Celebrating 50 Years of Healing Through Art

For five decades, the American Art Therapy Association has advocated for access to professional art therapists and the advancement of art therapy as a regulated mental health and human services profession. We’ve accomplished much together on behalf of our profession—from continuing to educate the public about art therapy and advocating for licensure, to responding to national policy decisions that harm the most vulnerable. But there’s more to be done to expand access to professional art therapists!


Join Us as We Celebrate our 50th Year!

Read What People are Saying

“Americans for the Arts has been honored to work with AATA over these many years but most recently in our work to use art therapy to treat members of the military continuum as they battle PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and other similar medical conditions. Your work and our collective efforts have no doubt saved lives and increased the respect for arts therapies.”

Read the rest of the letter here.


“The Red Pencil team would like to express its heartfelt congratulations to the American Art Therapy Association on its 50th anniversary. We honor AATA for its commitment in advancing the field of art therapy and look forward to witnessing AATA continuously stride towards its goals and achieving more in the next 50 years! We wish the association success in its future endeavors!”

Read the rest of the letter here.


“Prescott College is proud to stand with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in support of its mission of advancing art therapy. Every day, we see the power of art therapy among the communities our students come in contact with and serve.”

Read the rest of the letter here.


“This fine non-profit professional organization is dedicated to the advancement of art therapy as a regulated mental health and human services profession, and its accomplishments are a justifiable source of pride and an outstanding reflection not only on the program itself but also on its astute management, on its hard-working staff and volunteers, and on the American Art Therapy Association as a whole.”

Read the rest of the letter here.


“The College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University is proud to stand strong in the mission of AATA which operates in synchrony with our own mission: the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, and the service of faith and the promotion of justice. On behalf of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University, I congratulate the American Art Therapy Association on 50 years of healing through art!”

Read the rest of the letter here.


 “Family members are touched by the thoughtful and delicate displays of months of art therapy sessions with those who have a diagnosis of dementia. Art therapy students have brought energy and ideas to our organization, and have enriched our programs.”

Read the rest of the letter here.

“Congratulations to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) on 50 years of healing through art! Thanks to the group of art therapists who joined together to help raise awareness and develop their profession. As the result of their vision, the AATA stands as the leading organization dedicated to expanding access to professional art therapists and advancing art therapy as an established mental health treatment and human services profession.”

Read the rest of the letter here.



Scroll Through AATA Memories

We’re compiling AATA milestones and historic moments. Stay tuned for more!

Watch AATA Member Videos

Keep checking back for new videos! In the meantime, create a video sharing your art therapy story! Download the Seenit Capture app on your iPhone or via Google Play and join our project called #AATA50th. (You can use aata50 to search for the project and as the login code.) Then take a video telling your story about why you’re passionate about art therapy and AATA! We’ll be combining videos to create fun montages throughout our 50th year.

Celebrate at the Annual Conference!

We hope that you will join us for an in-person celebration of our 50th anniversary at this year’s annual conference! The conference will take place Wednesday, October 30Sunday, November 3, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. Please see the photos below for a preview of the plenary sessions and location, and please save the dates!

The Call for Proposals is now closed.

Onsite Registration is open until Wednesday, October 23, 2019, then visit us in KC! Register here.

Our three plenary sessions include our opening plenary session titled Breaking the Chains of Racial Trauma in Therapy, presented by Dr. Angela Roman Clack; Cheryl Doby-Copeland, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC, LMFT, HLM; Jordan Potash, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT; Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT; and Lindsey Vance, MA, ATR-BC.

On Friday, November 1, join us for an inspirational plenary titled 50 Years, Five Therapists, Five Cases: The Power of the Work We Do.  The panelists include Paige Asawa, PhD, ATR-BC, LMFT; Deirdre Cogan, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ATCS; Martha Haeseler, MA, ATR-BC; P. Gussie Klorer, PhD, HLM, ATR-BC, LCSW, LCPC; and Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT.

Our closing plenary will be held on Saturday, November 2, from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. and will feature Dr. Essam Daod. Following Dr. Daod’s keynote he will participate in a Master Class, Art Therapy with Refugee and Migrant Populations, moderated by Lynn Kapitan, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM and including Jennifer Beasley, DAT, MA, ATR-BC; Heidi Bardot, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT; and Holly Feen-Calligan, PhD, ATR-BC. Find more information here.

We hope to see you this fall in Kansas City! Hotel and travel information can be found here.

Share your Art Therapy Story

The AATA wouldn’t be at our 50th year without our members, our mental health allies, and the communities we serve! We invite you to share your experiences with and reflections about art therapy to help us raise awareness and advocate on behalf of our profession. If you’re a practitioner, we hope you’ll share advice you have for the next generation of art therapists. (We asked current art therapy students for questions they’d want answered by the pioneers and long-time practitioners in our field!) Find the questions here.

If you’d like to share artwork about the power of art therapy, or photos to help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary, please upload them here. (You’ll be asked to sign in with your Google account to upload files.)

Join the #AATA50th Conversation on Social Media

Throughout the year, we are posting art therapy milestones and related themes using #AATA50th. We invite you to post your own related content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #AATA50th. Be sure to follow and tag us at @arttherapyorg on Twitter or Instagram at @arttherapyorg! We not only honor our members and the work they do helping communities they serve, but aim to raise awareness of art therapy overall.

Donate to the 50th Anniversary Campaign

Will you help us make 2019 an even bigger year? Your donation will support our work to:

  • Educate the public about the benefits of art therapy.
  • Advocate for licensure for art therapists. The AATA’s chapters are launching campaigns supporting state licensure legislation in 13 states in 2019!
  • Fund trauma recovery grants to help art therapists serve communities impacted by natural disasters and traumatic events.
  • Support art therapy research through grants, publications and conferences.
  • Make diversity, equity and inclusion a core priority.
  • Provide scholarships to art therapy students and new professionals.

AATA members can also set up their own fundraising page! Creating a personalized fundraising page will enable you to share why art therapy is important to you and the communities you serve as an art therapist. Research has proven that a personal story is more compelling than statistics when asking people to donate money. Then share your page with your friends and networks via email or social media. (You can always share our main fundraising page, of course!)

Connect with a Local Chapter

Did you know there are AATA chapters in 38 states? You can find details about each chapter here. Or follow them on social media!

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