The AREVA Writers’ Room – Call for Interest

The AREVA Writers’ Room is a 9 month writing programme for organisations wanting to evaluate the institutional language they use and to create new vocabularies of equity and care. The Writers’ Room will enable organisations to identify language or communications that create unwitting bias. Then using creative writing and textual analysis approaches, the programme will help participants invent new language for their organisations. Part of CVAN London’s equality programme, the Writers’ Room aims to address one systemic cause of inequality—the use of language—in the London and wider visual arts sector.

Led by artist Jack Ky Tan, the Writers’ Room comprises a series of monthly meetings between April to December 2024:

  • 3 creative writing workshops to develop critical reading and writing skills,
  • 4 peer support meetings to help each other creatively rewrite organisational documents (policies, press releases, notices, minutes), and to develop a new lexicon.
  • 1 ‘next steps’ evaluation meeting, and
  • an end of project ‘zine launch.

CVAN London invites London art organisations to register their interest in participating. We are looking for organisations:

  • who will nominate two participants (staff, board, stakeholders) who set the tone for or are responsible for creating official text in their organisations;
  • who are interested in mutual support and collaboratively creating a new language for themselves and the arts sector;
  • who are willing to contribute to creating resources, a ‘zine and to host meetings or a launch event; and
  • who, at the end of the programme, are willing to become writing hubs themselves and to carry on this work for their area of London.

Please send expressions of interest to Jo Townshend, by 22 March 2024. We are looking for 4 institutions willing to commit to the longer term goals of this project, and who will represent a wide geographic spread across London.

This programme is funded by Arts Council England



In 2020, following increasing reports and high profile whistleblowing of racist incidents experienced by artists and cultural workers in the arts sector, CVAN London members expressed a desire to create a meaningful, proactive response to bring about change. The Anti-Racist and Equitable Visual Arts (AREVA) project began with a set of knowledge exchanges between CVAN members in June-July 2022, leading to the publication of the AREVA Report in Jan 2023. The report’s recommendations have now been extrapolated into 4 action areas, one of which is to create a sector-wide Writers’ Room.

The AREVA Writers’ Room addresses members’ concerns about the use of language in arts organisations that do not resonate with equitable values. On the contrary, the institutional language found in policies, emails/memos, job adverts, etc., borrows semiotics from other industries and thereby imports values and creates behaviours that may not be compatible with values in the arts sector.

The Writers’ Room attempts rectify this in a yearlong pilot by (1) creating skills to deconstruct existing language and to develop new writing that is equitable and bespoke to arts organisations; (2) establishing a self-sustaining network of organisational writers who help each other continue to rewrite their institution’s language; and (3) developing a working glossary and resources that can be shared sector-wide.

Jack Ky Tan

Jack Ky Tan (b.1971, Singapore) is an interdisciplinary artist based in the UK. Working across, performance, sculpture, law and policy-making, his practice is an ongoing exploration of social justice that blurs the boundaries between, art, law, governance, and consultancy. Looking toward alternative cosmologies and knowledge systems that predate Judaeo-Christian or colonial narratives, Tan interrogates the legacies of colonialism with a particular interest in Commonwealth and Tropical epistemologies of resistance. By questioning how embedded societal structures form our laws and guide our behaviour, Tan’s work attempts to rethink our entanglement with the human and more-than-human world, and looks towards alternative ways of living and working.

Tan originally studied and trained in law [LL.B (Hull), MA Social Justice (UCL)] and worked in British civil rights NGOs before obtaining a BA(Hons) in Ceramics at Harrow/Westminster University and an MA at the Royal College of Art. Jack then completed a practice-led PhD at the Drama, Theatre and Performance department of Roehampton University where he explored legal aesthetics and performance art through his works Karaoke Court and Voices From The Courts. He has taught MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and MA Politics & Art at Goldsmiths.

AREVA Writers' Room Call