To our dear members, friends, and colleagues:
As we head into this new year, we bring with us continued hope and changed perspectives. Together and separately, we have navigated uncharted waters, mourned lives lost to racial violence and systemic oppression, and grieved losses brought on by the pandemic. We have witnessed the NER music therapy community rise up in creativity and come together as a force for change and motivation. Our eyes have been opened, we have been changed, and we move forward into the future bringing with us the lessons we have learned.
The extended board met to discuss the 2021 regional conference, and reflected on the theme of fatigue regarding virtual learning opportunities. We sent a survey out to the membership to gauge interest in virtual options for the 2021 conference, and responses reflected similar concerns of fatigue. In a year where regional conferences are more accessible than ever before- and virtual learning opportunities are abundant, we have decided to suspend the 2021 NER-AMTA conference. Instead, we wish to encourage our region to attend and support the virtual conferences of our colleagues in other regions. Our conference page on the website will be updated to reflect links, dates, and information of the regions hosting conferences in 2021.
When asked what is most important about the NER regional conference, time and time again responses capture the importance that we place on community and connections with each other. With this in mind, NER will host a virtual annual business meeting, with elections and committee presentations, free of charge to any members or colleagues who would wish to join us. We will include networking opportunities and creative exchanges in this virtual celebration of who we are. Please stay tuned for the date and additional details.
This was certainly a decision that was made with heavy hearts. At this point, we plan to move forward with our in-person conference at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, VT in the spring of 2022. We look forward to gathering again and hope to see you there!
In grace and gratitude,
Channing Shippen & Kathlynn Sell
NER Vice President and Vice-President-Elect