About the IEATA

The IEATA is a non-profit, professional organization founded in 1994 to encourage the creative spirit. Our inclusive, culturally diverse organization supports expressive arts therapists, artists, educators, consultants and others using integrative, multimodal arts processes for personal transformation, community development and social change .

IEATA provides a professional guild and an international network for bringing the arts into the world for growth, healing, communication and collaborative learning. We offer a searchable Member Directory and the IEATA Members Network – our online community where members can connect with each other in regional groups; share images, videos or music; promote upcoming events; or post bulletin board listings such as job opportunities, RFPs, office space rentals, etc. We also publish a semi-annual, members-only Newsletter, and the quarterly IEATA News e-flyer.

The inspired collaboration of our international board of directors nurtures IEATA’s heartfelt and democratic environment. Board members work through a wide array of committees and dedicate countless volunteer hours. Their caring and creative direction provides leadership, strength and forward movement in expressive arts around the world.

IEATA engages people in all aspects of expressive arts practices. We organize biennial International Conferences and regional activities. Our biennial international conference attracts several hundreds of participants and presenters from around the world. Previous conference venues include the United States, Canada, Peru and Guatemala. We also cultivate relationships with other non-government organizations, professional organizations and academic institutions to increase awareness and expansion of the expressive arts.

The upcoming 12th Biennial IEATA Conference will be held in Winnipeg. It is the first time to host the conference on the Canadian plains. It is expected to attract up to 500 participants from both the West and the East of the globe. This conference will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about Indigenous perspectives on expressive arts in education, social service and healthcare and meet world-renowned pioneers and practitioners in expressive arts. Our theme of Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts will allow people to answer inform themselves of the 94 calls to action and reflect on ways they can make a difference. Start by participating in our on-line Indigenous language learning campaign and be prepared to speak beginner Anishnaabemowin (Ojibway) and Nehiyaweywin (Cree) on time for the conference!


About the Conference

The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and the Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy Institute (WHEAT) are collaborating to co-host the IEATA 12th Bi-Annual Conference – “Indigenous Roots Of Expressive Arts Therapy : Transformation, Social Justice and Social Change – Globally and Locally”, October 4th – October 8th, 2017. This conference will allow participants an experiential engagement in the Indigenous Roots of the Expressive Arts. Pre-conference days will feature opportunities to explore local Indigenous cultures, history, and teachings on the land, as well as workshops on arts-based cross-cultural dialogue and healing.

The conference will feature expert keynote presenters and various plenary workshops highlighting developing knowledge in the area, outstanding initiatives, and innovative programming. This conference will be of particular interest to therapists, teachers, artists, social workers, psychologists, social service agency workers, politicians, social justice advocates, and anyone interested in creating a more ethical, healthy and socially conscious community.

Please join us for this groundbreaking opportunity to dialogue, create, and celebrate our Indigenous roots and move forward collaboratively to promote healing through the arts.

Our Committee



Darci Adam

Conference Co-Chair

Darci Adam, MA, MEd, CCC, RCAT, REAT, is a school counsellor and art and expressive arts therapist with studios at the St. Norbert Arts Centre and in the historic Exchange District. She is the director of the Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy Institute www.wheatinstitute.com, which is offering the first ever Art, Drama and Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma Programs in Manitoba, as well as Post Baccalaureate credits in Expressive Arts with the University of Winnipeg. She is passionate about the use of art as a tool for deepening cross-cultural understanding and facilitating truth telling and peace building. Raised on the prairies, Darci has also worked in Waglisla, BC and Moosonee, Ontario, allowing her meaningful and life altering participation in Indigenous communities, lifestyles and ceremonies. She has taught in Mexico and Quebec and has made it a priority to learn Spanish and French to better understand those cultures. Cree and Anishnaabemowin are next! Darci is thrilled to share the healing power of the arts on the prairies and honored to help to bring this particular conference to fruition in Winnipeg!



Renée McGurry

Conference Co-Chair

Renée McGurry is presently working as a Consultant for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She recently retired from St. James-Assiniboia School Division in Winnipeg. In her 35 years as an educator, she has taught in early and middle Years classrooms, with the last eight  years as the team leader in Indigenous education for the division. Through professional development, Renée has provided division staff with the knowledge, support and resources to weave Indigenous perspectives into classroom and school-wide programming.  She has been recognized by Manitoba Education as one of their Aboriginal educators of the month and has been the recipient of the Trailblazer and Leadership award from the Aboriginal Circle of Educators.  Renée is presently the conference chair for the Aboriginal Circle of Educators and has worked with A.C.E. in various roles over the past several years. As a former colleague stated, “Renée McGurry has been guiding the journey of many, who collectively will have a profound effect on Indigenous youth and educators for years to come.”


Kate Donohue

Conference Advisor

Kate T. Donohue is an adventuresome soul who has traveled to almost all the continents following the muse of her passion for culture , the arts, expressive arts and healing. She has created seminars in Ghana and India that explore the roots of healing through delving into the indigenous arts of these two cultures, the roots of expressive arts therapy. The first healers were artists who understood the psyche, community and healing as well as the power of the arts. She is involved in visual arts and dance, having spent 25 years studying indigenous and ethnic dance forms, in particular West African and Afro-Cuban Dance. Her visual arts work in painting and drawing explores the sacred feminine. A born actor, she has background in drama and poetics, and a great appreciation for music. Kate’s involvement in art, healing and culture has made her own life richer, by allowing her to map and understand my own inner terrain.

