Abstract: This article discusses how non‐formal arts education attenuates socioeconomic and cultural barriers in a vulnerable context. Although cultural capital has usually been conceived as dependent on high socioeconomic status, we explore the inclusiveness of a project of non‐formal education and how it enhances the capacity of youth to achieve empowerment and self‐confidence through the arts. We analyse the case study of a non‐formal arts educational organisation located in a deprived neighbourhood of Barcelona (Spain) and identify several key factors associated with successful social inclusion and its limitations. We find that the pedagogical processes involved create both learning opportunities and social and interpersonal skills useful for the present and future lives of the young participants. Methodologically, the case study combines non‐participant observation of the different activities of the organisation and semi‐structured qualitative interviews with young people and educators. The article concludes with some recommendations for considering artistic non‐formal education as a tool in any social inclusion agenda.