Thanks to our friends at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council for uploading and formatting this slide show!February 10, 2016
Ground won’t be broken on the Confluence Center until late summer or early fall, but you can already get a good look at what downtown Eau Claire’s performing arts center will look like. Nearly four years after the project was first announced, the partners behind it have unveiled new, more complete architectural renderings of the four-story, 130,000-square-foot riverside building.
While superficially similar to the original conceptual drawings, the new renderings provide a sharper look at the $45 million university-community facility and how it will fit into its surroundings. From the edge of a public plaza at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers, multi-paned windows will soar 40 feet, while the highest part of the structure will be 86 feet above the ground. Like the nearby river, the building will undulate with a series of curved bump-outs on upper floors. These areas will be clad in copper, which will take on a blue-green patina with age. The rest of the building’s exterior will be greenish-black stone, providing a contrast to the light provided by the massive windows. While the building will have four functional levels, it will also have 11 different roof elevations, giving it a multi-leveled appearance.
The arts center was designed by Strang Architects of Madison and Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture of New York, with Malcolm Holzman as the lead designer. The building will occupy roughly a block along Graham Avenue in downtown Eau Claire, just east of the Chippewa River and south of Haymarket Landing, a privately funded mixed-use building that will feature student-oriented apartments and commercial space.
“It’s exciting,” Ben Richgruber, executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, said of the unveiling of the designs. “It’s been fun to see it all come together from ideas to blocks on paper to actual blueprint-type ideas.”
TWO THEATERS AND MORE
ECRAC, which currently operates the State Theatre in downtown Eau Claire, is part of the new arts center’s governing body, the Confluence Council. The council also includes representatives of UW-Eau Claire, the city, and other groups. These stakeholders worked together throughout the design process to create an efficient floor plan that features shared workspaces and rehearsal areas, Richgruber said.
The yearlong design process fleshed out details of the facility, inside and out. While the Confluence center was originally conceived as having three theaters – one with 1,200 seats, another with 450 seats, and a third flexible “black box” theater seating 250 – the architectural design now includes only two theaters, plus three additional rehearsal areas that could be used as performance spaces.
Mike Rindo, UWEC’s assistant chancellor for facilities, said the new plans are more flexible and less duplicative than the initial three-theater idea. While the original plans called for the two larger theaters to be traditional in nature – with prosceniums, curtains, and permanent seating – that will now only apply to the largest theater, which will seat 1,200 and will have a standing-room capacity of 1,500. The large theater will also have a balcony, box seats, and a permanent shell above the stage that will allow it to function as a concert hall.
The smaller theater, meanwhile, will seat 400 to 425 and will be highly adaptable, allowing for productions to be performed on a thrust stage or in the round. “It’s a very ambitious theater with a very ambitious approach to the space,” said Kimera Way, executive director of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, another partner in the project.
In addition to the two main theaters, the so-called Clear Water Hall – which will jut out from the third floor over the plaza below – will be rigged for lights, allowing it to be used as a performance space as well as for rehearsals.
The arts center’s first floor will be devoted to the two large theaters; a spacious lobby with ceilings soaring up three levels; an art gallery and a music rehearsal space, both of which have two-story ceilings; a scene shop; and a Visit Eau Claire visitors center on the southeast corner of the building, next to the intersection of Graham Avenue and Gibson Street. The two large theaters will share spacious dressing rooms and a green room, while an additional green room and a separate pair of dressing rooms overlooking the river will be reserved for visiting stars. These special accommodations for top artists, coupled with the aesthetics of the large theater, will hopefully make Eau Claire a memorable destination for touring performers, Richgruber explained.
The second floor will be largely devoted to offices for Visit Eau Claire, ECRAC, and other arts organizations, as well as costume storage and educational space such as a computer lab, a design studio, and a makeup room. Finally, the third floor will feature the flexible Clear Water Hall, additional rehearsal rooms, and a recording studio that will bolster UWEC’s music program.
As the designs – and budget – for the project evolved over the past year, a number of other changes were made. A slimmer budget means that space for the university’s fine arts program won’t be included in the Confluence Center; Rindo said the art program’s needs will be addressed in future renovation plans for Haas Fine Arts Center on Water Street. Meanwhile, there will be more space in the Confluence Center for art education for both K-12 students and community.
In addition to new designs, the arts center also has a new price tag: $45 million. That’s less than the $51 million that planners originally projected, but it’s more than the $40 million discussed last year after the contribution from the state went from a hoped-for $25 million to a locked-in-the-budget $15 million.
Dan Clumpner, a principal with Commonweal Development, one of the project’s initial partners and now a development consultant, said the $45 million estimate rose in part because of inflation in construction costs and poorer-than-expected subsurface soil conditions on the building site. Specifically, excavation work revealed a layer of wood debris 17 feet below the surface, requiring more stabilization for the structure.
