Our Values

We believe that everyone has creative potential, and that living a creative life is good for wellbeing.


We make an active choice to work with individuals and groups for whom social justice, or the absence of it, is a profound issue in their present or past lives. We create and commission work that is socially meaningful and relevant, raises critical consciousness, builds community, and motivates individuals to promote social change. Our work is challenging and uses innovative creative approaches to voice people’s concerns.


We care about what we do and the impact we have – on people and the planet – and take an ethical approach in all our work. As a value-led organisation we’re guided by ethical approaches of kindness, honesty, justice and respect. We strive to develop exciting and rewarding projects that are delivered in a responsible way and that cultivate creativity and expression, because that results in positive change.


Creative collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. We’re committed to co-creation as a way of developing the creative ideas and experiences of artists and communities. By bringing people together, to work towards a common purpose, we build creative communities, share experiences and build deep connections. We’re proud of our northern roots, and our work supports local communities and the cultural life of Greater Manchester. In these challenging times, we recognise

the importance of bringing people together in solidarity to advocate for the value of high-quality creative projects in our communities.


Since 1978, we have been leaders in the field of community arts, which we share regionally, nationally and internationally. Over several decades we have had a significant influence on the arts and cultural sector; and on the skills development, visibility and careers of many artists (link to connections page). We actively welcome new ideas and perspectives, which we believe help us to grow and develop as a forward-thinking organisation.


We’re strongly committed to equality; we champion diversity and welcome people from the diverse communities of Greater Manchester to collaborate with us. We celebrate what makes people unique and build solidarity through understanding each other better. We advocate for diverse representation across art forms, communities, artists, governance, staffing and programmes.


We believe that everyone has creative potential, and that living a creative life is good for wellbeing. We work with people from across the globe and the UK, who are inspiring and skilled artists. These artists bring a wonderful range of cultural traditions, new artistic approaches and exciting aesthetics to CAN’s work. This means CAN is at the cutting edge of inter-cultural arts practice and shares extraordinary work with audiences.

CAN is supported by