Summer fundraiser update

sundaes2Summer is the usual rollercoaster here as we do some fundraising to cover our quiet season alongside doing events, vegan shakes and sundaes and some gorgeous cakes.

People often ask why we need to fundraise as well as running the cafe and this is a good question we like to talk about 🙂

Our space has always been primarily for art and community, and we make our decisions based on what is best to serve these two aims, as well as a strong focus on environmentalism and social progress.

aimee_eggThroughout history, meeting spaces and ‘common place’ has been crucial to positive social change, and we work in our own small way to be a part of that story.

What that means is that, in a very competitive (increasingly so as more and more food and drink outlets open in the city) market, we often have to make the ethical decision that isn’t necessarily the one that brings in the most cash.

All through our nearly 13 year history, we have been supported by donations from our community and we usually focus on this during the summer months, when events and the cafe become a little quieter.

Our target this year is an ambitious £25,000 worth of donations and we have raised:


This is awesome but we still have £16780.35 to go!

Please donate now to help us reach our target – any amount adds to the total, if everyone on this mailing list chipped in between £3 and £5, we would be there in no time.

Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far – we have a very special invitation to an exclusive event heading to you in the next few days, keep an eye on your inbox!

If you don’t wish to use PayPal, please click here for other ways to donate


Posted in Community news & views, Events, Future plans, Getting involved, Uncategorized

What’s on guides Aug – Oct 2019 are ready

Our printable what’s on guide is here for August – October – print yours out here

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The Art House needs YOU!

We are current low on regular weekly volunteers and are doing a shout out for people to join our crew.


Do you want to be involved in on-the ground grassroots activism that has a direct, positive and quantifiable impact on the local community? This is your opportunity to get involved with The Art House!


What does it involve?


We won’t lie – there’s a lot of washing up and cleaning! But we also provide barista training, till training and food prep training – if you volunteer in the kitchen you will get the opportunity to learn more about vegan cooking and be privy to our magic recipes. You will also get to meet lots of lovely people!


When /how often do I need to be free?


Whilst we are very flexible in terms of working times and regularity, shifts tend to be 4 hours long and we absolutely adore when people can commit to a regular weekly shift as this really helps us out! However we understand this isn’t possible for everyone – but we do ask that you come a minimum of twice a month, unless you’re specifically unable to for a short period.


Having volunteers enables us to buy and operate ethically – by using organic, local and fairtrade products – whilst preventing the exploitation of people, animals and planet without passing the cost on to our community.  This keeps us accessible to as many people as possible without compromising our values.


We aim to have 65 active volunteers on our team, as we have 62 individual shifts to fill a week across the kitchen and café. We currently have 31 volunteers so we are a bit thin on the ground!

If you would like to find out more and apply, please fill in the form below:

Posted in Uncategorized

Announcement: ArtSoTrans programme

ArtSoTrans is a community project in Southampton hosted by The Art House with support from Chrysalis, aiming to showcase the work of transgender people in the arts as part of the annual Transgender Day of Visibility celebrations (31st March).

We want to communicate to the wider community that transgender people have been here the whole time – that trans people are not a “new fad” and have been coexisting with cisgender people far before this recent upsurge in transphobic rhetoric.

Art is a universal language and can be used to unite people no matter their background or life experience differences. By shining a spotlight on transgender contributions to local art, we hope to engage a broad audience and convey the notion that trans people are valued and should be respected just the same as anyone else in our society.

During this week we will have art exhibited on the walls at The Art House, there will be live performance, workshops catered for trans people and for allies and more to get involved with. If you want to get involved, please email us via

Tuesday 26 March

Inclusivity workshop with Chrysalis
7pm – 9.30pm
Book here

Wednesday 27 March

Gender Identity Variance & Mental Health – a talk with Georgia Williams
7pm – 9.30pm
Book here

Thursday 28 March

Chrysalis Wellbeing Circle

Friday 29 March

Moving Voices ArtSoTrans takeover 
With host RKP and special guest Ethereal
Suggested donation £5 on the door

Saturday 30 March

Hunting Hearts & friends
Ash Ellis, Joey White + more tbc
Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm
Book here

Posted in Uncategorized

March 2019 highlights

Friday 1 March
Words the Turtle Taught me with Susan Richardson

Saturday 2 March
Jason Buck: Stories of the Vikings SOLD OUT

Sunday 3 March
Seed Swap

Friday 8 March
In Their Own Words with Damian O’Vitch

Saturday 9 March
Spitdust Album Launch

Wednesday 20 March
Drumming with Kwame Bakoji

Friday 22 March – Sunday 31 March
ArtSoTrans – Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) events

Tuesday 26 March
Inclusivity workshop with Chrysalis
(for TDoV)

Wednesday 27 March
‘A Deal with the Universe’ film screening for TDoV

Friday 29 March
Moving Voices TDoV special open mic with special guest Ethereal

Saturday 30 March
Hunting Hearts, Ash Ellis & Joey White

Sunday 31 March
Creativity Beyond the Binary workshop with Jani

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This weekend & next week at The Art House 1/2 -10/2 2019

Friday 1 Feb
Matt L T Smith & friends (Poetry showcase)

Saturday 2 February
Collage workshop with Nina Fraser

Sunday 3 February
Steve Snow live & unplugged in the cafe – free entry 1 – 3pm

Tuesday 5 February
The Art House on Board – board games night 6.30 – 10pm

Wednesday 6 February

Le Cafe des Amis French language cafe, 12.30 – 1.30pm
Crafty Cafe drop-in with Gill, 2.45 – 5.45pm
Poetry Stanza group, 7.30pm
The Art House book club, 7.30pm

Thursday 7 February 

Extinction Rebellion Southampton community meeting
7 – 9pm

Special storytelling event!

