We have some exciting news for you—something we’ve been trying to keep under wraps a while longer—but frankly, we’re too excited about it to keep it a secret anymore. So, here goes!
During the strategic planning process (which kept us very busy for the last several months), the Fresh Arts staff dug through the programs and services of countless arts service organizations across the country. (We wanted to know what our peers were up to—what is working in our field, what is not, who’s doing what, etc.) In our research, we sort of developed a “crush” on an arts organization in Minneapolis, MN called Springboard for the Arts. The Springboard team has a really refreshing perspective on the important role of arts in the community and as a result, have designed an exciting menu of programs which cast artists as change-makers and community-builders. One such program is Community Supported Art (CSA),* which is described in detail below. In an exciting turn, the Community Supported Art concept has exploded—moving into cities across the country and featured in the NY Times yesterday: read it here. (Our good friend and head of the Fiscal Sponsorship Program at Fractured Atlas, Diane Debicella, started a CSA in Brooklyn!)
We immediately knew we wanted to start the first CSA program in Houston, and fortunately, the generous folks at Springboard gave us their blessing. Just like the motivations behind our annual Winter Holiday Art Market, we not only believe in creating new and greater opportunities for our city’s independent artists to generate income, but creating more opportunities for new collectors to invest in our art community and build meaningful relationships with those artists. Clearly, CSA was a perfect fit for us! And it is an honor to host a CSA project in Houston—and one of the first in the state of Texas.
We will initiate the call for artist proposals this fall, but in the meantime, we hope you will sign up for updates through our newsletters: http://bit.ly/14uak98
WE CANNOT WAIT! WE CANNOT WAIT! WE CANNOT WAIT!
Team Fresh Arts
Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-direct, buy-local spirit in mind, mnartists.org and Springboard for the Arts created a similar endeavor to support local art, artists, and collectors. Community Supported Art is an exciting new model of art support and distribution that supports artists in the creation of new work and establishes relationships with local collectors and patrons.
Nine selected artists receive a commission to create 50 “shares” for the program. Interested collectors will purchase a share from Springboard for the Arts and, in return, receive boxes or portfolios of locally produced artwork at intervals during the season. Featured works could include nearly anything: In the past, we’ve had specially-pressed vinyl 7-inch records, screen prints, series of small functional ceramics, photography, letterpress editions of a poem or short story, and 50 small original paintings. Each member share includes one piece from each of the nine CSA featured artist works over the season at pick-up events. They’re $350 each.