therapy career‒for example, retired, or professional‒are welcome to join and participate in the discussions. If you’re an AATA student member, come introduce yourself on the forum and begin connecting with fellow students today!
The 2020 election season is here! Online voting for the Annual Election will commence on August 10. All voting members will receive a notice with voting instructions via email. Find more information about elections and this year’s ballot, including the 2020 Candidate Slate, on MyAATA. All American Art Therapy Association members with a professional membership (New Professional, Professional, Credentialed Professional, Retired Professional) are eligible to vote in the AATA’s annual elections. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Art Therapy in the News
Polio and Cancer Survivor Mickie McGraw Channels the Power of Creative Arts to Heal Broken Bodies and Minds
The ASCO Post
Pioneering art therapist Mickie McGraw, a polio and cancer survivor, speaks with guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, about her life's work of sharing how creativity can enhance the lives of people facing injury or illness in this edition of the Living a Full Life series.
In the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd, Gabrielle Richardson, a model, activist and art collective curator, asked, “What happens to protestors when they come home? What is happening to those who can’t come out [to protest], and who are suffering these injustices in silence? Who are those who are extending the arms of care?" Since then, she’s hoping to provide answers with the Brown Girl Butterfly Project, which is dedicated to healing, nurturing, and “soft protest” in the Black and Brown womxn and nonbinary communities.
The Herald Times
VIDEO: The Lakeshore Artists Guild has partnered with the Rahr-West Art Museum and Basil Ishkabibble's Art Gallery for “What We Made.” Since mid-March, we have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, been isolated from friends and family, witnessed and/or participated in the Black Lives Matter movement, suffered from job loss and economic stability, and have generally just been trying to make it through the day. During these times, many artists have disengaged and immersed themselves in their work.
Click on Detroit
VIDEO: We've all dealt with stress at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have turned to creative outlets like crafts, baking and puzzles to cope. But sometimes, these aren't enough to relieve the stress. Shazia Sidiqui, licensed art therapist and counselor behind the studio Let’s Art About It in Clawson, is offering virtual art therapy classes to help people channel their stress through art with help from a professional.
Wicked Local Franklin
PHOTO GALLERY: Every week, Wicked Local Franklin is sharing photos and artwork from members of the community. This week, a series of artwork by Elisa Sweig is being featured. Sweig is a local artist and art therapist who has lived in Franklin for 25 years.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.