Mission, Vision and Values

The Contemporary Visual Arts Network represents and supports a diverse and vibrant visual arts ecology, embracing a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice across the nine English regions.

Our Mission is to support and promote the visibility and resilience of the contemporary visual arts ecology in England, advocating for our regional arts institutions, spaces, and artists, and working for a sustainable future for our world-class contemporary visual arts sector.

Our Vision embraces the broadest range of visual arts expression in a multi-disciplinary, innovative, and resilient contemporary visual arts practice.

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Our Values

We are sector led and mutually supportive.

We celebrate the distinctiveness and different contexts of the regions.

We embrace a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice.

We recognise and draw upon the expertise of regional groups to collectively build knowledge for the sector to share.

We are committed to collaborating and advocating for each other in order to benefit contemporary visual arts as a whole.


We have a consistent message regionally and nationally about the network and the visual arts sector as a whole, and we encourage members to advocate these messages:

  • Contemporary visual arts are at the heart of our nation, and are central to what makes us expressive and creative individuals within society;
  • The UK’s contemporary visual arts sector is the world leader in this field, and therefore our country maintains a true competitive advantage;
  • The sector’s contribution to national and regional economies, and to society in general, far outweighs the small amount of public subsidy it receives.

How does this work in practice? 

The regional networks develop programmes of activity that are specific to their regional needs. This provides direct benefit to the visual arts sector, ensures an impact at grass roots level and is often informed by extensive consultation with artists and arts organisations about what their needs are. Most regional groups have a core group of members that make up a Steering Group. This group oversees the work of the regional Coordinators, programme delivery and expenditure of funds (where applicable).

However, regional networks cannot address or deliver provision or support to every need within the visual arts, so they all work in partnership with other networks and organisations to provide support, while accepting that their impact has to be where they feel, strategically, that the demand is greatest for their region and where they feel they can adequately deliver.

What makes the regional networks a national network? 

While priorities and delivery differ at regional level, all regional networks subscribe to our collective mission, vision and values which detail our overarching ambition. It is this unification of message that is met through delivery at regional level via the 11 groups.

If you want to know more about the structure of the Network, please read our FAQ section here.