inside onca’s new art space on board the brighton barge

Next month ONCA will be opening their second space in the city as they take over a barge at Brighton Marina. Launching on 20th September, The Barge will be a dedicated learning and community space that runs events and educational workshops on board all year round. Oooh argh, we like the sound of that!

The new barge space will give the community a fresh space to use to develop and showcase their projects. Oh, and it’s available for private hire too! The upper deck is a flexible and inviting space with wheelchair access, making it the perfect spot for leading a workshop or hosting rehearsals, helping to support local artists in the community.


We’ve been big fans since they opened their first space in York Place back in 2012, bringing an exciting new spot to that part of the city. Ideal for meeting, thinking, learning and celebrating art, they encourage artists and audiences to ask big questions about difficult issues. ONCA has been an important space during some of the city’s biggest festivals too, including Brighton Digital Festival, Photo Fringe, Brighton Fringe, Brighton Festival and House Festival. Oh yes, they have a killer line-up of events!

From climate change to migration, they’ve hosted a whole heap of exhibitions, talks, events and projects with partners including artists, charities, educators, scientists and local businesses. One of our favourites has been the Herd event they’ve hosted a few times – pop your name in a jar at the door and if you’re lucky enough to be selected, you’ll get the chance to share a story that follows a theme chosen at random during the previous event, whilst sipping on wine, of course.

One thing we love about the work ONCA do is that they are always supporting people in the community who need it. They develop creative workshops for the deaf community, those affected by cancer, QITIPOC, young adults with learning difficulties, migrants and those presenting as homeless. From dance marathons to moving talks, they’ve got the lot!


The new venue manager, Ellie Liddell-Crewe, told us “We will be officially launching the space on the 20th September and we’ll have a DJ and performance, using the launch as a chance to celebrate all of the work we have done in the community as well as the amazing people we have worked with. I believe art should truly be for everyone and The Barge is a perfect place to bring about positive change for the arts.”

They promise a packed schedule of inspiring arts-based activities and events around topics such as sea, coast and community. Oi oi captain, that sounds right up our street. Here’s who you can expect to find on board:

Join them for their launch party on 20th September, 6.00pm – 9.00pm; free
The ONCA Barge, The Waterfront, The Marina, Brighton BN2 5UU
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