Event Details

Inspirees Institute, Creative Arts Education and Therapy (CAET) – open access journal, in collaboration with the Applied Drama and Expressive Arts Education Centre/Beijing Normal University, China Dance Research Center/Beijing Dance Academy and Chinese Group of Arts Therapy/Chinese Psychological Society, present the first Creative Arts Education and Therapy World Forum in October 2019 in Beijing, China.

The mission of the Forum is to establish a platform to further communication, dialogue and cooperation between the East and West regarding the arts in therapy, education and human understanding. The theme of the Forum 2019 is Healing Soul through Arts – Connecting Eastern and Western Wisdom which responds to the challenges for the world and the calls for leadership amidst great swathes of conflict. Our societies manifest a need for healing. The West is looking to the East again for time-proven wisdom and inspiration as it did a century ago. And China, after opening up and letting many things flow in from the outside, has started to reflect on the Western influences and its own traditions and values. The keynotes, presentations, workshops, roundtable meetings, art exhibition and performances at the Forum will highlight the development of arts education and therapy in China and the world. About 300 participants from China and overseas are expected. Professor Shaun McNiff, one of the founders of expressive arts therapy, co-editor-in-chief of CAET, will deliver the keynote at the forum. This is an excellent opportunity to present your work and to network with Chinese and international colleagues.

The CAET World Forum rotates between China/Asia, Europe and America in partnership with well-established universities and institutes.

Who is the conference for?

Arts educators, performing artists, creative and expressive arts therapists, psychologists, medical professionals, researchers, policy makers, consultants and body/mind (somatic) practitioners.


Dr Christina Deveraux (USA), Zvika Frank (The Netherlands), Haiping Guo (China), David Leventhal (USA), Dr Liwen Ma (China), Cat Maguire (USA), Prof. Shaun McNiff (USA), Marcia Plevin (Italy/USA), Karen Studd (USA), Joan Wittig (USA), Dr Tony Yu Zhou (China)...and more

Keynotes & Presentations

  • Healing Soul through the Arts - Global Perspectives

Prof. Shaun McNiff, Lesley University (USA)

  • Outsider Arts in China: Applications and Development

Haiping Guo, Nanjing Outsider Art Studio (China)

  • Dance as lifeline: Inspiring movement and well-being through Dance for Parkinson's

David Leventhal, Mark Morris Dance Group (USA)

  • Educational Drama in China: Tradition and Innovation

Dr Liwen Ma, Beijing Normal University (China)

  • The Choreography of Technology: Laban/Bartenieff Movement System and Expressive Robots

Cat Maguire, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (USA)

  • From West to East Creative Movement: A Universal Language in a Digital age

Marcia Plevin, Creative Movement Association (Italy/USA)

  • Thematic Duality Change and Constant - the Paradox and Tension between Innovation and Tradition

Karen Studd, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (USA)

  • The Soul and Essence of Dance Therapy

Joan Wittig, Pratt Institute (USA)

  • CAET: A Scientist's Perspectives and Journey

Dr Tony Yu Zhou, Inspirees Institute (China/The Netherlands)

Master class & workshop

  • The Movement Basis of Expression in Arts Therapies

Prof. Shaun McNiff, Lesley University (USA)


  • Keynote: Healing Soul through the Arts - Global Perspectives

Prof. Shaun McNiff

  • Presentation: CAET - A Scientist's Perspectives and Journey

Dr Tony Yu Zhou

How do scientists view art and appreciate its contribution to their work and eventually to the development of human beings? How do Chinese learn from the west and combine that with their cultural background to strengthen personal growth? Originally trained as a scientist in China, Dr. Zhou stepped into the art world during his research work in the Netherlands. This opened a new door for him to look at the universe and human being from different angle. In 2005 he started the journey of integrating science and art in his professional and personal life. Besides several international training programs he founded in China since 2010, in 2015 Dr. Zhou, with the support from his colleagues, established Creative Arts Education and Therapy (CAET) – Eastern and Western Perspectives, an international journal bridging China and the world and a platform for mutual dialogues and collaboration between East and West. To accomplish the mission, both creativity and determination are required. Dr. Zhou will share his professional and personal experiences for this adventurous journey navigating between the art and science domains with an international dimension and how he brings this to advance arts therapy in China.

