Registration for 2021 has closed. See you next year!
ITA’s 5th Annual Integrated
Creative Arts Therapy Conference
Our annual conference affords professionals and students an opportunity to connect and learn about clinical work, research, training, and representation within art, dance/movement, drama and music therapies.
Expressing the Unspeakable: Bringing Taboos to the Surface, will explore traditionally taboo subjects, such as race, money, politics, sex, religion, and ability. In reflection on the events of 2020, we are now including current and relevant topics: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disparities, healthcare access, anti-Asian racism, policing, white supremacy, and failed leadership.
Opening Panel Presentation
Coast to Coast: COVID-19 Racism
Infected My Workplace
Art therapists of color will explore the ways COVID-19 exposed racial inequity in their workplaces across three different systems and in two different states within the U.S. Presenters will also share the ways in which economic disparity, limited health care access, and failed leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed systemic issues.
Rana is a Lebanese-American woman bringing first and foremost, her grandmother’s teachings of altruism, universality and advocacy into her work. She lived most of her life in Lebanon, and Art Therapy was a great surprise that she stumbled upon during one of the hardest times of her life. For the past 9 years, through internships, and clinical experiences, she has been working with individuals of all cultures and ages in NYC. She feels lucky to have had her art therapy journey engulfed with rich and diverse life experiences from multiple cultures around the world. Working in schools, universities, hospitals, medical programs, and child welfare; every client, patient, and student has made an impact through her sessions and lessons. Recently, Rana has balanced a fulltime job as a Clinical Supervisor at a Medical program, an adjunct professor at a Brooklyn university, and as a group art therapist, working with vulnerable children, and female veterans. She is an advocate of knowledge, and hopes to plant seeds in safe spaces that may take root and grow into healthy coping skills to use in this whirlwind that we call life.
Lady is a first-generation Filipina-American and a Los Angeles native. She holds a masters in Art Therapy from School of Visual Arts New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in California. She has 6 years of clinical experience using art-based interventions with adolescents, transitional-age youth (TAY), LGBTQIA+ folx, adults, and families. Lady has worked in a variety of settings including duo-diagnosed patients at a hospital outpatient program, families involved with ACS/DCFS, adolescents in short term treatment programs, clients in a prison setting, and unhoused youth/TAY youth in a residential program. Throughout her career, her focus has always been client-centered, empowering them to find their authentic self in not just a safe space but a “brave” space. As a woman of color, Lady is a strong advocate to de-stigmatize mental health especially in the BIPOC community, where healing through therapy should be easily accessible and not just a privilege. When she is off-the-clock, you can find Lady spending time with her two silly dogs or trying a new ice cream or boba flavor supporting her favorite local community spots.
Javere is a Jamaican-American art therapist, who’s work centers cultural identity, and coping with trauma. He currently works in a psychiatric hospital in NYC, where he teaches high-risk patients how to use art to manage their mental health. Recently, his role has expanded: he works alongside a team of clinicians to provide mental health relief to first responders, and provides virtual therapy to clients in outpatient services. Over the years he’s developed didactic workshops at the Arthur Ashe Foundation, on how symptoms of mental health may present on social media, and ways to cope with social media. He has provided virtual wellness workshops to a global audience at TED Education, and locally at the Brooklyn Museum. Javere has also worked with varying communities impacted by gun violence; namely, the Sandy Hook mass shooting and the Charleston Church massacre, and children impacted by gun violence in Brownsville. Javere relaxes by consuming pop culture and race politics for breakfast and creates thought provoking illustrations for the ‘gram by night.
Meet our 2021 Keynote Conference Speaker
Britton Williams, MA, RDT, LCAT
Britton Williams, MA, RDT, LCAT, holds a master’s degree in Drama Therapy (NYU), and is a registered drama therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings including: schools, residential treatment facilities, domestic violence shelters, day treatment programs, and acute care. She currently works in private practice in New York City with adults and adolescents.
