Wheels of Diversity in Art Therapy:
Pioneers of Color
Multicultural Committee * American Art Therapy Association
Wheels of Diversity in Art Therapy: Pioneers of Color highlights art therapists of color in the United States who have been instrumental in advancing multicultural and diversity competence within the profession. Georgette Powell, Cliff Joseph, Lucille Venture, and Charles Anderson are recognized as Visionary Architects of Color in Art Therapy who foresaw that the integration of multiculturalism, diversity, social justice, and advocacy perspectives would lay the foundational framework for the practice of art therapy in a culturally diverse society. In 2017, the American Art Therapy Association adopted the following Vision Statement: “The services of licensed culturally proficient art therapists are available to all individual, families, and communities.” Art therapists who acquire multicultural and diversity competence and engage diverse clients with cultural humility ensure that clients will be respected, and their unique cultural identities will find an appropriate place in treatment. As art therapists strive to develop greater diversity, equity, and the profession, the pioneering work represented in this film forms a solid foundation for growth. The film is amplified by an interview with one of the individuals closely involved in its creation, Charlotte Boston. Introducing the film, Charlotte describes the origins of the project and how and why this film was made.
Commentary by Charlotte Boston, MA, LCPAT, ATR-BC, Past President of the Art Therapy Credentials Board
Total Running Time: 53 minutes
About the Multicultural Committee of the American Art Therapy Association
The Multicultural Committee embraces an inclusive definition of culture. It provides information, networking, and mentoring for all art therapists to develop multicultural proficiency and increase diversity within the American Art Therapy Association. The American Art Therapy Association is committed to diversity and cross-cultural inclusiveness in its membership and in the development and provision of art therapy to the public.
History & Pioneers
Art therapists of color began advocating for increased multicultural competency and support for fellow art therapists of color in the American Art Therapy Association as early as 1978. They formed into an official committee in 1990, first as the Mosaic Committee and later as the Multicultural Committee. A brief overview of the history, current priorities, and future directions was documented in the article:
Potash, J.S., Doby-Copeland, C., Stepney, S. A., Washington, B.N., Vance, L.D., Short, G.M., Boston, C.G. & Ballbé ter Maat, M. (2015). Advancing multicultural and diversity competence in art therapy: American Art Therapy Association Multicultural Committee 1990 – 2015. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 32(3), 146-150. doi: 10.1080/07421656.2015.1060837
Art Therapy Multicultural/ Diversity Competencies: Designed to clarify the types of multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills art therapists need to acquire to work effectively with persons from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups
Selected Bibliography and Resource List: Provides art therapy specific references pertaining to multiculturalism, social and cultural diversity, as well as social justice