Message from the Membership Chair

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Magdalena G. Grohman

On a personal note

As the newly appointed Membership Committee chair, I am pleased to present the first membership report. While looking at the numbers and thinking about the past, present and future members of our Division, this anecdote came to mind.

San Diego, August 2010. I’m new to APA, and to the Division 10: Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. I have met only a handful of people so far, and here I am walking into the Division Business Meeting. I keep thinking my “Polish thoughts”: Who do you think you are to even go there? They don’t know you! And for Goodness sake, don’t put yourself in the spotlight! Well, too late for those ruminations, because I’m in the meeting now, and all around me I see open minds and open arms, ready to embrace a “newbie”. Then, the there’s the Division’s social hour. I see many students, some international people, and—of course—all those big names who push the domain of creativity, aesthetics and the arts forward. Oh, I get it now! I realize what makes this crowd so compelling and engaging, what makes you feel sucked in immediately: no matter how many publications you have under your belt, or whether you are an APA fellow, or a new member, whether you see creativity from American perspective, or whether you have studied it elsewhere in the world, what truly counts here is your genuine interest, engagement and passion to pursue the discipline. I’m sold.  And I hope you are too!

Membership in the numbers

The inclusiveness of the Society for Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts is well reflected in its current membership structure. By the end of August 2015, our Division had almost 600 members, out of which 55% are also APA members, and 45% comprises a group of professional affiliates and student affiliates (18% and 27% respectively). In fact, since the beginning of current membership cycle, we have been steadily adding new members from among the APA members, students and professionals dedicated to promoting research in psychology, creativity and the arts not only in the United States and Canada, but also in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. And, we hope to continue our growth throughout 2016… and throughout the world.

Current initiatives

For student members, the Society for Psychology of the Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts organizes Student Showcase during APA Convention Programing. This is an hour of fascinating, yet fun and witty one-slide presentations highlighting research in the area of aesthetics, creativity and the arts seen from multiple perspectives (cognitive, clinical, personality, cultural, organizational, etc.). The Student Showcase is capped with the Students Social Hour—an exciting opportunity for interested students to network, exchange research ideas and initiate collaboration. Our student affiliates have also a chance to be nominated for the Barron Award for excellence in research at graduate level. Finally, our student affiliates are encouraged to actively participate in the Division governance through participation in the Executive Committee (one slot).

For regular members, Division 10 continues to offer a free subscription to our quarterly journal, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, discounts to five specialized journals, as well as eligibility to participate in applying for and to receive Berlyne and Arnheim Scholar Awards and awards, and Farnsworth Distinguished Service Award. Our members can also choose to keep abreast about any recent developments in the discipline by signing up for and accessing our “email listserv”. We also encourage our current and new members to join our Facebook group, moderated by James Kaufman. It also important to mention, that everybody who chooses to be part of Division 10 is highly encouraged to actively participate in the Division’s life through involvement in the committees or presentations at the annual APA conventions. All our members are encouraged to attend our annual business meeting at the APA convention.

 For new members, domestic or international, we have been offering a one-year free membership that includes a subscription to our excellent journal The Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and The Arts.

Future initiatives

We are continuing to work to find ways to attract a greater number of international students and seasoned researchers. So far, we have been offering a free one-year membership to new international student and professional affiliates. It is also worth mentioning, that our international members have their own representative—Paul Sowden—among the Division officers.

Membership committee

Our international colleagues also participate in the Membership committee. Let me introduce Mathias Benedek, who’s research at the Institute of Psychology, University of Graz, Austria, focuses on the cognitive processes and brain mechanisms underlying creative thought; Paul Sowden—head of Department of Psychological Sciences, and Director of ILLUME: The Creativity Research Network—investigates cognitive and affective mechanisms of creative thinking processes; and Gabby Arenge—a graduate student in Education, Arts, Creativity and Culture at the University of Cambridge— who is interested in creativity and education.

Our committee’s goal is to find ways to serve our Division’s members, so if you have suggestions, comments or anything you’d like to discuss, do not hesitate to contact me.

Membership Committee Members

  • Magdalena G. Grohman, chair
  • Gabby Arenge
  • Mathias Benedek
  • Paul Sowden