Stella Barnes, Creative Director, is leaving Community Arts North West

After four and a half years as CAN’s Creative Director, Stella Barnes is moving on

29 June 2023

Stella has successfully led CAN since 2019, having joined us from a freelance career, which followed a 13 year career at Oval House, now Brixton House, in south London.

Amongst Stella’s achievements during her time with us, she led CAN’s creative programme in uniquely challenging times, including a global pandemic, and ensured it could weather the storms.

During the lockdowns, Stella led our creative team to continue to create and deliver high-quality projects for children and young people, new migrant artists, including those who have experienced forced migration, and audiences drawn from Greater Manchester’s diverse communities.

“During the last four and a half years, Stella has been an exemplary leader.”

“Stella has brought her skills and deep knowledge participatory arts sector to CAN and Greater Manchester.”

“Stella has led, together with CAN’s Executive Director, Faye Salisbury, our organisation through its successful applications to Arts Council England, so CAN remains a National Portfolio Organisation and continues to be a Manchester City Council Cultural Partnership organisation.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, the countless number of artists Stella has inspired, and the communities she has worked with, I would like to thank Stella and wish her all the very best in her future work.”

Denis Skelton, Chair of CAN’s Board of Directors

Stella will become the Simon Industry Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, attached to the Drama Department, where she will work closely with Dr Alison Jeffers and CAN/University of Manchester PhD candidate Ambrose Musiyiwa.

“I will really miss working at CAN.  I passionately believe in the work and am proud of how the organisation stands in solidarity with people in Greater Manchester.  I have had the privilege to work with a truly gifted staff team and a hugely inspiring cohort of artists, practitioners and participants.”

Stella Barnes, Creative Director

Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest.

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