Cumbria Arts and Culture Network

The Cumbria Arts and Culture Network is a sector led voluntary organisation that seeks to advocate on behalf of the county’s vibrant and resourceful cultural economy and support its development.

The network is working to help support our members during the current Coronavirus pandemic. We understand that knowledge and connections are vital in keeping our sector going and to supporting each other.


Cumbria Arts and Culture Network (CACN) has been hosted by Cumbria CVS since 2018.  We’re enormously grateful for their valuable support in establishing this amazing group.  During the last three years we’ve grown significantly, especially since the start of the pandemic. We’ve leaned heavily on Cumbria CVS during this time! Now it’s time for us to secure our own future as thriving, growing Network.  As a first step, we’re creating a new mailing distribution list which will take effect on 1st August this year. 

 So, if you want to keep hearing from CACN, please go to our new website and sign up to the new mailing list.  It takes just 1 minute to do!  Follow the link below, then enter your name and email address in the yellow ‘Stay in the Loop’ box.  You’ll receive an email asking you to confirm that you want to sign up.  Please click ‘yes, subscribe me to this list’.  Very quick and simple! Do not delay – do it today!!

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to keep hearing from Cumbria Arts and Culture Network, please sign up by 31st July 2021

Thank you
Kate Parry, Chair, CACN

Social Media

Sign up to our newsletter here:

Connect with us via social media:

Network Members Facebook Group


Twitter @ Arts_Cumbria



Network Mission

Our mission is to work together to deliver a diverse, innovative, resilient and high-quality cultural offer in Cumbria, supporting economic development and wellbeing through high levels of participation, engagement and social inclusion.


Our goals are…

  • Provide cultural leadership and education, supporting professional and artistic development
  • Grow Cumbria’s cultural economy and impact through research, investment and innovation
  • Increase participation in cultural activity in the county, developing a healthy social and cultural ecology which engages and enriches individuals and communities
  • Communicate through advocacy, representation and responsiveness
  • Develop and deliver partnerships and peer support
  • Share our news, best practice, plans and ambitions


Our 2019/20 priorities, as ordered by network members, are…

  1. Advocacy – on behalf of arts and culture sector within county and with external agencies
  2. Audience Development – widening the range and increasing the number of people (residents and visitors) that engage with arts and culture
  3. Investment in Culture – revenue and capital and how best to ensure coordinated approach to development
  4. Equality, Diversity, Creative Case – creators, audiences and subject of work in Cumbria
  5. Professional Development – for employed workers, freelance and self employed artists & creatives
  6. Understanding our Sector – venue and artist/ freelance & institution
  7. Environment – our practice and potential to highlight and advocate change
  8. Digital & Creative Industries – finding closer engagement between sectors



The network has a Chair, Deputy Chair and support officer in place to help give structure, with a steering group, comprised of network members offering additional guidance and support.

The core memberships of the network are non-profit arts and cultural organisations and individual artists and cultural consultants working within Cumbria. Our associate members are individuals from other sectors interested in working in partnership to harness the potential arts and culture to change lives and communities

The Cumbria Arts and Culture network is part of Cumbria CVS’s Specialist networks and is currently supported by a small grant from the Cumbria County Council. The specialist networks each focus on bringing together charities, users and organisations from their sector to share updates, issues and opportunities. A representative from each of these attends the

Third Sector Network Executive, for more information please click here.


Network Chair: Richard Foster


Richard has worked in the cultural industries for over thirty years, particularly in the fields of arts, venue, attraction and gallery management. Recent roles have included CEO of the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal and General Manager of the Old Laundry Theatre and World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere. Richard has lead a number of cultural consortia, including the Lake District Japan Forum, Lakes Culture and now the Cumbria Arts and Culture Network..


Network Deputy Chair: Kate Parry


Based in Cockermouth, Kate worked initially for the National Trust before becoming Chief Executive of Kirkgate Arts. Kate is now Manager of Cumbria Museum Consortium (CMC), working with Tullie House Museum, Wordsworth Grasmere and Lakeland Arts.  CMC is part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio.  Kate’s role is to manage the museum partnership and communication with Arts Council.  It also involves supporting the culture sector in Cumbria, which is one reason Kate is happy to be Deputy Chair of the network.  The other reason is that Kate loves arts and culture in all its forms, as a way of bringing meaning and happiness to people’s lives.


Network Support: Cumbria CVS Admin


Laura is an Engagement Officer at Cumbria CVS and provides support through administration, event management and social media.


What’s Involved

The network aims to meet four times a year at different venues across the county, looking in more depth at particular themes and networking with other members.

Next Network meeting date to be confirmed shortly

Our steering group meet between the network meetings, to discuss actions and help support the planning for the next network meeting. This is currently an open group looking for members that want to play a more active role in the network, if you are interested in joining please let Laura Rutter know via


Connect with us!

The network can also help signpost and highlight new funding and support for projects and creative
works and find potential collaborative partners. We also share updates from public and private sector organisations looking to connect with a large number of arts and culture entities. We do this through emails via our mailing list which you can subscribe to HERE.

The network also has a twitter account @arts_cumbria

Please follow us and say hello, the account is checked regularly and we often share important information or help promote exhibitions and events that are happening in Cumbria.