Farmers have used Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs, for years now to get farm-fresh food directly to people's tables.
Customers pay a subscription or membership fee up front, and in turn, farmers bundle their freshest fruits, vegetables, meats and other food goods for customers to pick up weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Now, three friends want to use the CSA model to connect customers to artists in St. Louis, offering monthly boxes of paintings, records, screen-prints, poems, theater tickets or any other type of original art.
"I really think this project is a really exciting way to get people involved in their local arts communities," says Katy Peace, who is organizing the program, called CSA STL, with two friends, Gardiner Rhoderick and Cassandra Howard. "We want to break down the barriers to entry for both artists and consumers."
The first step, Peace says, is to find the nine artists who will create 50 unique works of art for three months of deliveries to CSA STL's members.
"We're really looking for artists of all disciplines," including musicians, glass-blowers, performance artists, writers and more, Peace says. "We're looking for as much fresh and local art as possible."
Once the artists are chosen by a five-member jury, they'll get a $1,000 stipend to start creating for CSA STL's subscribers, who will pay $300 for three months of art.
Peace says she hopes using a CSA model will encourage St. Louisans to invest upfront in local art in a way that is less intimidating or expensive than shopping in galleries or art fairs. Subscribers will get to meet-and-greet with the artists who contribute to their shares, giving them an even deeper connection to St. Louis' art scene.
"This is an easier way for people to make those connections," Peace says.
Want to apply to be a participating artist for CSA STL? Applications are due June 30.
Want to buy a share or find out more? Find out more here.