Shannon Gerard
The Mountain School Bookhouse

Micropublishing workshop for children at the Port Hope Fall Agricultural Fair, 2013

The Mountain School Bookhouse was set up at the 2013 Fall Fair in Port Hope, Ontario as a pop-up newspaper printshop. Working with a group of elementary and middle school students over 3 days, we conceptualized an artist-led newspaper, took on various roles as reporters, photographers, editors and printers, and then created and delivered the paper around the fairgrounds. On Friday night we dreamed up the paper and made swag to identify ourselves. On Saturday, students interviewed fairgoers with paper microphones, reported on their “beats,” and wrote up articles on several analog typewriters. On Sunday we composited the paper with DIY materials like scissors, tape and lettraset, then copied it at the local elementary school. Students decked out their bikes as delivery vehicles, made satchels out of old t-shirts, and rode around the fairgrounds distributing their paper, The Bairly News. This project gave the students real political agency within the public space of the Fair.

The project was led by Shannon Gerard, and co-facilitated by a group of her students from OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University): Mary Tremonte, JP King, Charlie Young, Graham Nicholas, and Fiona Roy.

(For “Identification Papers”. Supported in part by the Ontario Arts Council.)