October 7, 2021 | Christianne Strang, PhD, ATR-BC

To ensure that the AATA leadership fully and fairly represents our members, we need broad engagement from you in the elections process. Online voting is open from Sept. 29 – Oct. 29, 2021. We’ve compiled FAQs on the voting process and an overview of information about board leadership responsibilities to help inform your decision. Please contact the National Office at (888) 290-0878 or info@arttherapy.org if you have any questions or need assistance. 

Why is voting so important?

  • Our community benefits from positive leadership.

The Nominations Committee has worked to ensure that the candidate slate consists of well-qualified candidates who care about our field and are willing to do the work needed to help advance the profession. 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.

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

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. This is your chance to provide direct input into the leadership of the association. The higher the voter turnout, the more the community as a whole is represented by the board.  

  • Your vote plays a vital role in advancing our profession.

Each candidate has answered questions about their vision for AATA’s future. Please take the time to read those questions and answers so that you can use your vote to select candidates that best represent your vision of the organization and help advance the profession in those areas that are most important to you, your clients, and the community.  

Where can I find information on the candidates?

The Candidate Slate, available on MyAATA, provides candidate biographies and answers to the candidate questions for those running 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 an e-mail notice from “announcement@associationvoting.com”  on September 29th, 2021, with instructions and a link to the online voting site. The email subject line is “Cast Your Vote in the 2021 American Art Therapy Association Election”. 

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 AATA. If you believe that you are eligible to vote, but have not received a ballot, please contact the National Office at (888) 290-0878 or info@arttherapy.org as soon as possible

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 receive a confirmation email from “support@associationvoting.com” with a record of your vote. 

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.

Board members are required to uphold 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 which define the legal purpose of the organization’s existence, and finally the association by-laws and ethics.  The AATA’s purpose is embodied by our Mission Statement, “To advance art therapy as a regulated mental health profession and build a community that supports art therapists throughout their careers.”

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

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 of “A world where everyone has access to professional art therapy for improved mental health and well-being.”

AATA exists for all its 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 regular virtual meetings of the membership. 

Your choices will help to ensure that the AATA Board represents all of our members and works toward advancing the profession of art therapy.