March 14, 2019 | By NCCATA and NOAH


In order to foster increased mutual understanding, create open dialogue, and develop strategies for collaboration, the Boards of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) and the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, Inc. (NCCATA) held a joint meeting on the 23rd of February in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by The Music Settlement.



After sharing the mission, vision and overview of each organization, the collected participants were invited to draw a symbol of themselves as artists and then draw a symbol representing their practice of listening to the voices of those they were there to represent at the meeting. This outward sharing set the tone for a spirit of communication, respect, and collegiality. The small drawings were then used to create mosaics.

Lively small- and large-group conversations focused on topics such as common goals shared by the professional disciplines of creative arts therapists and artists in health, as well as the distinctions between them across the continuum of care and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all of our professions. The song Imagine was used as a springboard to introduce and discuss next steps in successful collaboration rooted in best practices between creative arts therapists and artists in health.



Above are photos of group artwork created at the end of the meeting, as well as of the collective attendees. Both groups are interested in letting others know about the work they are doing together. They look forward to continued collaboration toward a future where equitable access to the arts for individuals, families and caregivers in person-centered healthcare is available to all.