SEB_Erie_Cake_1 (2)

Sex Ed Bakeshop – Erie Edition

A bakeshop pop-up can be a delicious and inclusive space for consent to be defined and discussed with people ages 8 to 78.
Prep Time: 3 weeks
Bake Time: July 21-22, 2023
Flavors Profile: Body, Consent, Identity


2-Week artist residency at in Erie, PA
1-Gorgeous, light-filled corner storefront space to set-up
1-Collaboration with art installer, Vance Lupher, who assisted in transforming the storefront into the Bakeshop
1- Collaboration with Carrie Fuhrer and James Brannon, who baked and decorated all of the confections given away during the Sex Ed Bakeshop-Erie Edition
1-Benton C Bainbridge, who shot and edited video of the Sex Ed Bakeshop-Erie Edition
1-Zoe White Smith, who edited and programmed the video for the 3-channel “Erie on Consent” video installation
1-An attic and basement filled with vintage items for me to select and use
1-Antique register
1-Cigar humidor display case
Several baking tins and pans
3-milk glass vases and candy dishes
1-cake platter
1-metal rolling cart
1-large desk
1-roll of antique table covering
1-book shelf
Paint and cleaning supplies
White vinyl signage with the Sex Ed Bakeshop logos and consent definitions
3-Plexi cake displays
4-Plexi page displays
Many Consent books and resources
1-Coffee urn and station
1- Framed “Untitled Poem” by Beth Strano
The beautiful people of Erie, PA--to whom I am forever grateful!


  1. Get residency at, a media arts center in Erie, PA.
  2. Discuss needs and include a collaboration with local bakers.
  3. Meet with and commission two local bakers to make a series of pastries and decorated cakes that speak to the values of the Sex Ed Bakeshop.
  4. Hire a local art installer to help renovate the FEED space (1301 State Street) allocated for the residency.
  5. Clean and clear out 1301 State Street, Erie, PA location
  6. Paint and clean a cigar humidor to transform into a bakery display case.
  7. Paint an oversized desk to transform into a bakery counter.
  8. Design and order white vinyl Sex Ed Bakeshop logos and the definitions of consent.
  9. Install Sex Ed Bakeshop vinyl on the windows and walls of 1301 State Street.
  10. Set up tables and chairs to look like cafe seating in a Bakeshop.
    Place a definition of consent and Sex Ed Bakeshop Consent condoms on each table.
  11. Create an anonymous consent questionnaire for participants to fill out in the Bakeshop that allows them to explore their definitions of consent, if/how they learned about it, and what role it plays in their life. Put the questionnaire on laptop for participants to take wherever they need in the space of the Bakeshop to feel secure as they consider the questions.
  12. Create a Consent playlist on Spotify for participants to contribute to and a QR code for them to access later.
    Frame “Untitled Poem” by Beth Strano to set intention for space as inclusive and a space for sharing and vulnerability.
  13. Open the bakeshop for two days.
    Give away pastries.
  14. Invite the public in with informative text and an open dialogue about what you are trying to accomplish by inviting conversations about consent.
  15. Provide different options for participation (alone/anonymous, one-on-one conversation).
  16. As if it is ok to document what they have to say about consent.
  17. Transcribe the different descriptions and ideas about consent, compile, and create a 3-channel video installation that will sit in the windows of the bakeshop after the pop-up closes, with the title “Erie on Consent.”


The Sex Ed Bakeshop was open to the public at FEED’s 1301 State Street building in Erie, PA July 22 and 23, 2023. This pop-up featured free coffee and baked goods provided by local bakers, sexy ed products for sale, as well as conversations about consent and participatory recipe development for the Bakeshop’s upcoming “We Heart Sex Ed” recipe book. Participants’ contributions to the project were added, with their consent, to a multi-channel video piece, “Erie on Consent,” installed in the Bakeshop’s windows between July 22-28.

Hugs! The Sex Ed Bakeshop – Erie Edition
Erie on Consent

Bakers Tips

  • Make sure that signage about the project is posted prominently outside. Not everyone who comes into the space will have read or seen it, but it is necessary to have. No one should feel tricked by the appearance of a bakeshop.
  • Greet people with a brief introduction to the space and the goals for the pop-up, so that they know immediately how things work and what is expected. For example, “I am giving away free coffee and pastries today in exchange for conversations about consent. Would you like to participate? Tell me what I can get for you.”
  • Additionally, adding a suggestion of age appropriateness is advised (i.e. "it is suggested that people under 16 years be accompanied by an adult"). This does not suggest that the content is wrong or bad, but that we are being responsible and not attempting to have conversations with young people about things that might be too complicated for them to process on their own.
  • If a young person comes in with an adult, it’s best to take the adult's lead in terms of addressing the young person they are accompanying.
  • A conversation about consent can be made appropriate to discuss with any age (i.e. talk about being able to say no to hand shaking, hugging, kisses from strangers and tickling and how bad it feels to be forced to do something that you don't want to do).  Again, it's best to take the lead of the adults accompanying a child.
  • There should be multiple available laptops or ipads available with the consent survey and enough table space for participants to feel comfortable and secure while filling it out anonymously.
  • Create a plan for giving away any leftover food at the end of the event.