December 17, 2019


As 2019 comes to a close, we want to take a moment to say thank you to each and every member for making our 50th Anniversary Year a success!

Thank you to the 50th Anniversary Committee who helped with the year-long campaign, thank you to everyone who celebrated with us in-person at our Annual Conference in Kansas City, thank you to all who supported us online, using the #AATA50th on social media and contributing to our fundraising campaign.

Please scroll for highlights from our celebration!

Watch our 50th Collaborative Video that Brings the Celebration to Life



Thank you to our members and friends who participated in our first-ever collaborative video project via the SeenIt app and submitted more than 200 video clips for the celebration!

Testimonials from Supporters of Art Therapy

Thank you to all the art therapy supporters who took the time to send letters commending this milestone. Letters are linked below.


Highlights from our 2019 Conference 50 Years of Healing Through Art


AATA’s conference in Kansas City was full of opportunities to celebrate and reflect on our fiftieth year and look forward to our next fifty! Conference attendees were celebrating all week long — whether it was through learning at the Friday Plenary, 50 Years, Five Therapists, Five Cases: The Power of the Work We Do, or through snapping a photo at one of the many photo ops such as the step and repeat red carpet event or the closing Roaring 20’s party!

Scroll through some of our favorite photos and find even more on our Flickr page!


Michael Vance Toombs, painter, art activist, and founder and CEO of Storytellers Inc, facilitates the Multicultural Exchange forum, exploring the connection of creative place-making and participatory art making as the catalyst for bringing together communities to preserve legacy and bring about healing.

During the Friday Plenary, 50 Years, Five Therapists, Five Cases: The Power of the Work We Do,  panelists each shared the story of one case that had significant implications in their career and in the life of the client involved.

Attendees dress up in gold and take photos at the step and repeat during the 50th red carpet and social mixer event!

Pioneers of the field have a special conversation with attendees during the AATA Then, Now and in the Future panel.

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-3) took photos with attendees after sharing remarks on her work to improve access to high quality mental mental health care.

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-3) with members of the AATA Board

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-3) with local Kansas and Missouri art therapists

The milestone conference ended in a “roar” at the 1920’s themed closing party!


From the Archives


Thank you to all of our members, friends, and chapters for sending in their photos, highlights, and content. Download the slideshow featuring over 50 years of moments from the archives that was prominently displayed during conference.


Explore #AATA50th

#AATA50th was used all year long to celebrate this milestone year. Explore the conversations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or below!

View this post on Instagram

For my non-art therapists, may I introduce you to #BruceMoon . Bruce Moon is a legend and pioneer of the #arttherapy profession. He believes art making is spiritual and sacred act, art is soul, and creating art creates soul. He has multiple influential books in our community, covering the subjects of #arttherapyethics #artbasedgrouptherapy #existentialarttherapy #responseart #metaphor and many more. He is an honorary life member of #aata which is the most prestigious honor in the field. Listening to his talk and watching him perform as a musician was a moving experience. I am honored to have met him at my first conference and his 43rd at the #aata50th . #transpersonalarttherapy #transpersonalarttherapist #arttherapy #arttherapist #professoremeritus #mountmaryuniversity #existential #art #legend

A post shared by Dakotah Acosta (@dakorazon) on


What’s Next?


We can’t wait to see how our community will continue to flourish in the next 50 years, starting in 2020!