Manchester City Council

Manchester City of Literature appoints its first Executive Director

Ivan Wadeson has been appointed as the first Executive Director of Manchester City of Literature

In this brand new and varied role, Ivan’s work will include creating and managing a new Executive Office to coordinate the UNESCO City of Literature designation, whilst developing and strengthening partnerships across Manchester and with other international Creative Cities, to bring in new funding and engage new audiences in Manchester’s cultural life. 

Working closely with the board of trustees, Ivan will drive the realisation of Manchester City of Literature’s vision of: An innovative, distinctive, equitable, globally connected city of reading and writing, where diverse voices are celebrated, where creative talent and industries are nurtured and where literary activity changes lives.

Ivan brings over 25 years’ experience working at a senior level in the cultural sector, working across many art forms to develop partnerships, engage the public and develop artistic programmes. He is currently Partnerships Director at Dance Consortia North West, working with venues, dance agencies, universities, dance companies and independent artists to create and support a flourishing dance ecology across the region.

Ivan will draw on the experience of working for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Arts about Manchester, All About Audiences and The Dukes in Lancaster, and of driving the formation of national charity The Audience Agency in 2012. Ivan is also a Trustee of cultural education charity Curious Minds, a Fellow of the RSA and has lived in Manchester for over twenty years.

Ivan said, “I am delighted to be leading the new charity charged with delivering the benefits of the UNESCO City of Literature designation. I have a lifelong interest in literature and literacy and an abiding commitment to engaging individuals and communities in the creative arts. Manchester City of Literature’s values and ambitions around diversity, democracy and inclusion resonate strongly with my own. I look forward to working with Manchester City of Literature’s many partners and communities to develop readers and audiences alongside writers and artists and to promote Manchester as a home for written and spoken word locally and on a global platform”.

Zahid Hussain, recently appointed Chair of Manchester City of Literature said, “I am delighted Ivan has taken the helm of Manchester City of Literature. His experienced hands will steer our new organisation to a fabulous new chapter in the city's literary development. I am honoured to be working alongside him to turn our city's ambitious vision literally into reality.”

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure for Manchester City Council said, “Ivan’s appointment represents a major and exciting step forward in Manchester’s journey to realise the potential of its UNESCO City of Literature designation. Ivan brings a wealth of experience to the role and Manchester City Council looks forward to working with him and partners across the city to celebrate the diverse range of voices in our city, widen participation in cultural activities and raise the profile of Manchester on the world stage.”

Ivan will begin work with Manchester City of Literature in October.

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