On-campus market still growing after three years

On-campus market still growing after three years

Adrienne Underwood, Staff Reporter

Escaping the “Tulane bubble” requires less travel than ever before at the Green Wave Community Market.

GWCM is the only entirely student-run, free-to-vendors community arts and farmers market in New Orleans. What started as a sustainability initiative among eight founding friends has transformed over the past three years into a regular source of local goods and services for the Tulane community.

“We really want to create a community space where Tulane students can connect with the New Orleans [community] in a way that’s close to home and easy to access,” founder and head of GWCM Claire Beauchamp said. “It’s really friendly and warm.”

In an effort to bring more green initiatives to the student body, the organization got its start through the Tulane Jewish Leaders program at The Goldie and Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life, also known as Tulane Hillel. The program provides students with resources and mentorship to bring their ideas for campus life into reality.

“We’ll talk to them about their kind of high-in-the-sky, big idea,” said Liza Sherman, Chief Operating and Programs Officer of Tulane Hillel. “So that’s how the community market started.”

The organization has grown in frequency, attendance and involvement. Vendors per market have grown from the initial eight to 15 on average, including CoCoNola, Gator and Crane, Girls Gone Vegan, and Crescent City Market. Unlike other community markets, GWCM is entirely free to vendors.

“That’s pretty exceptional,” Beauchamp said. “There’s not a lot of student-run markets, but also not a lot of markets in the city where vendors can go and not lose any money directly by being there, even if they’re not selling amazingly.”

The markets offer a variety of products including fresh produce, all-natural beauty products, fresh-baked bread, and locally made arts and crafts. All business at the markets is local and small-scale: many are recycling-based, vintage or in some way promoting a positive environmental presence.

“It gives [students] a starting point while they’re in school to get used to buying things locally and being excited about fresh produce or fresh baked bread and all those things that they can then carry into their adult life,” Beauchamp said.

In addition to shopping, students can listen to live music, relax or talk with other market-goers in an environment that the GWCM strives to make inviting and fun.

“When you’re stuck on campus all the time … sometimes you just need to take that hour and step away and be able to sit and listen to music and chat with someone,” Beauchamp said. “That’s a big thing.”

The organization has also grown into a community space for Tulane students to connect with the New Orleans community and an access point for students to further pursue being engaged with the community outside of the Tulane bubble without having to physically go far.

“It’s nice to get people to support their local businesses and support New Orleans,” director of advertisement of GWCM Emily Linn said. “New Orleans is taking such good care of us while we’re going to school here. It’s nice to support the people who live here in return.”

Students and New Orleanians alike have an opportunity in GWCM to further their involvement with and impact on their community.

“You can really create a happy neighborhood and a healthy neighborhood by supporting local,” Beauchamp said.

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