Highlights of the AATA 46th Annual Conference in Minneapolis, July 8-12, 2015

By: Chioma Anah, EdD, ATR, LCPC, NCC, ACS

The 46th Annual American Art Therapy Association (AATA) Conference was held in Minneapolis, from July 8-12, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall. The theme of the Conference, Bridging Cultural Terrains: Expanding the Lens of Art Therapy, focused on, “The wide variety of settings in which art therapy promotes healing, health and wellness” (AATA2015).

Not only did I attend this amazing event, I was also invited as a presenter; my subject matter was Racial Microaggressions. Given all our recent racially provoked unrests within many United States cities, particularly my beloved Baltimore City, I felt strongly that a dialogue was necessary among my Art Therapy friends/colleagues about racial inequality, the psychology of racism, racial microaggressions, and issues surrounding social justice-particularly in its manifestations within the counseling relationship between White therapists and Black/African American clients.

Captions of my Presentations:

Session Title: Experiences of Racial Microaggressions and Coping Skills among Professional African American Men

Date of Session: Friday, July 10, 2015

Time of Session: 11:30am – 12:20pm

Number of CECs: .5

Microaggression Presentation AATA 2015

Session Title: Unmasking Racial Microaggressions within the therapeutic Relationship: Working with African American Clients

Date of Session: Saturday, July 11, 2015

Number of Continuing Education Credits: 1. 5

Unmasking Racial Microaggressions within the Therapeutic Relationship

Dr. Anah’s Workshop @ AATA2015- July 11, 2015

**A big Thank you to all those who attended my presentations. Not only were the presentations well attended, but, participants were actively engaged in the topic. In addition, judging from the feedback I received from participants, it was a much needed topic for dialogue.

It goes without saying that all discussions about race and racism between different racial/cultural groups is often filled with very powerful emotions that may sometimes lead to guilt, confusion, ambivalence and misunderstandings (Sue, 2015 from book- “Race Talk”). Let’s not be discouraged; let’s continue the much needed dialogue and trainings about race and racism in our country.

**I gave out some handouts to participants who attended both my presentations. Those handouts are copyrighted material. When referring to the works/ presentation from the conference, please cite where you got the material, or heard the work, and give the presenter/author the appropriate credit. Thank you.

There were also many other wonderful things going on:

July 9, 2015- Bruce Moon and Friends playing~

Bruce Moon- AATA2015
Bruce Moon- AATA2015

Other sites of the Conference:

Dr. Anah Presenting on Racial Microaggressions
Dr. Anah Presenting on Racial Microaggressions

AATA Presenters Badge


Presentation Board


Art Materials
Art Materials



Sites of Downtown Minneapolis:

The 2016 American Art Therapy Association Conference will be held in Baltimore, MD, July 6-10, 2016.

See you there!

Dr. Anah

Twitter: @PerceptATandT