Community Arts North West (CAN)

Please tell us about your organisation or network

Community Arts North West(CAN) is a long-established Manchester-based participatory arts organisation. We build deep, long-lasting connections with communities across Greater Manchester, developing unique, creative projects with people whose voices are not normally heard in the mainstream. We continuously evolve innovative ways to bring people together, working across a range of media to create successful and dynamic productions. As a specialist in co-creation, we advocate for underrepresented groups or individuals to be in the driving seat of their own cultural production and regularly collaborate with artists, communities and young people. We increase the impact and scope of our work through equitable & ethical, cross-sector partnerships, with a focus on two-way learning. Through our work we:

• draw on the rich heritages & contemporary cultures of the region

• foster inter-cultural collaborations, working creatively in shared arenas

• amplify the voices of ethnically diverse, refugees & working class people, who are not heard in the mainstream

• highlight new talent & new narratives

• enrich Greater Manchester’s cultural landscape and workforce

What’s the change you want to see?

Women and girls from marginalised communities in Rochdale will build new connections, take on leadership roles, be heard and respected and have an impact on others, especially decision makers. Artists with lived experience of forced migration will lead debate and new thinking through creative activism and arts and social justice work, especially climate action and immigration rights. They will have leadership in projects and initiatives, be more visibility, have more profile and access more opportunities to lead change. Audiences will be provoked to become more involved and take more action on social justice issues.

What is the main line of your work that we are currently supporting?

Voices of the Women of Rochdale, launched in 2021 is a safe, supportive and equitable environment supporting the cultural aspirations of women and girls; offering new creative challenges and opportunities to try something new and step out of comfort zones; resulting in confident, empowered and creative women. Women engage in intercultural settings, working with inspirational practitioners to share, learn and create and have big conversations that provoke exchange and debate about women in 21st century Britain. Though our artist commissioning we work with musicians, writers, digital & visual artists, theatre makers and poets, especially those who have experienced forced migration and some with high profile in their countries of origin. Artists will be commissioned to make work for public events and contribute to a thriving cultural offer, providing new perspective and provoke dialogue about social justice and change-making, through their work.