The story of PDX-CSA starts in two places: St. Paul, Minnesota in 2010 and Portland in the 1960s.
St. Paul, Minnesota in 2010:
Springboard for the Arts started Community Supported Arts. Similar to the more well-know Community Supported Agriculture, in which people pre-purchase shares of a farmer's crop and then receive food during the harvest, Springboard's CSA allows people to buy shares of an artist's work and then receive the art when it's finished, thereby helping the artist defray the upfront costs of creation and production.
Springboard strongly encourages replication of this program. Kristin Thiel had been following the program's success and decided that Portland should have its own iteration of the program.
During her time in BCA's Arts Associates program Kristin shared the CSA idea with BCA's Executive Director, Deborah Edwards. Deborah recommended Portland Open Studios as an organization that might be able to develop the idea.
Portland, Oregon in 1960s:
A group of professionals lead by a local doctor embarked on a unique way to support local, emerging artists. At the beginning of each year they would pick an artist to invest in, each member of the group contributing an equal share. The artist would use the money to create new work. At the end of the year the group would visit the artist's studio and each would choose one of the new works to take home.
Jason Kappus heard about this venture from one of the members, his grandmother-in-law, and always wanted to find a way to replicate it. During his time as a Board Member and then Administrator of Portland Open Studios he talked casually about the idea with other Board Members, but the idea never coalesced into a formal proposal.
Over the course of 2014 Kristin and Jason refined the CSA idea and their unique version of the program launches as PDX-CSA in 2015.