women taking part in a Red Cross film making workshop

"The kind of future that's in front of us... is going to require that we work in community and that we work in teams. 'Community' will not just mean that which is closest to you, but that which you can reach." Anna Deavere Smith

What we do

Community Arts North West is a Manchester-based arts development organisation led by artists and creative producers. We work with diverse communities and artists to create access to cultural production for people that are excluded from or on the fringes of the mainstream.

We facilitate cultural expression and visibility for the many complex and diverse communities that make up Greater Manchester, working across the performing, visual and media arts.

CAN strongly allies itself 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 of communities and to shape social and cultural agendas.

Most of all, we create access to high quality experiences and beautiful art.

Collaboration and partnership is core to what we do and we have worked for over 30 years with individuals, communities, the voluntary sector, cultural agencies and artists to develop and create a rich portfolio of work with a deep and lasting cultural and social legacy.

At CAN we believe that inter-cultural dialogue creates a dynamic space where commonality and difference, tradition and modernity can be explored to create rich new cultural forms. Diversity is central to our work and we collaborate with urban communities across Greater Manchester, working with a range of ages, cultural backgrounds and artforms. Find out more about our artistic programme here.