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Life is not what you alone make it.  

Life is the input of everyone who touches your life and every experience that enters it.  

We are all part of one another.

Yuri Kochiyama

Melissa Raman Molitor, MA, ATR-BC, LCPC

Melissa is an artist, educator and art therapist living and working in the Chicago-Evanston area.  She is an Associate Professor, adj. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and the founder of Third Space Arts, providing professional development and consulting services to schools, businesses, and organizations interested in the myriad ways in which art can connect people and build community.  She also offers clinical supervision for post-graduate art therapists and counselors pursuing their art therapy registration (ATR) and/or clinical license (LPC, LCPC), and coordinates peer supervision for professionals.

 

Most recently, Melissa developed Kids Create Change, a social practice that employs collective art making, participatory art, public exhibition, and community engagement to promote social-emotional development, sociocultural awareness, and collective social action.  This work centers on encouraging young people to explore identity, engage with their community, and address personal challenges and social issues through art and narrative. She also serves as a board member of EvanstonMade where she works to increase opportunities and support for young artists in Evanston to exhibit and sell their work, and engage young people and families in the arts through the creation of programs and events. 

 

Melissa's areas of specialization lie in nonprofit arts development, and the design and implementation of arts programs, special projects, and community events.  From 2000-2007 Melissa served as the Founding Director of Connection Arts Chicago, a nonprofit organization providing free therapeutic art programs for children and families who identify as recent immigrants and refugees, and from 2007-2018 she was the co-founding owner of the therapeutic practice Art & Soul, where she served as Director of School and Community Programs developing social emotional arts programming for youth.  Through this work, she has honed her skills in non-profit arts management, grant writing, and community partnerships.  She has developed and implemented school and community-based arts programs, conducted numerous trainings and workshops, planned and orchestrated annual fundraising benefits and events, and curated a number of youth and adult exhibitions.

 

Melissa is also a mixed media artist who uses ritual and sensory memory to explore intercultural and intergenerational themes, creating meaning in both personal and collective identity through assemblage and mixed media narratives.  She holds a BA degree in Psychology and a BFA with a concentration in ceramics and photography from the University of Michigan, and an MA in Art Therapy from SAIC.  She is a registered, board-certified art therapist and licensed clinical professional counselor.