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AMTA Represents Music Therapy at Two Key National Meetings

September 26, 2017 02:30 PM

NEA Creative Forces Research Summit

CreativeForces1AMTA is working full time to promote and advance the profession, implement recommendations from Music Therapy Research 2025 (MTR2025), and to fulfill our important mission. Two noteworthy meetings featured AMTA members, staff and consultants representing music therapy--a national research summit sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the inaugural meeting of the new National Organization for Arts in Health.

On September 18-19, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) convened an invitation-only summit of over sixty professionals to begin formulating a five-year plan for clinical research related to the impact of the creative arts therapies with military populations. Music therapists, art therapists, and dance/movement therapists from the NEA’s Creative Forces program ( serving military service members and their families assembled to collaborate on the elements of such a research plan. Representatives included those from AMTA, AATA (American Art Therapy Association), ADTA (American Dance Therapy Association),  AFTA (Americans for the Arts), NEA, DoD (Department of Defense), and others in a day and a half meeting to discuss potential research specifically focused on CATs and military populations. The meeting was similar to AMTA’s MTR2025 in format with opening keynotes and panels followed by input and discussion from the group. The Creative Forces team will refine the input and generate a draft five year plan; an internal working group will offer assistance.

CreativeForces2.pngDr. Sara Kass, a family physician and formerly the Deputy Commander for the National Intrepid Center on Excellence (NICoE) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, oversees the 12 Creative Forces sites around the U.S. that have hired music therapists, art therapists, and dance/movement therapists to integrate clinical creative arts therapies treatment as part of the facility in which they are working. The music therapists representing these sites included: Rebecca Vaudreuil, Hannah Bronson, Megan Wong, and Nate McLaughlan.  The other music therapists in attendance were: Barbara Else, Judy Simpson, Dr. Joke Bradt, Dr. Wendy Magee, and Dr. Lori Gooding.

The Creative Forces Clinical Research Summit was held at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C. The summit kicked-off with a breakfast reception at the residence of Second Lady, Karen Pence, who is an art teacher and advocate for art therapy. 


Annual Meeting of the National Organization for Arts in Health

NOAHmtgThe inaugural annual meeting of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) convened on September 17-20 in conjunction with the Health Facilities Symposium & Expo in Austin, TX. NOAH’s predecessor organizations included the Society for Arts in Healthcare, the Global Alliance for Arts and Health, and the Arts in Health Alliance. The last iteration of this organization closed its doors in November of 2015. NOAH brings together artists, designers, architects, creative arts therapists, and others to promote the power of the arts in healthcare. Approximately 100 participants gathered for ten presentations, consisting mainly of panels. Three of the ten sessions included music therapists: Jennifer Townsend, Program Manager of Music Therapy, Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital; Dana Osterling, Music Therapist, Creative Arts Program, Boston Children’s Hospital; and Lisa Gallagher, Research Program Manager, Arts & Medicine Institute, the Cleveland Clinic. The focus of one session highlighted how the six creative arts therapies professions might work with a young girl with an eating disorder. The CATs panel, orchestrated by Ronna Kaplan, who serves as Chair of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA), detailed the theoretical underpinnings of treatment approaches as well as research and types of interventions. The music therapist on the panel was Dr. Della Della Molloy-Daughtery who practices at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.

NOAH published a whitepaper, “Arts, Health, and Well-Being in America.” Dr. Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, served as one of five authors of the paper. Executive Director, Dr. Andi Farbman, attended the NOAH conference to represent music therapy. AMTA and NCCATA look forward to collaborating with NOAH to clarify the professional aspects of the arts in health arena, including the definition, scope of practice, standards, competencies, ethics, and qualifications.