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Black Lives Matter Commitment

26th Jun 2020

Our Commitment to Black Lives Matter and to Being an Anti-Racist Network. Joint Statement by CVAN South East and the 26 Partner Organisations in Our Network.


We join the millions supporting Black Lives Matter around the world. We add our voices to the protests and are working to be an actively anti-racist network.

Institutional and systemic racism persists in the UK, including in the visual arts, despite protections in law and the efforts of many activists.

We know we are implicated, and we are taking action. 

We will listen with humility and respect. Enduring change needs to involve everyone, individuals and institutions, and we must play our part. Our publicly funded organisations must genuinely belong to us all.

Rights and representation stand at the heart of the shared mission of the CVAN South East network. But, until now, we have not together articulated an explicitly anti-racist position.

We undertake to extend challenging and critical conversations, within and outside of our network, on anti-racism, rights and representation, in a spirit of partnership and mutual exchange. It is something we are determined to do and must urgently achieve.

As a regional visual arts network we believe we can create positive change. We call on Arts Council England, UK Government, universities, local authorities, our partner networks nationally and all arts funders and policy makers to join us on this journey.

We commit to the following and will produce a further statement when we have established a more specific and time-oriented action plan.

  • We will review our values statement, which currently includes a commitment to advancing equal rights and representation as an integral value. A new, overtly anti-racist statement will be displayed on our website.

  • CVAN South East will also support individual network partners to review and publish their own equality and diversity policies and action plans.

  • We will task a group from our network to gather information and develop our specific action plan. This group will be free to call anyone they wish to attend.

  • We will refocus our diversity monitoring to highlight the level of under-representation of the Black community in our workforce, governance, programmes and audiences, accelerating the work we have already started to make our network more representative.

  • We will source, and then facilitate, the most insightful and rigorous training available on anti-racism and unconscious bias for all partners in the network.

  • We will play a proactive role in promoting anti-racist education in our local South East communities.

  • We will champion initiatives specialising in anti-racism and social justice for Black communities.

We invite anyone who would like to hold us to account, get involved or simply comment to contact Oliver Sumner, Manager, CVAN South East at:

We believe in positive change. These are radical times and we will respond in that spirit. We stand with everyone against racism.


CVAN South East


A Woman’s Place Projects

Blast Theory

Brighton CCA

Cement Fields

Creative Future

De La Warr Pavilion


Hastings Contemporary

HOUSE Biennial

John Hansard Gallery

The Lightbox


MK Gallery

Milton Keynes Arts Centre

Modern Art Oxford

Open School East

Outside In

Pallant House Gallery

Phoenix Art Space


Project Art Works

Reading International

Towner Eastbourne

Turner Contemporary

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village


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