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ArtServe Michigan to serve up fresh, local art

ArtServe Michigan to launch a CSA share...for art.
Jennifer Guerra
Michigan Radio
ArtServe Michigan to launch a CSA share...for art.

An arts advocacy group is stealing an investment idea from the agriculture world in an effort to get more folks to buy local art.

A statewide arts advocacy group wants to serve up some fresh, local art. To do so, the group is copying an investment model popular in the agricultural world.

Lots of farms in Michigan participate in Community Supported Agriculture. Folks can buy a CSA share in a farm. In return, the shareholder gets a weekly crate of fresh farm produce.

Now ArtServe Michigan is launching a CSA for art in metro Detroit, based on a successful program in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Cezanne Charles is with ArtServe. She said during the 3 month "growing season," which begins in April, shareholders will receive nine pieces of art from nine local artists:

"This can be anything from...original small paintings, to the idea of doing like a limited edition 7-inch vinyl, to doing a short chap book of poetry or literary work," Charles said.

Charles said 50 shares will be available March 5, and each share costs $350.

Keeping with the CSA farm share idea, Charles said at least one of the pieces of art will come in a crate. And, like with the produce you encounter in a CSA share, there's "going to be some stuff you love, some stuff you hate, and some stuff that you come to love that you never thought that you would," said Charles.

Participants will get to meet the artists when they pick up their shares in metro Detroit.

Artists interested in participating must submit an application by Feb. 3, and live in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb or Washtenaw counties. Artists will get a $1000 stipend to create their art for the share.

Charles said they hope to expand the program to Grand Rapids, Flint, Traverse City and Marquette later this year.


Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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