  • Presentation: Educational Drama in China - Tradition and Innovation

Dr Liwen Ma

In contemporary China, national policies emphasize quality education and key competencies education. What kind of education can effectively implement national policies? What kind of educational pedagogy can be body-mind integral education, bringing vitality to school and classroom, and motivating the process of the whole-person development of students? What kind of education can also organically integrate Chinese traditional culture and the demands of today's social development?

In the past 20 years of over 100 years of modern drama in China, educational drama has been developed as a new field of applied drama. It can be used as a comprehensive form of art education for whole-person education to maximize the educational nature of drama in schools, classrooms, communities, and businesses. Prof. Ma is fortunate to be one of the pioneers in this field. In 2005, she was first involved in educational drama. Since 2007, she has carried out a series of experimental research in primary and secondary schools, as well as university, including teacher training, curriculum construction, and personnel training, and international exchanges. In 2015, Prof. Ma and her colleagues founded the Applied Drama and Expressive Arts Education Research Center, Beijing Normal University, dedicated to exploring the practice and theoretical construction of drama as an important form of education in Chinese culture context. Prof. Ma will share her practical experiences, current situations and problem analyses, and countermeasures and prospects for the development of educational drama in China.


  • Master class: The Movement Basis of Expression in Arts Therapies

Prof. Shaun McNiff

Movement is approached as an accessible and reliable basis of artistic expression and integration with all media. With painting as a primary medium, the group will explore connections to other art forms and methods of practice which include the movement interpretation of images, rhythm, imaginal dialogue, performance, and vocal improvisation. Artistic expression in all media will be approached as a force of nature that is innate to each person and capable of being released and perfected in a supportive studio environment. Participants will explore how to relax controls and tendencies to judge and over-think, turn resistance into fuel for creation, express themselves more from the body than from mental expectations, open to the unexpected, and experience quality as personally unique, natural, and authentic expression. The studio will demonstrate how once activated and supported, the creative process will find its ways to where we need to go.

  • The Body as Basis: Experiencing the Anatomical Infrastructure of the Human Design

Karen A. Studd

This workshop will focus on accessing the form of our human design through an experience of our skeletal anatomy and why this infrastructure is so profound. We will explore finding ease in the rhythms and sequencing of fundamental kinetic chains as well as some basic approaches in using "hands on work "in the process of facilitating a re-patterning process. Topics will include:

· How do the parts connect to the Whole? Body systems and tissues – skin, muscle, fluids, bones, organs, fascia - the orchestrated symphony of our anatomic harmony

· Why the skeletal emphasis?

· How to access to our length, our width and depth through the 3 dimensions of our living anatomy. The Space of being and doing and the balance of tensegrity

· Breathing and walking - the 2 Titans of connectedness and integration

· Synergistic actions of Rhythms and Phrasing

· Senses and sensing

· Touch - Intention communication

· Patterns of Body Organization - differentiation and integration in the relationship of parts/whole

· Access to weight and access to flow (being and doing in the personal and the universal baselines of the human movement experience)

· Gravity has a pull and a push - Thoracic Core and Pelvic Core and gravity and levity

Invited speakers

Shaun McNiff, Lesley University (USA)

Professor Shaun McNiff has a significant international following. He is author of Imagination in Action; Art as Research; Trust the Process; Art as Medicine; Art Heals; Depth Psychology of Art; and numerous other books. His works are translated into many languages and he has lectured and taught throughout the world. In 1998 he wrote Art-Based Research documenting his work with artistic knowing beginning in the early 1970s and the book helped spur the fast growth of the discipline. The recipient of numerous honours and awards Shaun McNiff was appointed as the first University Professor at Lesley University, USA, in 2002.

