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Since moving out from East Oxford Community Centre in May 2022, Fusion Arts has been popping up in different locations across the City. As part of an ongoing programme of reactivating empty spaces, in December 2022 Fusion Arts were invited to takeover the vacant building that was once Frank Cooper's marmalade factory, to hold a winter pop-up. With a turnaround time of less than two weeks, we collaborated with various partners including Divine Schism and Big Scary Monsters to breathe life back into this historic building. We set out to hold a makers market and some creative workshops, and through the process the building was transformed into a pop-up community centre.
26 Makers, ranging from painters to potters, wood whittlers, illustrators, designers, jewellery, candle, soap and doll makers. Here is some of their feedback, which shows how pleased they were with the Pop-Up market.
100% said that they made new connections.
100% said that the event increased how much they felt a part of the community.
100% said that they would like to be part of an event like this again
Over the course of the pop-up we held several workshops (the majority of which were free), including:
Silk painting and embroidery
Creative drawing mask
Decorating card screen-printing
Drinks: Local craft beer bottle shop and record store Big Scary Monsters provided the bar, Fusion Arts sold mulled wine or apple juice, and Meet Point Coffee provided chai, hot chocolate and a unique blend of locally roasted coffee beans.
Food: We worked with several local food vendors offering diverse cuisine from around the world including: Food Damascus Rose Kitchen, Oxford Community Action Kitchen and Iraqi Women Art & War.
Music: Our partner Divine Schism curated a line up of indie musicians for a free gig on Saturday evening, including: Richard Lewis The One and Only J. Henry.
We strived to be as sustainable as possible in every aspect of production, working closely with Green Arts Oxfordshire Network and other community and environmental groups to share equipment, reducing costs and carbon emissions.
Cowley Community Closet held a free clothing Swap Shop
Orinoco held a free gift wrapping workshop saving textile waste from landfill
Youth led Action 4 Nature shared sustainable living advice and natural decoration making as community outreach
All these workshops were family friendly and free of charge. We enjoyed the food and drinks from a number of community organisations such as traditional food by Iraqi Women Art and War, The Parasol Project and Oxford Community Action. As well as a coffee by Meet Point and locally brewed beers from Bman and Big Scary Monsters. In the evening there was live music and local band merch by Divine Schism, putting on an amazing gig! Thank you to the musicians - Richard Lewis, J. Henry, Aiden Canaday, Beth Shearsby and special guest appearance from Zahra Tehrani. And when asked to describe the event in three words we have got these lovely words: Friendly, inspiring, local, variety, fun, engaging, socially diverse, creative, enjoyable, opportunity, fun and development.
We were pleased to bring life and reactivate spaces with community engagement, happy faces and encouraging feedback. We would like to express our gratitude to all the workshop facilitators, local business, local sustainability, food and drinks vendors! The Old Fire Station, Modern Art Oxford, Tap Social, Velocity, Oxford Green Print and Florence Park Community Centre for the great support.
Fusion Arts is supported by Oxford City Council.
There was an eclectic mix of stalls and the food and drinks were great. The team that greeted us during set up were very nice and helpful.
Nice community atmosphere, lots going on!
A great selection of sellers and great coffee, amazing venue and the workshops were great!
I loved everything about it!
Fusion Arts work with artists, groups and communities from across Oxfordshire and beyond to support a variety of imaginative and socially engaged projects.
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