Teen scribes launch art magazine

[attach]1079[/attach]It’s not all budding teen actors who get professional designer Cameron Porteous to create a model set for their high school play. And not every young journalist gets a sit down interview with award-winning author Lawrence Hill or Canada AM news host Beverly Thomson.

But the high school students who spent a year producing the first edition of Lawrence Park CI’s arts magazine Masquerade sure did.

Students not only got to meet and write about professionals in the arts for articles in the high school’s first ever glossy magazine, but these connections have developed into mentorships.

Grade 11 drama students Connor Whitworth and Ryan Hill have already reaped the benefits.

“Ryan and I got to interview Cameron Porteous, a professional set designer and he helped us design our set last year and is designing our set this year,” Whitworth says.

There’s an article in the Masquerade by student Chris Jones, who interviewed Lawrence Park alumna Thomson when she visited the school.

All the students got some face time with Thomson, which left a lasting impression for Whitworth.

The drama student is interested in theatre, politics and broadcast journalism, so meeting Thomson piqued his interest.

“I feel I could call up Bev Thomson and get an internship,” Whitworth says.

Masquerade is the brainchild of principal Lillian Jovanovic, who dreamt up the glossy arts magazine idea.

She could not be more proud.

“This has received a lot of attention. I have received many emails to see if I can send teachers or students to (other) schools to show them how to do it,” she says.

Hill adds, “You have to get staff involved. It’s such a professional production that you need their support and drive.”

English teacher Cory Antonini and drama teacher Michael Laidlaw were the lead coordinators, approaching students in writers craft, media studies, drama, visual arts, music and French immersion to contribute content.

“I had my media studies class do a unit on branding and messaging,” says Antonini. “How do you create a brand that encompasses all the arts.

“The other challenge (is) you need content,” he adds. “The great surprise is we thought we’d have 12, then 16, then 20 pages.”
They ended up with 40.

The school received funding from the federal government through a Sector Council grant and is ad free. The second edition of the ad-free mag will be published next fall.