It is ambitious and audacious to challenge the status quo and commit to making real change in the world. But that is exactly what the Youth First coalition is doing with the expansive No Kids in Prison project. The goal of NKIP is to end youth incarceration and invest in community-based supports, services and opportunities for young people.
Officials, policy makers, activists and individuals who could become effective advocates are often distant from the issue so the group set out to raise awareness, educate and create connection using multi-media initiatives.
Performing Statistics, the NKIP lead creative agency, tapped Invisible Thread to be the project’s key production partner. Invisible Thread, a legendary Hollywood VFX studio, was the ideal choice because of their long-standing commitment to social justice.
NKIP project is a far reaching and complex initiative that combines an interactive 360 VR experience, a digital website and a building size mural and AR activation. The challenge was to impact and educate multiple constituencies on the severity of the incarcerated children problem and create positive, meaningful change.
The teams created virtual, digital and physical media solutions to drive awareness, engagement, empathy and action. The initial three projects are: Detained– an immersive experience; a resource rich website; and a sixteen story AR enabled mural on the Richmond, VA City Hall.
- Detained: Virtual reality is acknowledged as one of the most effective methods to actually create empathy and embody ‘a walk in another’s shoes’. Invisible Thread, using VR/ 360 immersive video, created a powerful experience from the point of view of young offenders– documenting what they missed, their loneliness, abuse, loss of humanity.
- NKIP Website: nokidsinprision.org. Comprehensive hub filled with content that educates, showcases actionable solutions and shines a light on how young people can prosper in a future free of incarceration. Sections like Watch, Explore, Experience, Learn, Solutions, Action and others provide facts, direction and background to viewers.
- Freedom Constellation Mural: Dramatic artwork, viewable from miles away, features an interactive AR experience that illustrates the hopes and dreams of young organizers and includes a collective poem, animations in the clouds above the building and pleas for a safe and secure path forward for young people nationwide.
Feedback has been spectacular. Phases 1 and 2 are complete. The project has moved beyond the pilot stage and is rolling out to six cities—Philadelphia is next in summer 2022. Bus wraps and other media elements are being produced redeploying existing assets. Engagement with key constituencies like policy makers, city governments, educators and community members is at an all-time high. Fundamental change will take years but the Invisible Thread team is filled with optimism and on a path to changing the world and unlocking the potential of thousands of incarcerated kids.
COMPANY: Invisible Thread