White Plains, NY
As a sophomore at Wesleyan University, Kate Weiner noticed that even though her institution had a stellar sustainability program and most of her student cohort did care about the environment, it was hard to get them to actually take actions that would help conserve resources and protect the environment. An internship with a feminist farming collective in Chile her junior year gave her the idea of exploring collectives as a tool for impactful engagement in sustainable living and social change. In 2014, she founded LOAM, a student run environmental arts collective that, via a literary magazine and a gardening program, provides a creative space and multiple pathways for students to explore sustainability and environmentalism.
LOAM’s eponymous magazine features environmentally themed art and writing by students. Copies are distributed for free on campus. The gardening program, called Wild Walls features low-cost wall gardens built and maintained by students. LOAM has produced three issues of the magazine so far and various installations of Wild Walls. If the messages and contributions pouring in from Wesleyans, alumni, and students from other campuses is any measure, Weiner has been pretty successful in creating the impact she had sought.
Weiner graduated earlier this year, but she continues to create a welcoming space off campus for people to learn more about sustainability and explore their environment through multiple creative channels. She and her peers have hosted a national youth essay contest and launched a vibrant new online home for LOAM.