About Us

"Shaping your own cultural identity - and having it recognised by others - is central to human dignity and growth. If people can’t represent themselves culturally how can they do so politically? " François Matarasso

About us

Community Arts North West (CAN) is a Manchester-based arts development organisation working with urban communities across Greater Manchester to create access to cultural production for people that are excluded from or on the fringes of the mainstream.

CAN facilitates cultural expression and visibility with the many diverse communities that make up Greater Manchester, working with people from a range of ages, cultural heritages and art form interests including performing, visual and new media arts.

We are proud to ally ourselves with the historical struggle of communities to create a better world. Our work brings people, artists and communities together in urban spaces to articulate and share hidden histories, to explore the complex identities and makeup of today’s communities in Britain and to tell it how it is.

Our work encourages a cross-cultural exchange of ideas, creating dynamic spaces where commonality and difference, tradition and modernity can be explored to create rich new forms of cultural expression.

Collaboration and partnership is core to what we do and we have worked for over 33 years with individuals, communities, the voluntary sector, the independent and mainstream arts sector , agencies, local authorities and artists to develop and create a rich portfolio of work with deep and lasting cultural and social legacies.

Most of all, we produce programmes of work that create access to quality creative experiences with exciting creative outcomes that have meaning and resonance for the people we work with and their audiences.