Plan for the Region 2015-18

Our mission is to celebrate and support contemporary visual arts practice and the visual arts ecology in the East Midlands.

Our vision is that the Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands (CVAN EM) contributes to a flourishing visual arts habitat in the East Midlands.

We aim to:

  • bring together artists and organisations to tackle common issues resulting in new ways of working and more informed decision making;
  • celebrate and promote contemporary arts in the region, from making to presenting;
  • support collaborative working across the region leading to new opportunities, new experiences and new networks.

Our remit is expansive but specific. We are a regional network working for and made up of individuals, organisations, collectives and projects existing in all corners of the region, the region being Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

We consider the visual arts sector as one that spans a spectrum of art forms and crosses boundaries and collaborates with other social practices and creative disciplines. It includes but is not exclusive to fine and applied arts, crafts, fine art photography and artist moving image, live art and performance, where they derive from a from a visual arts sensibility, new media and digital art, where they manifest in a visual form, and crosses over with design and architecture. Additionally, we work with museums and heritage and other sectors and industries where they work with contemporary artists and art practices, and/or have contemporary collections.

Our audience is primarily made up of professionals who (and those aspiring to) work in and with the visual arts, based in the East Midlands, including:

  • artists and artist collectives
  • organisations, institutions and curators (independent and venue-based)
  • educational and research-based institutions
  • commissioners, commercial galleries, collectors and agents
  • agencies with a remit for professional development and audience engagement

We will reach out to a similar audience outside the region and will seek to engage with a non-specialist audience through joint programming with publicly-facing partners.

We aim to exemplify the following values and encourage our partners to be:

  • accessible and transparent
  • innovative, enabling and agile
  • ambitious and rigorous
  • principled and fair

Our role over the next three years is to deliver a programme of activity, ensuring its relevance and usefulness to the region’s visual arts community and that is delivered to the highest quality with maximum exposure. Our objectives in delivering this programme are to:

  • broker strategic and productive relationships between artists and organisations;
  • initiate a range of activities designed to meet the needs of the sector and to enthuse and attract a diverse audience;
  • work with the region’s visual arts organisations and other relevant partners to create opportunities for the regions’ visual arts workforce;
  • present an account of what is needed by artists, organisations and audiences, with which to advocate for future investment.