2020 - A Year of Unprecedented Challenges and Relentless Perseverance

We recognize the extreme events that occurred last year will have repercussions far into the future. We still grapple with SARS-CoV-2, face a reckoning over inequality, struggle with climate change, and witness tumult around the world. Despite this, there were still many heroic acts, discoveries, and advancements that illuminated signs of hope and progress.

As we begin 2021, we invite you to reflect on highlights from the past year and remind you to renew your AMI membership today. AMI members make our association the premier global resource for promoting the power of visual media to advance scientific understanding, communication, education, and research. We thank all of you for the excellent work done over the past year and look forward to facing 2021 together.

Not a member? We welcome you to join us!

AMI’s Strategic Plan

AMI’s Strategic Plan image

In January 2020, the Board met in Lexington, Kentucky for its interim meeting and a strategic planning session. That work resulted in AMI’s new AMI Strategic Plan that will guide the work of our organization for the next 3 years. All strategies established support these 3 goals:

  • Enhance visibility and awareness of the Association and profession
  • Develop infrastructure of value for all members
  • Foster collegial engagement, accountability, and opportunity

Please read the full 2021-2023 AMI Strategic Plan here.

AMI 2020 Webinar Series

AMI 2020 Webinar Series image

The year 2020 was one like no other our organization has faced. It was with heavy hearts that the Board voted to cancel our planned in-person 75th anniversary conference in Phoenix last summer. In an effort to continue to provide members with educational opportunities and to provide a touchpoint for the AMI community, the Phoenix planning committee and the AMI Online Learning committee came together to provide robust online opportunities for members and non-members who chose to attend a Webinar Series including webinars, a Techniques Showcase, and social events. Understanding the financial strain of this pandemic year, the Board voted to allow members to choose their own registration fee for the event. We sincerely thank the volunteers who made the event possible, our supportive attendees, and our extremely generous sponsors. CEUs were available to attendees of the live online sessions, and those who registered continue to have access to recordings of the webinars online.

2020 AMI Online Salon

2020 AMI Online Salon image

Despite not meeting in person, the Exhibits Committee and Awards committee pulled together an impressive Online Salon of member work including new fine art and COVID-19 galleries in addition to the typical professional and student categories. Explore the 2020 AMI Salon online and view the 2020 Salon award winners!

Educational Standards for Undergraduate Education

Educational Standards for Undergraduate Education image

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) establishes standards and guidelines for accredited institutions in art and design. In September, AMI leadership learned of proposed changes to the NASAD Handbook guidelines for medical illustration education at the undergraduate level. AMI leadership responded to NASAD’s public comment period to voice concern that the proposed language introduced ambiguity that could be detrimental to prospective students and to program directors, and were out of alignment with the industry standards promoted by the AMI. In response, NASAD removed the proposed changes from the final voting version of the Handbook and maintained existing 2020 language. AMI leadership will continue our conversation with NASAD leadership as we work together to uphold educational standards beneficial to this profession and its current and future members.

Education Task Force

Education Task Force image

The Board of Governors voted to establish a task force to consider the current educational landscape in medical illustration, the AMI’s role in maintaining high standards for this field, and our organization’s communication strategies about educational pathways to this profession. The Education Task Force is scheduled to begin work in January of 2021 and deliver recommendations to the Board by June.

Marketing Task Force

Marketing Task Forcen image

As part of AMI’s previous Strategic Plan, a Marketing Task Force was established to develop a marketing plan for the AMI with the primary objective of encouraging greater employment of, and collaboration with, AMI members. This was designed to be carried out by AMI volunteers. To that end, goals have been established and groups of volunteers are currently moving this work forward:

Membership Guidance - The Online Learning Committee and PR committee are working with a Task Force representative to provide marketing guidance to members via webinars, conference calls, and materials to support members marketing themselves and our profession.

Association Collaborations - The AMI Presidents (past, present, and future) are working with a Task Force representative to reach out to organizations representing potential clients and employers of medical illustrators in order to identify and grow mutually beneficial relationships and an awareness of the unique skillsets of our members.

Earned, Owned, and Paid Media - The PR committee along with a Task Force representative are working diligently to grow strategies, processes, content, and connections in order to expand AMI’s footprint in social and traditional media.

Membership Guidance - A new landing page geared toward an external audience is being designed and developed by the Web committee in collaboration with a Task Force member. The simple website will provide basic information about medical illustrators appropriate for prospective clients, HR departments, and the media.

Artists’ Rights Advocacy

Artists’ Rights Advocacy image

The AMI constantly advocates for members’ interests in copyright, reprographic rights, and legislative reforms. We provided two comments this year to the U.S. Copyright Office on Online Publication and also on Modernizing Copyright Registration. The Artists’ Rights Committee and our counsel Lehman & Nilon met with the new Register of Copyrights and her staff via Zoom. The next year will see major changes as the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act is implemented (with the amendment submitted by the AMI) and beta testing of the new registration system begins.

AMI Board of Governors Letter

AMI Board of Governors Letter image

While 2020 was undoubtedly a chaotic year, it brutally displayed the wounds of racism and the pain it causes. As a profession that furthers the advancement of life sciences, medicine, and healthcare we must do so with integrity. There is no room for racism, hate, or violence in our association or profession. The AMI stands by our Diversity and Inclusion Statement and the 2020 Message of Support signed by the AMI Board of Governors, published on our website and shared on social media. “If there has ever been a time for our community to demand more – demand better – from society it is now.”