Triple Pundit: How To Transform Cities With Community Supported Art

Modeled after a CSA, Springboard for the Arts connects artists with local residents.

Artists can transform cities. They turn wasted buildings into studios and lofts. Galleries and cafes follow. The neighborhood gentrifies. Rents go up. Next come condos…

But do cities return the favor? Laura Zabel of Springboard for the Arts in Minneapolis thinks they should.

She developed an innovative program called Community Supported Art. It’s patterned after community support agriculture (CSA), programs in which farmers sells shares in the harvest (rather than individual veggies) in exchange for regular deliveries of produce. At Springboard, “our big goal is creating a new system of supporting art. It’s about giving communities the ability to tap into the resources that artists have.”

Regularly Scheduled Art
The idea for community supported artists came to her after seeing her mother’s regular veg delivery. Not aimed at the usual collector class, Community Supported Art program reaches people who are concerned with supporting local economic community – such as coop members – who might be intimidated by artists. The Community Supported Art program works like this: nine artists receive a commission to produce 50 shares. People pay $300 for a share and receive one piece of work from each artist, which could be stained glass, ceramic, photographs or letterpress editions of a poem. Said Zabel, “It’s designed for people who aren’t part of art community, who are intimidated by going to a gallery. It creates an on ramp to finding out who is making work and it’s about making relationships between artists and communities, having the experience of meeting artists”.

The Community Supported Art program in Minneapolis is so popular, it regularly sells out. And it does foster relationships: Zabel tells how one stained glass artist received a commission to do four more pieces from a shareholder.

image credit:  Scott Streble

(Continue reading original article here.)

Originally published on Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission.

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