Britton’s work also extends to non-clinical settings. In this capacity, she uses drama therapeutic techniques with organizations, companies, schools, and universities to help guide and facilitate discussions on: cultural humility and awareness; implementing creativity in the workday for increased employee engagement, team-building, and productivity; and self-care.
Britton has published and presented on: the impact of assumptions, biases, and stereotypes on individuals, relationships and communities; creative and embodied approaches to clinicians’ self-assessment; and developing a relational-role theory framework and protocol. She is interested in processes that allow students and clinicians to use drama therapeutic and other creative interventions to illuminate and challenge their implicit assumptions in support of just practice. Britton is pursuing her doctoral degree in the PhD Program in Social Welfare at the Graduate Center (CUNY) where she will be a member of the inaugural Mellon Humanities Public Fellows cohort.
Introducing Affinity Groups
Akash Bhatia, ITA Music Therapist and Conference Co-Chair speaks about the Affinity Groups we will be launched in 2021. ITA’s conference committee is set to grow this years conference offerings of Affinity Groups for 2021.
Attendees of Color Affinity Group: Friday 12:45-1:45 pm CT
Facilitated by Kyla Marie Gilmore, LCPC, BC-DMT
Kyla Marie is a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (IL). Recently, she joined Communities In Schools of Chicago (CIS) as a Field Supervisor with the goal of helping students succeed in school. Prior to that she spent the last 10 years as Coordinator of Creative Arts Therapy Department at Riveredge Hospital, where she also worked as Service Excellence Training and Weekend Administrator. She has experience working in residential and outpatient settings. Kyla is passionate about professional development and community based mental health and provides trainings on trauma stewardship, dance/movement therapy, self-care, and multi-cultural competence.
LGBTQIA+ Therapist Affinity Group: Saturday 12:15 – 1:15 pm CT
Facilitated by Zak Van Den Berg
Zachary D. Van Den Berg (he/him/they/them) is pursuing his Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy from Adler University in Chicago, IL and received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC). Currently, he is President of the Adler Art Therapy Student Association, founder of the international online forums Art Therapy Students Associated and Queer Creative Arts Therapies, a member on the Multicultural Committee and the Membership Committee of the American Art Therapy Association, a Conference Intern for Special Projects for the American Art Therapy Association, and volunteer coordinator for Expressive Media’s Film Library. He is currently interning at the Center on Halsted, an LGBTQ+ community center in Chicago.
Sitting with Our Monsters: Process and Accountability Group for White Attendees
Facilitated by Lizzie McAdam, RDT/BCT, LCAT and Alexis Powell, MA, RDT, LCAT
Lizzie McAdam (she/her/hers), RDT/BCT, LCAT is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), and Board Certified Trainer (BCT). She is currently the Director of Counseling and Case Management at the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ youth services agency. She is also an adjunct faculty member at New York University in the Drama Therapy Department and is a board member of the Drama Therapy Review.
Lizzie’s work focuses on using creativity and trauma-informed practices to support LGBTQIA+ young adults in exploring who they are, who they want to become, and how they can find or create community along the way. As a former public school educator-turned-drama therapist, she works with emerging young adults to connect their lived experience to their process of becoming, using an anti-racist and liberation-focused lens. Her interests include LGBTQIA+ young adult identity development, accountability spaces for white practitioners like herself, trauma-informed care and participatory action research where client and therapist collaborate in the research process.
Alexis Powell, MA, RDT, LCAT is a registered drama therapist and a licensed creative arts therapist. She maintains a private practice in New York City where she offers creative arts therapy for individuals, families, and groups. She is the LCAT supervisor at Dwellness In-Home Psychotherapy, and is a frequent guest lecturer in the program for Drama Therapy at NYU on the topic of cross cultural awareness in creative arts therapy and has published research on exploring intersectionality through embodiment.
ITA is grateful for this year’s conference sponsors.
Riveredge Hospital, S.I.R. Management, Albany Care, Bryn Mawr Care, Decatur Manor Healthcare, Greenwood Care, and Wilson Care