Tony Yu Zhou, Inspirees Institute (China)

Dr. Tony Yu Zhou holds a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences and has been working and living in China and Europe for many years. Though trained as a scientist, he has been greatly intrigued by modern dance and dance therapy since 2002 and has played an important role in driving the development of dance therapy in China. Dr. Zhou served on an international advisory board for the journal Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy. He founded Inspirees Institute and Creative Arts Education and Therapy – Eastern and Western Perspectives, the international journal. He is also a certified movement analyst (CMA) trained by Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. Dr. Zhou is the team leader for the Chinese Group of Arts Therapy, Chinese Psychological Society, Guest Professor of Beijing Normal University, and co-founder and core member of World Alliance of Dance Movement Therapy.

Liwen Ma, Beijing Normal University (China)

Prof. Ma holds a doctoral degree in philosophy. She is an associate professor at the Institute of Educational Psychology and School Counseling, the founder and director of Applied Drama and Expressive Arts Education Research Center, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University. Her research fields are Applied Drama/Theatre, Expressive Arts Education, Mental Health, and Action Research. Prof. Ma is a member of the International Editorial Board for the Journal of Creative Arts Education and Therapy:-Eastern and Western Perspectives; a member of the Chinese Arts Therapy Group of Chinese Psychological Society; and a member of International Drama and Education Alliance (IDEA). She is committed to promoting the development on mental health through drama/theatre and expressive arts; and the personal and organizational development of self - awareness, critical reflection, and active development.

Call for proposals

The call for papers and workshops submissions is now open (Deadline 1 May 2019) on the following topics in line with the theme of the Forum:Healing Soul through Arts – Connecting Eastern and Western Wisdom

  • Practice, education and research related to arts and health/wellbeing promotion
  • The arts: poetry, dance, music, theatre, visual art (including calligraphy) – focusing on dialog and the relationship between the arts in the East and the West in both theory and practice. Traditional and contemporary art-making can be explored.
  • The mind–body (somatic) relationship in different cultures, comparison of various healing methods, both traditional and modern; e.g., acupuncture, and the martial and meditative arts (e.g., Chi kung and Tai chi). Eastern and Western concepts of health and disease and how healing methods are related to these. Prevention and cure of disease.
  • Buddhist and Taoist perspectives on the arts. Comparative philosophical approaches to aesthetics.
  • Concepts of the person in different cultures – the senses, emotions, breath, consciousness and spirit–in relation to society, culture and nature.

Types of contributions

Presentation:The duration for oral presentations is 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes for a Q&A.

Workshop: The duration for workshops is 75 minutes which includes a Q&A.

Proposal in one of the following sections:

Laban and somatics

arts therapy in education

arts therapy in community

arts therapy in clinical

arts therapy in corporate


Please send your proposals by email to conference@inspirees.com with Full name, Affiliation, Title, Abstract (within 400 words), and Biography (within 200 words) with the indication of choices below.

Submitting contributors will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis following peer review, monthly from February 2019. Accepted contributors will need to register and pay their fee before being included in the programme.


Register online or send email to conference@inspirees.com

Sponsors and exhibitors

In order to support a number of colleagues who are not fully funded by institutions or who are students, we are seeking sponsorship. If your organization has funds that could be used for such support, we would be extremely grateful for your support!

We invite arts education and health organizations to apply to exhibit at the Forum. Your organization (schools, art centers, hospitals, publishers, service providers, etc.) will have the opportunity of full exposure to the potential students/customers, professionals and institutions in China and abroad over the three-day period. A dedicated area with tables will be available at the conference venue. The cost is 200 USD per table space for exhibiting companies from Oct 1 to 3. Conference exhibitors must also have an accompanying registration.

We also accept donations from institutions, corporations and foundations which support the development of arts education and health in China. The donation amount is 3,000 USD. They will be listed as the premier sponsors on the official website and manual of the Forum. There will be also opportunities of speech for the sponsors during the main event of the Forum.

We have limited space for sponsors and exhibitors, if your organization is interested, please us by email: conference@inspirees.com


Email: conference@inspirees.com

Tel: +86 (0)10-84467947,Katee Shen 15911509565, Penny Peng 134 3636 7045