Program Highlights

Learning Abounds! The conference offers more than 230 educational sessions that provide a rich learning environment for attendees to take away ideas, knowledge and inspiration to apply to their current positions, practices and professional development. The conference also provides continuing educationBoth didactic and experiential learning can be found in the programHere is a complete list of the different learning formats. So whether you learn directly from your peers while you network, attend a didactic session to hear the latest research and techniques in art therapy, or "learn by doing" with art supplies and directives, this conference provides something for everyone!

A new format we are featuring this year is Pop-Up Learning. This style of learning provides both pre-arranged topics, as well as the opportunity for attendees to post a "pop-up" session on the whiteboard to invite others to join. The sessions are more spontaneous, less structured, and more participatory. They also provide a fantastic opportunity for enhanced networking

Get Creative! One of the unique features of our conference is art-making. Take time during the conference for creative inspiration. Visit the Open Art Studio, where you'll find art supplies generously donated by Blick Art Materials and create some art!

ENHANCE YOUR CONFERENCE EXPERIENCE

In addition to learning in educational sessions, there are so many additional ways for attendees to really get engaged including:

  • Submitting an original short film for the American Art Therapy Association's Film Festival. Art therapy filmmakers are invited to use the medium of film, with its numerous possibilities to address this year's conference theme. Selected films will be featured during a panel session at the conference. Submissions are due August 1Download the submission form to learn more.
  • Submitting your artwork (digitally) for the Members' Digital Art Exhibition. Before each plenary session this beautiful exhibit is shown as attendees enjoy music and a cup of coffee or tea. It's a peaceful and inspirational way to start your day. Submissions are due October 1, and we encourage AATA Chapters to create art together and submit as well! Download the submission form to learn more.
  • Attending the Newcomers Session on Wednesday, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Members of the Conference Committee and the AATA Board of Directors will be there to meet you at this fun session. You'll get an overview of the conference, hear tips to make your first conference a smashing success, and meet new friends too!
  • Meeting new friends at the President's Opening Reception on Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
    The reception will be held in the original and historic lobby of the Muehlebach Hotel (tower of the current Marriott hotel). It will be a fantastic setting to celebrate our 50th anniversary! Enjoy drinks (cash bar) and light fare (appetizers) as you mingle with both new and old friends. If you purchased a Full Conference Registration Package, a ticket to this session is included. If you purchased an Economy Package or Daily Package you can add this ticket a-la-carte.
  • Attending a special event on Thursday. An Evening with Rising Stars and Legacy Members. Walk the red carpet, take a photo with an art therapy legend, wear something "gold" to celebrate our 50th and let's glitz and glam it up! This event is free and all attendees are invited. The event begins with a social mixer followed by some of our rising stars receiving their scholarships, awards, and honors. After the award presentations you'll participate in a special session called Conversations with Legacy Members: AATA Then, Now and in the Future. This will truly be a special evening!
  • Participating in the Friday Evening Night on the Town! This free event will feature an Amazing Art Race: Scavenger Hunt, which will give attendees the opportunity to visit some of the local galleries and establishments on a walking tour near the hotel. There will also be some prizes for the Scavenger Hunt winners! The event will conclude with our very own Bruce Moon, entertaining us with his music! 
  • Giving Back to KC. While we're in KC our LAC has designed an opportunity for attendees to create a button with original artwork. The completed buttons will be given to one of the local nonprofit organizations that serves youth...and they love buttons!
  • Remebering the lives and work of art therapists who have passed since our last conference at the annual Memorial Ceremony. All attendees are invited to attend on Saturday at 5:30 pm. If you have information to be included at this event, please email conferenceinfo@arttherapy.org.
  • Celebrating at the After Party! Come join your friends and colleagues at the closing event on Saturday from 8:00 to 11:00 pm, where we'll dance the night away and enjoy a cash bar and light fare. The Theme for the After Party is the "Roaring 20's" so come dressed in your flapper gear and get ready to party! If you purchased a Full Conference Registration Package, a ticket to this event is included. If you purchased an Economy or Daily Package you can add this ticket a-la-carte.

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