Frequently Asked Questions
What is the National Chairs Group?
This meeting takes place four times a year in March, June, September and December. Chairs from each group represent their region at this meeting. This is a strategic platform for network decision making and sectoral discussion. Arts Council England host the meetings and have representation at the meeting as observers, not funders.
How does the decision making process work at Chair level?
By appointing regional Chairs, each group has endorsed a colleague to take a leadership role at national level within CVAN. Therefore groups need to trust their Chairs to make decisions that affect the network as a whole. Most national consultation is circulated to Chairs and their Coordinators with enough time to get feedback from their regional groups, but sometimes decisions need to be made quickly by Chairs if an opportunity arises that has a positive impact on the network. All Chairs should feed these quick decisions back to their regional groups so that all members are aware of any key decisions they have not had the opportunity to consult on.
What do Regional Coordinators do?
Regional Coordinators work with both their regional Chairs and Steering Groups to coordinate programmes of activity within their regions. Coordinators also attend a National Coordinators meeting where all regions are represented and the National Coordinator also attends. These meetings focus on operational issues, with coordinators sharing information on programmes, opportunities for cross regional working and evaluation.
How do CVAN evaluate their work?
The National Evaluators for CVAN are Annabel Jackson Associates. They evaluate the work of the National Network, focusing on case studies of regional activity, looking at work with Regional Coordinators and at any activity led by the National Coordinator. An annual stakeholder survey harvests feedback from network members and once the report has been signed off by the National Chairs group it is uploaded to the CVAN website.
What is the role of a regional Chair at National Chairs meetings?
Your Chair is there to represent the interests of their regional group. Regional groups can impact this meeting by asking their Chair to raise issues they feel need national discussion at Chair level. This could be an issue that relates to the Network itself, or to the visual arts sector. If you want to raise an issue, you need to place your request with your Chair. In effect the regions should shape the meetings.
Your Chair should lodge requests with the National Coordinator as an agenda item and your Chair should lead that discussion.
All Chairs should feed back the discussion, comments and any actions to their group.
What is the National Coordinator?
The national coordination for CVAN is provided by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The National Coordinator oversees the coordination of the regional networks, acts as a national point of contact for contact and discussion, and oversees the Evaluation and Web Communications contracts and any other national programmes of work. The National Coordinator also represents the network at national level.
How is the Network Funded?
During the pilot Network programme, funding for the Network came from Arts Council England managed funds. Now the majority of funding comes from Grants for the Arts, and trusts and foundations. In most cases, Regional Coordinator roles are funded within the National Portfolio Organisation agreement of a regional organisation.
What is CVAN’s relationship to ACE?
CVAN is a sector led organisation that gets some investment from Arts Council England via National Portfolio funding for Coordinators, and via Grants for the Arts for programme activity. ACE Relationship Managers often sit as observers at regional network group meetings, and the National Lead for Visual Arts attends National Chairs meetings as an observer.
CVAN does not replace the diminishing capacity of Arts Council England, nor does it only deliver ACE’s own strategic goals. However it is mindful that there is a strong role for CVAN to play in the regions and that a strong relationship between CVAN and ACE is beneficial. Direction, structure and programming within the CVAN is sector led, and not ACE led.