Dear NorCATA Members and Conference Attendees:
Our NorCATA board members are reaching out to all of you regarding our 2018 Art Therapy Conference. Organizing a regional conference for us as a small non-profit organization is a very delicate balancing act. We rely on registrations to be able to pay for venue and services necessary for a successful conference. Based on the results of the most recent survey feedback, we chose Sonoma State University to be responsive to the wishes of members for a conference at a university setting.
Due to many unforeseen circumstances, we have decided, with regret, that we must postpone the conference. Our keynote speaker, Janis Timm-Bottos, was forced to cancel because of a catastrophic family emergency. We reached out to other possible keynote speakers, but were unable to secure a replacement in the field of art therapy so close to the event. In addition, a significant number of presenters decided to withdraw their presentations from the conference based on financial considerations.
To date, we have only 28 completed registrations. Many individuals requested one day tickets, which are not supported by our contract with SSU, making it impossible to accommodate those requests. We are acutely sensitive to the financial challenges faced by art therapists in Northern California. At the same time, NorCATA, as a local chapter, is dependent upon members for financial support in order to be able to offer quality programs.
Based on the trajectory of our current registrations, we cannot reach our required number of 120 attendees. In that case, we will be liable for our full contracted fee of $45,000 in less than a month. We cannot cancel the conference outright as we would owe approximately $18,000 in cancellation fees. We do, however, have the option to postpone the conference, without penalty, for up to two years. Based on current low registration, presenter withdrawal, and the loss of our keynote speaker, board members recognize our fiduciary responsibility to NorCATA members and have opted to pursue postponement.
We wish to acknowledge our deep regret in having to postpone the conference because we recognize the breadth and depth of collective knowledge, experience, creativity, and dedication embodied in the proposal submissions. We want to offer our heartfelt appreciation to all of you for your efforts to co-create a rich event. This would have been an amazing conference experience for all of us. We ask that you consider presenting at the next conference when a new date is chosen.
The NorCATA Board of Directors / Conference Team
We will start processing refunds on Monday, June 25, 2018.
Please let us know if you have not received a refund.