Because public contributions to the project – $15 from the state, $5 million from the city, and $3.5 million from the county – will stay the same, additional philanthropic donations will have to make up the difference, Way said. While $12.5 million of the original $13.5 million fundraising goal has been pledged, the philanthropic target will have to be increased by several million dollars, she explained. Way expects the $5 million gap to be met with additional philanthropy, grants, and donations of products and services to the construction.
“We want to be transparent about where we are on the cost,” Clumpner added. “We want to focus on achieving that budget rather than compromising the facility.”February 9, 2016
The Confluence Arts Center will provide enriched experiences for UW-Eau Claire students who will both perform and work behind the scenes in the new state-of-the-art facility to be constructed in downtown Eau Claire. Private gifts in support of the Confluence Arts Center are welcome as the project partners near the $13.5 million philanthropy goal. This video describes the important impact the project will have on UW-Eau Claire students.February 9, 2016
Design plans for the new Confluence Arts Center will be presented to the public and news media at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the lobby of the State Theatre in downtown Eau Claire.
Plans for the arts center were developed during discussions with user groups and stakeholders over the course of 10 meetings with the architect and engineering design teams led by Strang Architects, Madison, and Holzman, Moss and Bottino, New York City.
In addition to presenting design plans for the arts center, project partners will provide information about the ownership role of Eau Claire Confluence Arts Inc., the non-profit group that will construct and own the arts center, as well as the Confluence Council, which will oversee operations of the arts center.February 5, 2016
Thank you to the City of Eau Claire for their $5 Million support!
The City of Eau Claire has affirmed their support for the project twice and has made this a priority in their long term planning. We can’t thank them enough for their support!
Council OKs arts center support on unanimous vote – Leader TelegramJanuary 11, 2016
BMO Harris Bank and Colleagues Pledge Support for Confluence Arts Center Arts Center Fundraising Effort Qualifies for $1 Million Anonymous Gift
BMO Harris and some of its employees have combined to make a $115,000 contribution to the Confluence Arts Center capital campaign. Collectively they are contributing $115,000 in the form of corporate and individual gifts, as well as corporate sponsorships. BMO Harris’ contribution helps assure the Arts Center’s “It’s Time” community campaign will raise $500,000 by December 31, and qualify for a $1 million match from an anonymous donor.
BMO Harris was one of the Businesses for Growth donors that had made an early commitment to the Confluence. But when the community challenge was announced, the bank revisited its previous commitment and increased it by 50 percent. BMO Harris’ employees also made generous personal pledges to the community campaign.
A component of BMO Harris’ contribution is in the form of corporate sponsorships of fundraising events that support the Confluence Project. The Bank was a major sponsor of the Confluence Uncorked Event hosted by Gordy’s Markets in October. Two other major events associated with fundraising for the Confluence Arts Center, scheduled for 2016 and 2017, will be sponsored by BMO Harris.
“BMO Harris is pleased to be an integral part of the Eau Claire community. We regularly seek out opportunities to partner on projects that will have a major impact on the community,” said Andrea Novak, BMO Harris vice president for community affairs. “As the Confluence Project has evolved, the broad-based collaborations as well as its goals for improving the community very much align with our goals at BMO Harris. We also believe in leveraging our support through sponsorships, so we’re looking forward to helping underwrite activities that will raise more funds for the Arts Center.”
The Confluence Arts Center fundraising has passed the $11 million mark. $687,000 has been raised to date that qualifies for the community campaign’s $500,000 match. The overall fundraising goal for the Confluence Arts Center is to raise at least $13.5 million. The $500,000 for $1 million campaign will end on December 31, 2015. But the fundraising campaign needs to raise at least $1.5 million more to match $23.5 million pledged by the state, city and county. Groundbreaking for the Arts Center is tentatively planned for late spring/early summer 2016. Fundraising will continue in 2016, until the philanthropy goal is reached.December 30, 2015
If you’ve been wondering if you should give now to the downtown Confluence Art Center project in Eau Claire – do it in honor of a long time music teacher in Eau Claire you or your kids may have had Dale Young. He likely influenced many in the community with his love of music and teaching skills. He passed with the Confluence Center on his mind–he so wanted to vote on that referendum the city held in 2014–his critical illness prevented that. His wife Loretta believes he would be very happy to know you may have helped it become reality by giving a donation in his name.
Dale taught at several Eau Claire elementary schools, Central Junior High School, South Middle School, a short time at Northstar Middle School, and finishing his career at South Middle School and Memorial High School in 2001. And he had a part in the 1975 formation of the Chippewa Valley Symphony which one day will hopefully play in the new Center.
