April 9, 2020 | Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair


Registering early will ensure the lowest rates, and the best selection of the sessions that require registration (Workshops and Advanced Practice Courses).


We invite you to attend the American Art Therapy Association’s 51st Annual Conference to be held in Washington, DC, October 29 to November 1, 2020. Early bird registration is now open, and we have a lot of news to share, from our keynote speaker to new flexible child care and cancellation policies, to local announcements, so read on!

We have a brand new schedule this year, with the conference starting on a Thursday. Be sure to review the Schedule-at-a-Glance, before you register or book travel to ensure your arrival and departure dates fit the new conference program flow.

We are offering flexible registration packages (including Daily and 2-Day) to help you balance your personal and professional life. Explore our registration offerings to find the best fit! We have also changed our policy for children at the conference. We understand that working parents have special challenges in attending conferences, so we’ve changed the policy to be more family-friendly, and we’ve also included some child care resources and fun family events and attractions in our program. Washington, DC is an amazing place for children and adults offering unparalleled history, culture and arts! Learn more on the conference website.

We have revised our Refund and Cancellation Policy. At this time, with the conference 6 months away, we do not have any plans to cancel or reschedule our conference. However, to ease your mind about the current situation, we have revised our policy so that if the situation changes and the in-person conference would need to be cancelled, we’ve got you covered. The policy offers either a full refund or a partial refund with the options of diverting your payment to either a virtual event, or even your membership renewal. Learn more here.


Introducing Candy Chang, Our Featured Keynote Speaker


Candy Chang is an artist who believes our shared spaces can play a vital role in reshaping how we see one another and ourselves. Her participatory public art invites people to share their inner lives through anonymous, handwritten responses that form an honest portrait of our emotional health as individuals and as a community. After the death of a loved one, she created the public art project Before I Die, which reimagines the ways the walls of our cities can help us grapple with mortality and meaning as a society today. The Atlantic called it one of the most creative community projects ever, and over 5,000 Before I Die walls have since been created by residents in over 75 countries. Her recent work includes a museum installation that collected and displayed over 50,000 anxieties and hopes from people in New York City, and a public ritual in Los Angeles for reflecting on resentment, judgment, and doubt. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Urban Innovation Fellow, and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and her work has been exhibited in museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, and Tate Modern. The Opening Plenary is on Thursday, October 29, at 1:00 pm.


Special Notes


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.

Advertising, Sponsorship and Exhibiting Opportunities: Get your program, educational institution, product or service in front of our niche audience. Click here to review the 2020 Prospectus. Early bird rates for Exhibits end on April 30, 2020.

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.