News Story

We are thrilled to announce a significant and inspiring change in leadership at Contact, as we welcome Bella Ikpasaja as the new Chair of the Board.

Championing arts, culture, and sustainability, Bella Ikpasaja takes the helm as Contact’s new Chair of the Board. As a mentor with the Prince’s Trust, Bella understands the value of nurturing young talent. She also brings a unique blend of creative industry-wide experience (including BFI) and social purpose, aligning with Contact’s mission to transform the face of theatre.

I’m honoured to chair Contact Manchester, a much-loved arts hub inspiring young people for over 50 years. While facing funding challenges, UK arts play a vital social and economic role. I’m committed to leading a strategic turnaround plan, supporting the talented team, and ensuring Contact continues to offer a space for creativity, and community, and shaping the imagination of future generations. As a Manchester-born professional now based in London, I’m passionate about using my experience to champion regional growth and opportunity for all.

Bella Ikpasaja

Her diverse career path, coupled with board experience at Autism at Kingwood Trust where she jointly led a turnaround strategy, underscores her collaborative leadership style. And a commitment to inclusivity, community development, and navigating challenges - values deeply embedded in Contact’s core.

As a Manchester native now residing in London, Bella advocates for regional economic growth and equitable opportunities. Leading Contact, she’s committed to fostering an inclusive space that nurtures young artistic talent, shapes future leaders and strengthens communities across Greater Manchester.

Beyond artistic development, Bella’s dedication to sustainability is aligned with Contact’s commitment to environmental responsibility and building a carbon-neutral future.

Contact's staff meet Bella Iksapaja, the new Chair of the Board

This appointment comes at a time when the arts industry faces unique challenges, and Contact is poised to navigate these waters with resilience and vision. Bella's leadership is anticipated to invigorate the organization, ensuring that Contact Theatre remains a beacon for artistic excellence, community engagement, and social impact.

I'm really excited to have Bella join the Contact board of Trustees as Chair at this crucial time. Bella brings with her a wealth of experience and a commitment to the vital work Contact does with young people across the region. Bella's leadership will help guide Contact through our next phase, continuing to champion young people by placing them at the heart of our decision making and the work we do.

Jack Dale-Dowd, Interim Executive Director of Contact

Join us in welcoming Bella Ikpasaja to the Contact family. We look forward to an era of continued growth, creativity, and positive change under her dynamic leadership.