Pan was founded in 1986 in London by a group of artists from various cultural backgrounds who all shared the fascination in the process and product of creativity when different cultures meet. They worked together to create ensemble performances which celebrated the richness of our diverse society.
Through their work the group soon started to realise that the understanding and respect which came about from working creatively together, and the potential that this process could unlock, could be beneficial for the many different communities living side by side in London. They started to deliver workshops with different groups in the local area, developing participatory arts programmes which worked to increase community cohesion through positive investigation and celebration of the differences and similarities between different groups. In fact Pan was the first company to use the term 'interculturalism' and its ethos; the forging of understanding through creativity when different cultures meet; lies at the heart of all Pan's work.
Over the years, with a core management team and a committed group of freelance artists, Pan has developed its expertise in theatre for development and now delivers a range of successful creative development and leadership programmes for disadvantaged young people across Greater London. These include a Refugee Arts Programme and an Arts Against Violence Programme which access over 4000 people every year through workshops, performances, festivals, lectures, conferences and DVDs.
Pan's work has also been recognised internationally as a beneficial tool in aiding the rehabilitation of those who have been affected by war, extreme poverty and natural disasters and works alongside the British Council and various other NGOs on humanitarian programmes.