The Old Fire Station isn’t just an arts centre. We share our building with the charity Crisis, and together we aim to help end homelessness in Oxford.
We help homeless people become more resilient and stable by:
- Offering training and volunteering opportunities to Skylight members, who can learn a wide variety of skills front of house, in the shop and backstage.
- Providing opportunities for Crisis members to create and show work with professional artists, from gallery exhibitions such as 2016’s ShedSpace, to the ongoing theatre project Hidden Spire.
- Enabling Crisis members to see shows and learn about the exhibitions in our gallery.
A shared space
Members of the public come to the Old Fire Station to drink coffee, buy art, attend dance classes or watch a show. Homeless people come to learn, gain skills and get support. Artists and students come to rehearse, create and showcase. Local residents and businesses too have access to spaces they can use for their own events.
They all come through the same door and find themselves sharing space and overlapping interests. Our work strengthens communities by bringing them together. In particular, homeless people, many of whom are very vulnerable, can become part of a public organisation walking through inspirational spaces every day where they are treated with respect.
‘Art is an inclusive creative process…we want to enable vulnerable people to be part of ‘ordinary’ life, rather than confined to marginal ‘specialist’ areas’ – Jeremy Spafford, Director.