Grant #134

Subsistence Research Center of Southern Illinois

March 23, 2015

Infoshops have been around since the Spanish Revolution, but what would you do with one in Carbondale, Illinois? Make a ruckus, that’s what!

Sarah Baumgarten is a social ecologist, environmental educator, and activist. She’s also our 134th Awesome Without Borders Grantee! Her Subsistence Research Center of Southern Illinois project will turn Carbondale’s old Big Muddy Independent Media Center into a radical infoshop. The goal is to create subsistence and community, essentially freeing Carbondale from the mass economic system. The infoshop will also be used as a community soil bank, and for edible landscaping.

What’s an infoshop? It’s a space where people involved in radical movements and countercultures can trade information, meet, and network with other people or other groups, from their own town, other cities, or even other countries. It’s a space where various groups can hold meetings or events such as musical performances, poetry readings, or seminars. Infoshops have even been known to house “free schools,” meaning various educational workshops offered to the public, for free.

The Research Center (they’re exploring changing the name) will be using the funds to build bike carts to hull compostable material from business and residential areas, and to transport tools and plants for the edible landscaping project. Some of the funds will assist in building a “grow-light” system to make it possible to germinate their own seeds, providing the community with quality edible plants and native plants.

Wanna help out? Great! Questions for how to further assist this project should be sent directly to Sarah.

We can’t wait to see this idea bloom!

Category: Activism, Community, Empowerment, Gardens, Social Impact



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders