The Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) celebrated 40 years of providing creative arts therapies to children, adults, and families by welcoming more than 130 guests to a festive celebration Tuesday, June 9 at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.
Highlights of the evening included the presentation of awards to two advocates of creative arts therapies: Carrie Ann Inaba, a longtime judge on the ABC television program Dancing with the Stars, and Harriet Wadeson, an author, educator, and pioneer in creative arts therapies. The event included a dessert reception, with refreshments courtesy of Southwater Kitchen, The Sabre Room, Glunz Beverages, and Baderbrau Brewing; a raffle and silent auction; a video tribute to ITA’s 40-year legacy of healing through creative arts therapies; and performances by dancers from Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Arts Therapy program, who performed a dance incorporating hip hop, ballroom, and other styles inspired by and in honor of Carrie Ann Inaba. Illinois Art Therapy Association members donated their artwork for the raffle and engaged guests in two live interactive works of art. The event raised more than $24,000 to support ITA’s unique therapies, which have aided thousands of individuals during its 40-year history, and help ITA establish itself as an independent organization, targeted for fall 2015.
Carrie Ann Inaba received the inaugural Lamplighter Award for Arts in Healing. A dedicated supporter of dance/movement therapy, Inaba is the National Spokesperson for Dréa’s Dream, a dance therapy/expressive movement program for children with cancer and special needs funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, the only nonprofit organization of its kind. Witnessing the effects of cancer within her own family, Inaba understands how dance/movement therapy can provide a way to manage pain and improve overall physical and psychological health.
ITA Founding Director Marilyn (Toddy) Richman (Wilmette) presented the inaugural Marilyn Richman Legacy Award to Harriet Wadeson. Known for her eclectic approach to art therapy, Wadeson has shared her expertise in this field as an accomplished author, researcher, educator, and international guest lecturer who has presented papers, led professional delegations, and conducted workshops in 14 countries throughout Europe and Asia. In addition, she has authored eight books, 70 papers in refereed journals, and numerous chapters in psychology and art therapy texts. After spending 13 years at the National Institute of Mental Health, she earned her Ph.D. and continued to teach and direct graduate programs at the University of Houston, University of Illinois, and Northwestern University. She is an Honorary Life Member of the American Art Therapy Association, the profession’s highest honor.
ITA also honored its former clinical director, the late Ted Rubenstein (Skokie), MFA, RDT, Psy.D., by naming its Professional Development offerings the Ted Rubenstein Integrated Arts Therapy Training Program.