On Thursday February 7th, Southampton Storyclub will be playing host to Heads & Tales from Ringwood, who are performing their annual Epic in an Evening.

Saturday 9 February

Ash Ellis live & unplugged in the cafe 3 – 5pm

Daniel Eagle & friends 7.30pm
Click here for tickets and details

Sunday 10 February 

Doug and Ian live & unplugged in the cafe, 1 – 3pm

Tristan and Isolde is one of the great romances of Mediaeval literature, presented here for you by no fewer than six storytellers, with all its pageantry, gallantry, honour, love deception and ultimate tragedy – with a giant and a dragon thrown in!

Starting at 7.30 in order to get the whole story finished by closing time. £5 entry. Mediaeval costume entirely optional. Hope to see you there

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What makes us different

Things The Art House does differently as a nonprofit arts space as opposed to a commercial café – aka why we need donations on top of our café revenue to fund our space:

* We provide space to groups to use on an ability to pay basis, often free or by donation, and never make using our space conditional on buying something for anyone (we do obviously encourage those who can afford to chip in to do so!). Our space is here for art and community, not profit.

* We prioritise ethics over money in every business decision we make.

* Our space prioritises comfort, accessibility, quiet areas, flexible seating and mixed purpose space over cramming in as many customers as we can.

* We buy organic, local and fairtrade as much as we can, which is a lot – not just a few token items for marketing purposes.

* We ensure, although we aren’t puritanical about it, that we use wholefoods, offer non alcoholic drinks in abundance and minimise fats, sugars and salt in our dishes. In a world where fast food sells, this isn’t always what gets the crowds in. You are never going to feel that slightly nauseous sense of regret after eating a meal here 😉

* We have always had the largest proportion of our menu as vegan, even when it was not trendy and at a time when it put us at a business disadvantage. We will keep doing it whatever the market does.

We could talk more about how we run and how all the business books say not to run that way (we hardly do anything the business books say to do, frankly), but we hope this helps.

Capitalism is a hostile environment for a truly ethical space. We need all the help we can get to survive it.

Donations from our supporters and the contributions of volunteers are what make it possible for us to model a new way of providing communal space for creativity, and we thank everyone who ‘gets’ this and makes it possible for us to exist!

Want to be a part of writing a new story for the future of community art spaces? Join our Patreon community for as little as £2 a month and get rewards, insights and offers exclusive to our supporters.

Posted in Behind the scenes, Community news & views, Future plans, Getting involved, Our philosophy

What’s coming up – Jan/Feb highlights

Highlights for the rest of January ….

Thursday 24 January
In Their Own Words with Damian O’Vitch

Friday 25 January
Moving Voices open mic
with special guest Stephen Ripper Mizen

Saturday 26 January
Mara Simpson (folk/storyteller)

Thursday 31 January
Music: Remi Harris (guitarist)

February Highlights at The Art House

Friday 1 Feb
Matt L T Smith & friends (Poetry showcase)

Saturday 9 February
Daniel Eagle & friends

Wednesday 13 February
Hammer & Tongue Solent ft Desree
(performance poetry)

Thursday 14 January
Lexi Wolfe: The Storyteller II
(Stories of love for Valentine’s day)

Friday 15 February
Red Tent open evening & film screening – details soon!

Saturday 16 February 
The Arnie Cottrell Tendency 

Sunday 17 February
Steampunk bring ‘n Buy

Tuesday 19 February
OUT-TAKE ensemble composing with a crowd
(workshop/interactive music event)

Wednesday 20 February
Drumming with Kwame Bakoji

Thursday 21 February
In Their Own Words with Damian O’Vitch

Saturday 23 February
On the Fringe of Science: Quacks, Cranks & Charlatans with Ian Dunne

Have a listen to the Spotify Playlist of our upcoming events here

Posted in Community news & views, Events, Local music, what's on

New Directors!


We have some really exciting news! On Thursday 17 January, we appointed two new Directors, taking our team from three to five.

Devin Valentine has been a cafe co-ordinator here since Mary 2016 and this year took on more admin, volunteer applications, rota management and funded projects.

You may also know him from such events as Reclaim the Night 2016, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil. Hobbies include fixing things, motorcycles and playing bass in his band Hunting Hearts (who are playing here tomorrow, Saturday 19 January, at 7.30pm – there are still tickets left!).

Dave Hubble is well known around Southampton, having co-ordinated our local Greenpeace group for many years, been active on the art and poetry scene and a common sight at local gigs! He joined The Art House as a maintenance co-ordinator and in the last couple of years took on the exhibitions co-ordination. He also once wrote a book on leaf beetles.

Posted in Behind the scenes, Community news & views, Future plans, Our crew, Uncategorized

This week at The Art House – to Sunday 20/1/19

Crafty Cafe every Wednesday 2.45 – 5.45pm, drop in, by donation
Facebook event here

The Art House Photography group, second Thursday monthly, 7.30pm
Facebook event here


Wassailing The Art House with Ancasta Rising, Friday 18 January from 7pm
Facebook event here


Hunting Hearts & Henry Newbury, Saturday 19 January, doors 7.30pm

Posted in Community news & views, Events, Local music, what's on