May 6, 2020 | Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair


During these challenging times of coronavirus, we are all looking forward to an opportunity to see our colleagues and friends again. Join us at the American Art Therapy Association’s 51st Annual Conference to be held October 29 to November 1, 2020. We will strive to provide a healing and rejuvenating atmosphere to work through the trauma and isolation we have all experienced during the past few months. Now more than ever, we need each other and we need art therapy!

We invite you to make your plans to attend the conference this fall in Washington, DC. Early bird registration is now openRegistering early will ensure the lowest rates and the best selection of the sessions that require registration (Workshops and Advanced Practice Courses). The AATA team and Conference Committee continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and to develop contingency plans. We have introduced a new  refund policy to ease your mind about making plans to attend during these uncertain times. The safety and well-being of our members, attendees, and volunteers is of the upmost importance to us. We know that many are excited and eager about meeting in person, and we are working with the hotel to ensure that all appropriate precautionary measures will be taken. And, for those who are not able to join us, rest assured we will work to make content available virtually, regardless of whether we are able to meet in person or not. We are looking forward to learning, healing, and finding inspiration together as a community.

Flexibility. We have a brand new schedule this year, with the conference starting on a Thursday. To help you balance your personal and professional lives, we are offering flexible registration packages and we have revised our policy to be more family-friendly.

Learning. The conference offers more than 215 educational sessions that provide a rich learning environment for attendees to take away ideas, knowledge and inspiration to apply to their current positions, practices and professional development. The conference also provides continuing education. Both didactic and experiential learning can be found in the program. Here is a complete list of the different learning formats. So whether you learn directly from your peers while you network, attend a didactic session to hear the latest research and techniques in art therapy, or “learn by doing” with art supplies and directives, this conference provides something for everyone!

Inspiration. As previously announced, our featured keynote speaker is Candy Chang who will present on Thursday, October 29th at 1:00 pm.

Healing. We are also pleased to announce our Friday plenary session, Altered Altars: Collective Healing. Historically altars are known as raised sacred spaces in which sacrifices and offerings are placed to honor or worship. In a time in which so much is happening in our world and it is filled with loss and hardship many have found new ways in which to honor and sacrifice for the purpose of healing. This idea of an altered altar will join together the creative ways in which the DC community has begun collective healing through celebration and remembrance. This interactive panel will share the work they have done to create collective healing spaces and offer participants an opportunity to heal as well. Together we will develop a visual altar during the session. This session will be presented by Lindsey Vance, MA, ATR-BC, Manager, Visual Arts, DC Public Schools; Elizabeth Dale-Deines, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Aniekan Udofia, Artist/Muralist; Sarah Crappo, Community Engagement, National Building Museum; Bakari Ibrahim, Founder, The Creative School;  and Ronald Moten, Community Organizer Focusing on LGBTQ+ Youth.



More Announcements


News from the Washington, DC Local Arrangements Committee: Win a free 2020 Conference registration, hotel stay or other great DC prizes you can use during the 2020 Conference! Check out our 2020 AATA Conference Raffle Fundraiser and enter today.

Art Therapy Film Festival: Calling all filmmakers, you are invited to submit a short film for this annual festival that will be held at the conference in Washington, DC. Download the submission form here.

We look forward to sharing additional program highlights in upcoming communications and we hope to see you in Washington, DC this fall! #AATA2020