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Janice McGuinness

Chief Executive Officer

Janice has worked at a senior level in the cultural sector for over 30 years.

Before joining People United in 2018 she was a strategic consultant for Kent-based clients such as WhitLit and Folkestone’s Creative Foundation, where she wrote the Otterpool Park Cultural Strategy. Before that she managed Canterbury City Council’s cultural services for seventeen years, leading the £40m capital development of both the Marlowe Theatre and Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, and initiating the transformation of the medieval Poor Priests’ Hospital into the Marlowe Kit.

Earlier in her career Janice was Head of Film, Media and Literature at Northern Arts in Newcastle (ACE), Director of BAFTA North in Manchester and CEO of Glasgow Film & Video Workshop (now GMAC Film). She also co-founded the Leeds International Film Festival, which she directed for eight years.

Janice is passionate about the transformative power of culture and creativity. She is committed to encouraging power to move, flow and be taken by centring the principles and values of co-creation in People United’s community collaborations,  saying “Over the years we’ve found that co-creation is about more than collaboration, it’s about interdependency. Crucially, we’ve learned that it’s our job to hold the space, not the reins. That’s how positive change happens.”

Janice is a Fellow of the RSA and a founder member of the Executive Board of Creative Kent. In her spare time she enjoys abstract photography.