The Really Free Market

no money, no bartering at a local free market event

Lindsey Quinnies

The sweet RV is not free.
The sweet RV is not free.

The Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) is an international organization that has found an ideal home right here in the Eau Claire community. This “gift economy” consists of people from the community coming together along with their talents, knowledge, presence, and various abundances such as “clothing, books, a meal, an art project, a story, a performance, a lesson, your ideas and beyond.” For the past five years, local EC resident Cassie Casillas has been shaping the event on and off after getting the idea from her sister. Although there are some participants that are more involved, such as Mark Kasiewicz and Mary Lightfoot, there is nobody really in charge of the RRFM; it is about providing something for the self to participate in and “the individual adding themselves” and making it whatever they want it to be. Cassie shares that her passion stems from her “enthusiasm for a gift economy where our community can come together … the only currency being the will to give and love ... and providing an alternative way to provide support and security.” Aside from being a community potluck to benefit the municipal as a whole, it is essentially “a celebration of our community and our ability to care for one another.” In the future, Mary Lightfoot and other followers hope that the RRFM will continue to “gain spirit in heart” and stay truly “free” by avoiding sponsorships and advertisements at the event, while still gaining support from the city and communal residents. They also hope to create synergy in the community by being integrated into the Eau Claire economy as something our community embraces and relies on.