Addressing inequalities and under-representation in the Region’s sector

With Art Fund support, Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands will deliver a period of consultation and activity from July – December 2021. Our Professional Network Grants project focuses on establishing a firm foundation for CVAN EM to positively impact on public programmes and commissioning in the East Midlands. Crucially this project will be a catalyst for urgent work that addresses inequalities and under-representation in the region’s sector, starting with CVAN EM.

The project will develop on the knowledge, experience, and skills found in organisations across the East Midlands, with a focus on the CVAN EM Steering Group. Activity including a network audit and targeted recruitment will make our decision-making more representative of the region, emphasising equity, transparency, and inclusivity.

By working collaboratively with organisations in the East Midlands we will encourage regional programming and employment that better reflects society and centres artists and art workers from backgrounds under-represented within the contemporary visual arts. In turn, by shaping commissioning and activity that actively champions representation we will present to audiences and participants online and in person programming that better reflects their lived experiences.

We will work with existing and new partners to undertake activity comprising:


Network Development

  • An audit of network knowledge, experience, skills, and spheres of influence with a focus on the CVAN EM Steering Group.
  • Recruitment of new Steering Group members, based on knowledge, experience, skills, and spheres of influence, with a focus on increasing representation.
  • Training that equips individuals and organisations to advocate for inclusive practice.

Consultation & Learning

  • Consultation through focus groups with specialists and individuals from or representing under-represented constituencies and practices to learn from diverse lived experiences.
  • Development of Community Guidelines and an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy and action plan that will be reviewed as part of ongoing activity to effect long-term decision making.
  • Case studies highlighting examples of good practice in regional programming and employment.

Public Outcomes

  • An accessible record of the project process, learning, recommendations, and next steps.
  • A digital resource to share knowledge, experience, skills, and good practice in regional programming and employment.
  • Mapping of regional diversity resources to be shared via the CVAN EM network and online platforms ensuring wider distribution and engagement.
  • A CVAN EM forum. ‘Whose network is it anyway?’ will engage organisations, artists and arts workers with project activity and provide a platform to tests and discuss ideas.

For more information on how to get involved please contact CVAN EM at

Image Credit
Artist: Jas Singh
Instagram: @sab_o_teur