Arts Emergency

What we do

From mentoring projects to album launches, The Arts Emergency Service will change the lives of thousands of current and future students. We aim to ensure the doors of the university are kept open for those most able to benefit from, but least able to pay for education.


Mentoring is a wonderful way to have a positive impact on a young person’s life. Our student members work with a mentor over the course of a year, meeting up with them once a week with additional support in between. They are helped to explore their options in Higher Education and the creative and professional worlds, and to pursue their current personal goals. All of our mentors have an arts degree or considerable experience in a relevant field (law, art, music etc) and we provide accreditation level training in communication and child protection.

A Mentor Pair’s story

Become a Mentor



We run a national ‘alternative’ Old Boy Network that aims to create privilege for people without privilege and counter the myth that universities, and in particular arts degrees, are the domain of the middle and upper classes. Our volunteers come from TV, film, music, art, fashion, academia, law, architecture, activism, comedy, social work, journalism, publishing, design, activism and theatre.

Student members and partner colleges are able to access this network for information, advice and guidance. Many volunteers make themselves available for school talks and workshops. All our members get a beautiful portrait from our Artist in Residence

Join as a network contact

AOBN collage1

College Workshops

We arrange workshops for students of all ages through our network and partner colleges. With an entire generation now incentivised to disengage from “soft” subjects like Drama, Music and Media our workshops aim to inform, inspire and empower young people to take aim high. Covering everything from LGBT History to Comedy, Radio and Film, our volunteer lead workshops aim to demystify creative careers and extol the virtues of an Arts degree.


Public Events

We organise high profile events that throw a sharp, celebratory light on the arts and humanities – and help ensure a public argument is mounted to maintain that these subjects should remain a viable path for anyone, from any background.

AE at The Hackney Empire

AE at The Oxford Literary Festival


Positive Propaganda

Our in-house agitprop team (namely Josie Long, Bryony Johnson, Andrew Beltran, Helen Zaltzman and Lizzy Stewart) produce work that challenges utilitarian value systems in education and celebrates creativity, passion and learning. We disseminate our positive messages through the press and social media.

Claim some agitprop