Music Therapists Appointed to NJ State Board

Submitted by Paula Unsal, Chair NJSTF

In June 2021, board certified music therapists, Carol Ann Blank and Brian Abrams were appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to three year terms on the Board of Creative Arts and Activities Therapies.  The appointments came after a months-long process that involved vetting and nomination by the Governor, Senatorial Courtesy (sign-offs) by several individual senators, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and a full Senate vote for Advise and Consent.  

The new board has not yet convened because additional appointments are necessary to reach a quorum.  In addition to our music therapists, the board will consist of two each art, dance/movement, drama and recreational therapists as well as three public members.  At this time four appointments, including our music therapists, have been made and another four nominees are awaiting a Judiciary Committee hearing.

Throughout this nomination and appointment process, the New Jersey State Task Force (NJSTF) has worked with a combined ad hoc group of members of the dance/movement and drama task force and Government Relations chair for the state art association to achieve a mutual goal of populating the new board.  This group also collaborated along with recreational therapists to create a hiring statement for facilities to clarify qualifications for the individual licenses of each discipline, and the preferred encompassing term “therapists in the creative arts” rather than creative arts therapists as there is no license or professional title in New Jersey for the second terminology.