CHEAD joins a new Visual Arts Alliance

January 10, 2021

The Contemporary Visual Arts Network CVAN plans to launch a new initiative by inviting sector representative organisations to come together and form an alliance for the visual arts.

The new alliance is drafting a shared mission statement and agreeing objectives which will include-

  • Protect and promote the value of the visual arts, and push for dedicated support for the artists, makers, creators and freelancers who make art happen.
  • Instigate systemic change within the sector addressing inequalities by dismantling institutional ingrained negative attitudes and barriers.
  • Continue our urgent shift to environmentally sustainable practices supporting our communities by locally sourcing skills, fabrication and materials.
  • Work towards a circular economy where artists, organisations and institutions are significant and sustainable contributor.
  • Advocate for the importance and value of the visual arts and artists
  • Lobby for sustained public investment in the sector and artists.
  • Develop and communicate policy ideas that are beneficial for the sector, and artists

“The visual arts are something everyone has the right to access and participate in, professionally and otherwise. This is the moment where we must come together to ensure that artists play a leading and pivotal role in pushing for societal change where we challenge established ways of working, thinking, and being in the world”.  Paula Orrell CVAN Director

The alliance will open up spaces for creative and critical thought, establishing new ways of relating to one another and instituting new practices to expand our social and political ambition. CHEAD have pledged our commitment to this important new partnership. Watch this space for updates as the alliance takes shape.

Members comprise all CVAN regions and other Visual Arts Alliance – Sector Support Organisations and includes (but is not limited to):

  • a-n The Artist Information Newsletter
  • Artquest
  • Axis Web
  • Baltic
  • Black British Art Network
  • Black Curator Collective
  • Creative Space Network
  • Curator Space
  • DACS
  • International Curators Network
  • Plus Tate
  • SCAN Scottish Contemporary Art Network
  • Visual Artists Network Northern Ireland
  • Visual Arts Galleries Network Wales

Straight out of the blocks the Alliance are collaborating on a communications campaign with the working title #Art is Essential which is due to launch at the end of January. The campaign will challenge perceptions of what an artist is and what artist do by contextualising and showcasing artists contributing to society in a variety of settings (including education) ensuring the Visual Arts Sector is valued on a par with other artforms.

CHEAD have been part of the communications working group developing the campaign.

For more details on how CHEAD members can engage with this campaign please contact

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