November 15, 2022 | AATA National Office Staff

After three long years, we were thrilled to host our first IN-PERSON conference in Minneapolis this month! More than 600 people attended the three-day conference, packed with sessions, from early morning coffee with the Board to an evening visit to the Highpoint Center for Printmaking. We believe Dr. Henry Bowen receives the prize for coming the furthest distance (from South Australia!)… and the most circuitous route!

Together, in person, we made art, joined in conversation during the 100+ sessions and workshops, and bolstered our art therapy community.

  • Read (and share) Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s proclamation of Art Therapy Week.
  • Check out the AMAZING Member Art Exhibition slideshow displayed across the conference space and before the plenary sessions. 
  • Ted Meyer’s keynote remarks, “How the Art-Cart-Lady Saved My Life,” resonated with us all, and we are delighted that he is also our keynote speaker for the 2022 Virtual Conference! Ted works to highlight and bring attention to other people’s stories of health and healing. His “Scarred for Life” series visually tells the stories of other people who have been through major traumas. 
  • AATA chapters from across the country met to discuss licensure goals and coalition-building strategies for 2023. Americans for the Arts’s Jay Dick, AATA Board Member Liz Hlavek, and AATA Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager Tyler Kirby also let an advocacy session with the Assembly of Chapters. If you didn’t get a chance to meet with other art therapists in your state, or with Tyler Kirby from the National Office, to discuss licensure in 2023, please contact him at
  • We honored our members during the 2022 Awards Ceremony that included a can’t-miss speech by this year’s Honorary Lifetime Member, Dr. Dave Gussak. He has promised us new remarks for the Virtual Awards Ceremony on Dec. 13th. Register now!
  • We also remembered our friends and colleagues in the AATA community who passed away this year.  
  • The Open Art Studio was a wonderful place for attendees to learn new skills connect with each other! (Franz Spohn was there demonstrating with Faber Castell materials.)
  • Maggie, the Art Therapy Bus, was parked outside the hotel for tours!  
  • And the Local Arrangements Committee tossed the conference to next year’s team based in sunny San Diego! Don’t miss their introductory video!

In case you missed any of this, please join us for our Virtual Conference, Dec. 17-18!

If you weren’t able to travel to meet us in person, or if you were in Minneapolis, but missed a session because it conflicted with another session you attended, then join us next month! AATA’s 2022 Virtual Conference will include content from the in-person conference, recorded specifically for our dynamic, new virtual platform. Plus, the conference will include brand new presentations, interactive roundtable sessions for Shared Interest Groups and networking opportunities, and live Q&A with presenters and a chat function for attendees.

Register today! In-person attendees will receive a discount of 40% (or more!) on registration fees for the virtual conference!

Thank you all once again for attending! We pulled together some photos from attendees and staff as well as from social media. Thank you for sharing your art and memories with us.

“See you” next month at the 2022 Virtual Conference for more opportunities to learn, connect, and share!