Young people in Sunderland will have the chance to add their voice to a playful and empowering mission to save the future when a sensational interactive video installation, Multiverse Arcade, arrives at Sunderland Culture’s Mackie’s Corner pop-up gallery from 25 May – 8 June.

‘What will you do when you’re in charge?’

Inspired by the belief that all young people should be able to answer this question, Multiverse Arcade begins with a machine playing a video message, from the year 2066, onto participant’s palms apologising for ruining the world. Using this thought-provoking question as a stimulus, Mackie’s Corner on High Street West, Sunderland, will be transformed into a headquarters of ideas, where opinions and voices can be expressed freely and recorded for the future.

Created by Unfolding Theatre, the installation at Mackie’s Corner will also feature the voices and views of young people from We Make Culture’s Young Musician’s Project who meet in Sunderland (Pop Recs) and have been working with Unfolding Theatre in the making of this event.

Multiverse Arcade inspires young people’s thinking about citizenship, while inviting them to explore and talk about social and environmental issues. It hopes to inspire and build young people’s confidence about the future roles they might take to influence change, through voting, volunteering and social action.

Using a specially created recording booth, young people can add their voices and opinions to thousands of others in a truly immersive experience. The booth generates a print-out of their sound wave, and a code to find their recording uploaded onto Instagram (@multiverse_arcade)

The event was part of last year’s Great Exhibition of the North and created with New Writing North’s Young Writers’ City at Excelsior Academy and Queen’s Hall Youth Theatre, with the aim to encourage young people to think about how they want to change the world.

Annie Rigby, Artistic Director at Unfolding Theatre, said:

‘I’m thrilled to be bringing Multiverse Arcade to Sunderland city centre and to give a voice to people here, who may have previously not had a chance to speak up about what they would change about the world and have it heard by a large audience.

‘Multiverse Arcade challenges  “Well, what are you going to do?” and we very much hope it encourages young people to feel that their voices and ideas can help make change happen.’

Multiverse Arcade is one of an ongoing series of pop-up exhibitions held at Mackie’s Corner, an iconic building in Fawcett Street, with the ambition to integrate culture into the city centre and bring spaces and buildings to life. The project is supported with funding from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through the ‘Unlock’ strand of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place programme.

Laura Brewis, Producer for the Great Place programme at Sunderland Culture, said:

‘Unlock aims to develop creative and cultural industries across the city,  providing support, skills and practice development, while creating opportunities for emerging artists to practice and develop in Sunderland.

‘We are really excited to see Multiverse Arcade transform the space at Mackie’s corner into a “headquarter of ideas” where young people in Sunderland can come and share their thoughts and ambitions and hear those of others.’

Multiverse Arcade in Sunderland is funded by Arts Council England, Virgin Money Foundation #iwill fund, Readman Family Grassroots Fund via Community Foundation.