Artists ask people to share views on Sunderland’s future at community talk

The talk takes place on April 11
The talk takes place on April 11
Have your say

What would you change about Sunderland? What will the city look like in 100 years time?

An ‘Alternative Futures’ discussion will give you the chance to have your say, and listen to the perspectives of others at an event this Thursday at Mackie’s Corner, from 5.30pm – 8pm, on High Street West in the city centre.

The event is part of an arts project commissioned by University of Sunderland and Newcastle University, and delivered by promoter The Culture


“We think that encouraging debate about our collective future through the medium of an arts project might lead to a more positive, less hyper-political response - and that such an approach might even encourage people from opposing view points to come together in a common cause and express themselves in a non-adversarial environment,” explained Rachel Horton, managing director at The Culture Vulture.

The Alternative Futures project has already organised activities, exhibitions and workshops in Newcastle and Gateshead, and has now moved to Sunderland.

Artists in residency activity in Newcastle and Gateshead included artists working to visualise what climate change and transport might look like in the future, working to explore what the area would be like in the future and songwriting workshops.

The Mackie’s Corner event is the project’s Wearside launch. Rachel explained: “After successful residency projects in Gateshead and Newcastle, it’s now time for the people of Sunderland to be future makers and to consider what if the future of Sunderland was in their hands – what would they do? What might they change? What would Sunderland look like in 100 years or more?

“In attending the exhibition at Mackies Corner, you will see the outcomes of three Sunderland based arts’ residencies, meet the artists, see the work that has been created working with community groups in Sunderland and most importantly, add your own thoughts and reflections.”

The event will start with a performance from musician and member of band The Cornshed Sisters Jennie Brewis. A panel discussion talking about a future Sunderland in all its forms – community, culture, technology, transport, diversity and the economy – will then follow.

Confirmed panelists are: Kirsty Curie (Sunderland BID); Joanne Cooper (Back on the Map); Mark Burns Cassell (Sunderland artist); Michael Barrass (Cultural Spring) and Laura Brewis (Sunderland Culture).