Beg, Borrow, and Steal – Where Do the Arts in Expressive Arts Therapy Come From? 2020

Beg, Borrow, and Steal – Where Do the Arts in Expressive Arts Therapy Come From? with Karen Estrella, Ph.D
“Nothing is completely original – all creative work builds on what came before” (Kleon, 2012a). Expressive arts therapists, like artists, work with art that has come before. Art materials, processes, products, and practices all take place within a cultural landscape. Do we know the cultural roots of our work? What questions do we ask ourselves when preparing an arts-based experience for our clients related to cultural art practices, particularly when those practices represent a cross-cultural experience for our clients? How do we think about and understand the art we build upon when taken within a cultural context? This workshop will explore essential questions of multicultural competency, humility and appropriation within the field of expressive arts therapy.

In recent years, the concept of developing “cultural humility” has entered clinical practice alongside aims of “cultural competency” (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998). This idea seems particularly relevant when introducing an experience from another culture or when working in a culture different from your own. What does it mean to make art inside a culture different from your own? What does it mean to bring art from different cultural contexts into our expressive arts therapy practice? The presenter will explore the concepts of cultural humility, cultural exchange, and cultural appropriation with an eye towards exploring participants’ awareness of their own cultural identity, experience, and community.

The presenter will offer examples from teaching expressive arts therapy in cross-cultural contexts, and of bringing cross-cultural arts traditional practices to those outside of the original cultural context.

Intended audience: anyone.


Kleon, A. (2012a). Ted talk.

Kleon, A. (2012b). Steal like an artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative. Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

Tervalon, M. & Murray-Garcia, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2), 117-125.

Hive Track
Sunday, March 29, 2020
11AM – 12:30PM
1.5 CEs
Room 213
Presentation #78

orange splash