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Red River Valley                                                    Winter 2016
A publication of the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association                                                                             

President's Report

Hello, everyone! It was wonderful to see many of you at the AMTA in Kansas City, MO in November. I hope all is well throughout the Region as we get ready to convene at the SWAMTA Regional Conference in Austin, TX from 3/31/16 to 4/2/16. Our conference theme is “South By Music Therapy” and will be held at the Westin at the Domain. As of this writing, there are 165 *awesome* people registered, and we still have a few more days for “Early Bird Rates”! This is going to be a fantastic conference that you won’t want to miss! If you haven’t registered yet, go to and register today. I am especially excited to return to the “Live Music Capitol of the World” and see how much it has grown since it was so declared back in 1991, when I did my internship at Travis State School. I wonder if Sara Hickman will still take me out to that lunch I won at the SWAMTA Silent Auction about 10 years ago?

The SWAMTA Board of Directors met in Kansas City on 11/12/15. Highlights from the Regional President’ meeting were presented, including a review of IRS information (990), current AMTA membership (33% of MT-BCs are members of AMTA), disaster relief, and delegation of responsibilities from Debbie Benkovitz, the AMTA Regional President Representative, to the Regional Presidents. In an effort to help reduce expenses to the current SWAMTA operational budget, many Board members and Committee Representatives voluntarily donated their travel stipends from the summer meeting and the National Conference. A gracious “Thank you!” goes out to those who were in a position to do so! We gained a Delegate to the Assembly at the end of the National Conference. First Alternate, Carolyn Dobson was added to the Assembly of Delegates. We are in need of three more alternates to the Assembly of Delegates. We will complete nominations from the floor in Austin, then hold a special election to fill these positions. AMTA has established a new committee on Diversity & Multiculturalism. The Board of Directors confirmed the leadership of co-chairs Melita Belgrave & Seung-A Kim. Per the bylaws, each regional president may appoint a representative. Please contact me if you are interested in serving as the SWAMTA Representative to this committee.  

The new website continues to be built by our new Website Administrator, Christina Stock. Thank  you, Christina for making the transition as smooth as possible! I also want to send a huge thank you to Vice President, Amy Smith; President-Elect, Christine Neugebauer; Continuing Education Chair, Jennifer Townsend; Local Committee Chair, Stephanie Shehan and the Local Committee; and Publicity Chair, Veronica Butler for the countless hours they have put in to prepare for the Conference!

Today, 2/3/16, was Texas Music Therapy Advocacy Day! The Texas State Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition ventured to Austin to meet with the Senate Health and Human Services Committee representative to advocate for music therapy recognition. There was also a Social Media Music Therapy Advocacy “#showusyourshirts” Campaign. It was great to see so much support via pictures. Who knew there were so many different MT shirts out there?! Look for updates regarding the outcome of the meeting on the website and during conference. Thank you Della Molloy-Daugherty and the “Texas State Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition” for your advocacy!

Happy trails until we meet again in Austin!

Antoinette Neff, MT-BC

President, SWAMTA, 2015-2017

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