Read more about Kate Donohue here >


Joy Ruben

Conference Administrator and Review Team Lead

Joy Ruben, MA, R-DMT, E-RYT 500 is a dance/movement therapist, interfaith minister, birth doula, and yoga teacher. Her passion is researching and teaching the role of embodied spirituality in mental health. She has taught embodied spirituality in professional conferences, psychiatric hospitals, hospital oncology centers, residential treatment settings, outpatient substance abuse recovery programs, community centers, and yoga studios.  She is currently studying in Janet Adler’s Circles of Four program to further investigate the interplay between body and spirit. Additional projects include providing French translation for the National Centre for Dance Therapy in Montreal, and leading small group retreats in North America.


Terri Roberton

Program Committee

Graduating from ISIS Canada in 2009, Terri Roberton, pioneered the practicum sites at Margarets and at Bridgepoint Health Hospital. With a BFA and MLIS (Library Science) she is immersed in the arts from various angles having practiced painting, illustration and animation for 3 decades, managed Canadian Fine Arts Gallery since 2000 and having helped steward OEATA as Vice-President since 2009, and as president since 2015. For several years she has been invited to guest lecture on the topic of Arts-Based Research to Under-grads and Masters level students in Art & Psychology and Research Methods courses at George Brown College and Ryerson University. In 2010 she presented her graphic story research in the poster session at the Health Equity Conference held at Ryerson, and in 2011 was subsequently invited to give a presentation at the Annual Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing Research Symposium.


Nina “Anin” Utigaard

IEATA Executive Committee Chair, Conference Liason

Nina “Anin” Utigaard is a licensed MFT and Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) who maintains a private practice in San Francisco, CA. She was a founding Co-Chair for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. Anin is currently adjunct faculty with JFK University, and was a faculty member of the Person-Centered Expressive Therapy Institute for over ten years. She works with individuals of all ages and offers workshops and training in EXA, including “Authentic VoiceWork”. Anin has a fine arts and professional music background, and believes that the arts are transformative and can change the world we live in.



Mia Guenther


Mia Guenther is a seasoned counselor and enthusiastic Play Therapist who works in a school setting and runs her own private practice. She presents on various mental health topics and acts as site supervisor for the Post Baccalaureate Diploma (PBDE) and Master of Education program at the University of Manitoba (U of M). Recently, she has begun teaching position at the U of M as a sessional instructor for the PBDE program. As a Play therapist, she employs Play Therapy and therapeutic art techniques from a child centered focus, through the lens of attachment and within the Play Therapy Dimensions model. She works with children, adolescents, and parents in the areas of attachment, blended families, foster families, separation/divorce, grief and loss, trauma, and depression, and FASD/ARND.


David Eckelkamp

Publicity and Promotions Committee

David Eckelkamp has been a member of the IEATA community for over 11 years, most recently becoming a part of the IEATA Board as the Public Relations Co-Chair where he is excited to bring his background producing multimedia to help improve IEATA’s image and visibility on a global scale.  David lives and works in the Boston Area in the USA.  After 20 years working with children and young adults with trauma David has most recently began his journey in independent practice.  David lectures on the subjects of Explicit content in Media, Social Media and the Expressive Arts and Trauma Informed Expressive Arts Therapy.  He can be found on the web at www.prosocialtherapy.com.


Nancy Bruyere


Nancy Bruyere B.TH., BSW, RSW, DTATI (thesis pending 2018) is an addictions therapist with Winnipeg Drug Treatment Court, having worked in the field for 20 years. She is a graduate of WHEAT Institute with an advanced certificated in Expressive Arts Therapy. Nancy is a student at Toronto Art Therapy Institute working on her thesis ” The Development of Therapeutic Presence in Pre and Post Session Art-Making: A Heuristic Inquiry”. She enlists the aid of the expressive arts in her work in the field of addictions which she says requires the strong medicine of the arts.

Jenn Cuddy

Sponsor Displays and Promotions

Jenn Cuddy, M.Ed., CCC, is a Counsellor with the Winnipeg School Division. As a former high school drama teacher, the Expressive Arts became a passion after leaving the classroom with no outlet for expression. The WHEAT Institute provided her the opportunity to fuse the arts with her role as Counsellor – a transformational process. Jenn is thrilled to be a part of the IEATA conference.


Susan O’Connell

Sponsorship Committee

Susan O’Connell, MTP, MTP, REACE serves as faculty member and Creative Expression Certificate Director at Sofia University teaching creative expression and ecopsychology. She is co-chair for IEATA on the REACE professional standards committee. She is an ordained multi-cultural minister and is certified in InterSpiritual Meditation. She mentors contemplative, creative, and earth based practices, and aims to nurture other’s intrinsic creative energy while inviting deepening awareness of our living Earth in a way that furthers heart based, sustainable and respectful relations with the natural world and all beings. Susan also has an extensive background in public service, creative collaboration, and compassionate leadership. She was raised on the Pacific Coast of California and enjoys hiking and creative expression including photography.

Jen McDonald

Sponsorship Committee
Jen McDonald, BA Theatre, Diploma Creative Communications is the Sponsorship Chair for the IEATA conference. She is a Communications Specialist with previous experience working as Video Journalist for Shaw TV. She’s passionate about the Arts, having received an honours Degree in Theatre from the University of Winnipeg. Over the years she has been a Performer, Writer, Producer, and Theatre Teacher here in Winnipeg. She is excited to use her experience and passion for the Arts to help coordinate our upcoming festival.