L-R: Harriet Wadeson (Evanston), Dancing With The Stars Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, Jennie Rook (Des Plaines) and Toddy Richman (Wilmette) (photo by Samantha Kay Photography).

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. 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. (The organization currently functions as an arm of the Music Institute of Chicago.)

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.

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. 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.

For more information, and to support the ITA Future Fund as the organization transitions to independence, visit itais40.org.

Carrie Ann Inaba Joins Institute for Therapy through the Arts to Celebrate 40 Years of Service to Chicago Families