August 8, 2019


Elections are open. Get your vote in today!  To ensure that the AATA community fully and fairly represents our members, we need broad engagement from you in the elections process. The AATA’s Board of Directors should truly represent your interests, your needs, and your clients – so make sure that your voice is heard by participating in the annual elections. Information about online voting has been released, and elections are open now through August 31, 2019. Read on for FAQ’s on the voting process and board leadership.

Please contact the National Office at (888) 290-0878 or as soon as possible if you need assistance or if you would like a paper ballot.

Where can I find information on the candidates?

The Candidate Slate, available on MyAATA, provides the biographies and answers the to the candidate questions for those running for two-year terms (2019-2021) with the AATA for the following positions:

  • President-Elect (1)
  • Secretary (1)
  • Board of Directors (3)
  • Nominating Committee (1)

How do I vote?

All voting members were sent a notice via e-mail on August 1 with a link to the online voting site and instructions, and a reminder was emailed on August 6th. Members that requested a paper ballot, or those that do not have e-mail, should have received a ballot in the mail. Candidates are listed alphabetically below the position for which they are applying on the ballot.

Who can vote?

Voting is open to all Professional, Credentialed Professional, Retired Professional, New Professional, and Honorary Lifetime Members of the AATA.

Why is voting so important?

  1. The art therapy community depends on you to ensure direct representation.

The AATA is made up of its member community, and that means you! By voting in elections, your voice and viewpoint in the community are directly represented.

  1. Our community benefits from positive leadership.

The AATA’s Board makes crucial, mission-focused decisions about the future of the profession that directly affect you. We need your participation in identifying and choosing the leadership.

  1. Your expertise plays a vital role in advancing our profession.

From education to licensure, the art therapy profession is growing and advancing, and our Board of Directors leads this process. We know that AATA’s Professional members have expertise that the Board of Directors counts on to make informed decisions. Bring that experience and expertise to the elections process to advance the profession!

How do I know my vote went through?

After completing your ballot on the election platform, you will be taken to a screen thanking you for casting your ballot and confirming that your votes have been recorded. You will also see a new ribbon in your MyAATA member profile. The ribbon simply confirms that you’ve voted – no details or information about your vote will be shared or available to view anywhere.



What are the responsibilities of a board member in an association?

As members go to the electronic polls to cast their votes, we thought it a good time to share a bit about what it means to be a volunteer board member and the many responsibilities and leadership requirements to meet the commitment to guide a constantly growing, robust profession and to develop vibrant professional experience for our members.

These requirements include both fundamental legal and ethical obligations.  In terms of legal structure, nonprofit associations, like the AATA, operate under the authority of what is called the “Hierarchy of Documents.”  The first obligation is to follow Federal Law, followed by the State Law, the association’s Articles of Incorporation, and finally the by-laws, which define the legal purpose of the organization’s existence.  That purpose is embodied by the nonprofit’s Mission Statement.  In the case of the AATA, that mission is essentially to advance the profession of art therapy and is fully defined as, “to advocate for expansion of access to professional art therapists and lead the nation in the advancement of art therapy as a regulated mental health and human services profession.”

The legal structure that guides any nonprofit constitutes the fundamental rules of operation.  However, success requires much more than merely checking these boxes.

What are the qualities of an effective board member?  How are decisions made on behalf of the organization?

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) provides research-based best-practices for non-profit associations. ASAE identifies the qualities of the most successful professional associations as those that are guided by these fundamental commitments:

  • to purpose (mission, service delivery to members),
  • to analyses and feedback (data, member input), and
  • to action.

7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t: Revised and Updated Edition. ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, ASAE Association Management Press (July 9, 2013)

These are the type of commitments we seek in our elected representatives.

Board leadership also requires individual elected volunteers to exercise good governance and leadership.  Among the characteristics of an effective leader are independent and critical thinking, weighing of risk versus opportunity, data analysis, foresight, understanding of the intrinsic interconnectivity of all strategic priorities, and the ability to see the long-term and “big picture” to secure a sustainable future, all weighed through the lens of the Association’s mission and values.

How does the Board represent the membership?

Ultimately, at the core of our professional membership association are the dues-paying members who expect this association to enhance individuals’ careers while advancing the profession for all, and to help us meet our vision the “The services of licensed, culturally proficient art therapists are available to all individuals, families, and communities”.

As the AATA exists for members, board members must take into account the voices and needs of all members, which include the majority and the minority, the vocal and the silent; all must be represented.

While AATA’s elections are a major way for AATA members to have their voices heard, the board has ensured means for members to communicate throughout the year, both informally through contacting the AATA national office and formally through our expanded resolutions process.*

The AATA board has worked hard over the years to become a best-practice board, one in which all members participate fully, contributing their individual expertise and insights, one that shares a collective goal, which is the daily fulfillment of our Mission, guided by the organization’s ethics and values.

We hope to continue representing all of our members and understand that successful and committed board members are essential to a strong association.  We hope you will keep this in mind as you vote to select new members to serve on the board this fall.

* Members are encouraged to share thoughts and feedback throughout the year. Find the Resolutions Form here. Please also join us at the Annual Meeting of the Membership during our 50th conference in Kansas City, MO at 12:15-1:45 pm on Friday November 1, 2019 where the President and Executive Director report on the strategic plan and share major updates.  

A message of inspiration 



Nominating Sub-Committee Chair Gioia Chilton, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT, CSAC, reminds AATA professional members to make their voices heard by voting, August 1-31.