Arts at the Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station is home to two organisations: Arts at the Old Fire Station runs a public professional arts centre in the heart of Oxford with an eclectic programme of shows, exhibitions and classes in its theatre, gallery, studios, and shop; Crisis Skylight is a training centre for homeless people run by Crisis.

Homeless people, many of whom face severe and multiple disadvantage, are included in the day-to-day life of the arts centre as volunteers, trainees, audience members, participants and artists. Arts at the Old Fire Station, funded by Lankelly Chase, provide a bridge between the arts and social care sectors and, for vulnerable adults, a route away from being defined purely as a service user towards being a contributor.

People facing severe and multiple disadvantage are able to become spectators and participants in art events alongside the public; create shows and exhibitions for the public alongside professional artists; acquire skills through training and volunteering; and become part of a successful social business.

Through this work, Arts at the Old Fire Station seeks to increase personal resilience for homeless people, produce more successful artists, provide great art to the public and, through its integrative approach, create a shared public space that helps to break down systemic barriers and allows people from different backgrounds to meet, collaborate and build networks and friendships.

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