Great art for the public
We want our reputation to be good quality art aimed at adults which takes a risk, asks a question and entertains. We want our audiences to have fun and be open to new ideas and different people.
Professional development of artists
We support early to mid career artists from all disciplines with advice, subsidy, networks and promotion to help them become more successful.
Building the confidence and skills of homeless people
We help homeless people choose their own labels by including them as audience, participant, trainee, volunteer, contributor or artist. This helps develop networks, build resilience and leads to more stable lives.
A new kind of public space
We offer a public space which is shared by very different people and helps to break down barriers and promote solidarity.
We have a Shop selling original artwork, a Gallery with a wide range of exhibitions, a Theatre offering music and drama, a Studio for all kinds of dance, and workshops for artists to make work. We also have spaces to hire for classes, rehearsals and meetings.
We share the building with Crisis Skylight Oxford– a training centre offering creative and formal learning opportunities to homeless and vulnerably housed people and a dedicated employment service which helps them find and keep jobs. The Crisis Skylight Cafe provides on-the-job training, as well as great city centre food and drink to the wider public.
Members of the public come to the Old Fire Station to drink coffee, buy art, attend classes or watch a show. Homeless people come to learn, gain skills and get support. Artists come to rehearse, create and showcase. They all come through the same door and find themselves sharing space and having overlapping interests.
The Arts are for everyone. Everyone has potential.
We turned three in 2014 – below is our retrospective report of the first three years of AOFS.