AICAD Announcement on 2020 Academic Symposium

Hello Members and Friends of AICAD,

Just as many of you are doing, we too are adjusting to this new “remote” life. While it may not be a focus for anyone right now, we wanted to take a moment to address the 2020 AICAD Academic Symposium amid approaching proposal deadlines and the unknown nature of COVID-19.

Fittingly enough, this year’s AICAD Academic Symposium theme was a look into the future. As we take a look into our immediate future, we see enough uncertainty in both personal and professional lives to say that holding a large, in-person conference may not only be a heavy lift for our planning team at a time all are burdened by new urgencies, but ineffectual for equitably serving our membership. Given the circumstances, we’ve decided that the 2020 AICAD Academic Symposium will no longer meet in Philadelphia, but instead online in the form of a virtual summit. By moving the symposium online, we believe that it will provide the best option for equitable participation by a broad audience. We thank all our planning partners in Philadelphia for their efforts to date and are sorry we will not convene in their great city.

As for the topic of the symposium, the current crisis may have just thrust us into the future of art and design education, whether we were ready for it or not. These months will serve as a learning opportunity, allowing artists to do what they do best: use critical thinking and creativity to change mindsets and transform pedagogy. We’ll use this opportunity to learn from each other, as we now shift the theme of this year’s symposium to “What We Learned in Crisis: Crafting Our Future.”

We hope that by announcing these changes earlier rather than later, we’ve given everyone ample time to adjust their plans and consider this new theme. The previously announced call for proposals deadline of April 15 is no longer in effect. For now, stay safe and healthy. We’ll have further announcements about submitting session proposals and how to participate in the newly formatted AICAD Symposium coming in future emails.

Take care of yourselves and each other,
Deborah Obalil
President and Executive Director