March 30, 2014
In our new blog series “My Story to Tell,” we asked residents to share their stories about living in Eau Claire and participating in the region’s arts community. We want to tell your stories. Please share your personal experiences as a community arts volunteer, independent musician, artist or actor, educator or parent with children engaged in the arts – even as a member of the audience, as an admirer of the arts you have a story to tell. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Eau Claire resident Scott Morfitt begins the series talking about the strong connection between the University and local community arts groups who thrived on working together.
Collaboration: Eau Claire’s Biggest Asset
by Scott Morfitt
I moved here from Minneapolis in 2006. While I lived there I worked at record stores and coffee shops and was able to be a part of some amazing “scenes”.
When, I say that word “scene” I mean different groups of other people interested in various genres of music, independent filmmakers, writers and all sorts of other artists and philosophers. It was simply amazing, but one thing I always noticed is that these various scenes didn’t have much cross over. That is to say I wouldn’t expect my punk friends to be connected with some of my other artist friends. It’s not that anyone had any sort of animosity towards one another; there was so many people in these scenes that branching out just wasn’t a necessity.
That was the single largest difference I noticed when being welcomed into the music and arts community in Eau Claire. Because of the size and the strong connection between the University and arts here the scene here really was a community who thrived on working together.
What that has produced is amazing examples of collaboration between people of broad interests. It makes me feel so consistently blessed to be able to sit down at a table and be with musicians, visual artists, professionals and other community members and talk about ideas for making this community better.
It’s that spirit of collaboration that I think makes the Confluence Project an amazing potential asset for this community. The intersection of the arts and University has already created the vibrant arts community we have today. By getting students deeper ingrained into this community and giving them opportunities to work with industry professionals and equipment will build this community even stronger.
There are many other valid and interesting reasons for this project, but the center of it is always making this innovative and community-minded arts scene stronger.