Melissa Raman Molitor, ATR-BC, LCPC
Melissa is an artist, educator, and art therapist living and working in the Chicago-Evanston area. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the graduate art therapy department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and serves as a consultant for school-based social-emotional arts programming and grassroots community arts initiatives.
CURRENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
The current focus of Melissa's professional work is social art practice that employs collective art making, participatory art, public exhibition, and community engagement to promote social-emotional development, sociocultural awareness, and collaborative community action. She develops programming and events focused on providing opportunities for young people to engage in their communities and express personal identity and address social issues through art and narrative.
From 2000-2007, Melissa served as the founding director of Connection Arts Chicago, a non-profit organization designed to offer free therapeutic and community-based arts programming for young people and their families who identified as recent immigrants and refugees living in Chicago's West Town, Edgewater, Rogers Park and Ravenswood neighborhoods. From 2007-2018 she served as the co-founding director of school and community programs at Art & Soul, a therapeutic practice specializing in social-emotional health and wellness in young people.
RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP
Melissa's academic research focuses on the use of personal narrative and community ritual to create shared experiences that promote individual healing, construct collective knowledge, and encourage social change.
In her art practice, Melissa employs ritual and sensory memory to explore intercultural and intergenerational themes. Her work centers on creating meaning in both personal and collective identity through photography, assemblage, and mixed media narratives.