Here’s how to give in Dale Young’s name:
1. Click this link to go to the Eau Claire Community Foundation donation portal
2. In the “Special Instructions” field enter “In Memory of Dale Young (or your desired message)”
December 21, 2015
The Ruder Ware law firm and its attorneys have come together to pledge a collective gift of $150,000 to the Confluence Arts Center.
The collective gift incorporates individual commitments from several attorneys in the firm, as well as a discount in the legal services Ruder Ware has provided the Confluence Project since its inception in 2011. In recognition of the long-time service and leadership of Attorney David Anderson, an area in the Confluence Arts Center will be named in his honor. Anderson, an Eau Claire native and 1966 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was the attorney who worked with Haymarket, LLC, during the early phases of the project. He was the firm’s Eau Claire office’s senior partner for years.
“The Eau Claire office of Ruder Ware has been involved in the Confluence Project since its inception,” said Randi Osberg, a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. “Since we have seen every phase of this project, we felt it was only right and necessary for us to step in and provide philanthropic support as well. An added incentive was an opportunity to recognize our trusted colleague and mentor, Dave Anderson, for his leadership and dedication, not only to our firm, but to the entire Eau Claire community.”
A few weeks ago, the Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign received a $1 million contribution from an anonymous donor – provided the fundraising committee raises $500,000 by December 31. Ruder Ware’s contribution puts that effort over the $400,000 mark.
The overall fundraising goal for the Confluence Arts Center is at least $13.5 million. Almost $11 million has been raised so far. The $13.5 million goal has to be met in order for the arts center project to receive $23.5 million pledged by the State of Wisconsin, the City of Eau Claire, and Eau Claire County.
Groundbreaking for the building is tentatively planned for late spring/early summer 2016. The arts center will open in 2018.December 11, 2015
The Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign received a major contribution from Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire. Group Health pledged $100,000 to support construction of the Arts Center.
Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire made its $100,000 commitment through the Businesses for Growth Campaign for the Confluence Arts Center. In addition, Peter Farrow, general manager and CEO of Group Health, made a personal pledge of $20,000 to the campaign.
“As a community sponsored cooperative, Group Health is focused on providing our members with local, personal service,” said Farrow. “We are invested in the communities we serve. Part of that focus means supporting local projects that make Western Wisconsin a more attractive and healthier place to live and work. The Confluence Arts Center will transform our community for the better. Our board of directors enthusiastically support this commitment. Because I believe in leading by example, I wanted to add my personal commitment as well.”
Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire started as a local health plan more than 35 years ago and has grown into a nationally recognized HMO. A community-based, non-profit health plan, the Cooperative serves more than 70,000 members in Western and Central Wisconsin. Its board of directors is elected by the members within the membership.
Group Health and Mr. Farrow’s pledges will be counted in the recently launched $500,000 “It’s Time” Community Campaign. If $500,000 in pledges and gifts are raised by December 31, the Arts Center campaign will receive an additional $1 million through an anonymous challenge gift. Almost $300,000 has been raised so far.
The Confluence Arts Center fundraising effort has moved past the $10.7 million mark in contributions and pledges these past few weeks. The goal is to raise at least $13.5 million to match $23.5 million committed by the state, city and county governments. Groundbreaking for the arts center is planned for late spring/early summer 2016.December 7, 2015
The Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign builds momentum with the latest commitment of $10,000 from a long-time Eau Claire mechanical company.
Bartingale Mechanical, Inc., made its commitment in response to the announcement of the community campaign to raise at least $500,000 by the end of 2015. If the campaign reaches that goal, an anonymous challenge gift of $1 million also will be received. With the Bartingale commitment, total contributions raised for the Confluence Arts Center nears $10.5 million. The campaign’s goal is $13.5 million.
“We have been a part of this community for many years and for a very long time the downtown felt stagnant,” said Chuck Falch, president and controller of Bartingale. “With all the other projects happening, my partners and I feel we need to be a part of this exciting project. You can feel the energy that’s building.”
Tom and Brett Bartingale opened their company in the early 1900s when they joined forces with the Grosvold family to establish Grosvold-Bartingale Co. Heating and Plumbing. In 1913 Bartingale Company was incorporated. They were located on Graham Avenue, which was then known as River Street. Having the present company invest in the Confluence Arts Center is also a tribute to its early days.
The Bartingale Mechanical commitment is part of the Businesses for Growth segment of the Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign. The Eau Claire Community Foundation and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation are each accepting pledges and gifts for the project. Details on giving are available at www.communityfortheconfluence.org.November 4, 2015
Several recently received large donations and pledges to the Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign have pushed total giving by local families and area businesses beyond the $10 million mark. The project’s philanthropy goal is $13.5 million, including grants from National and regional philanthropic foundations..
The fundraising committee has also announced that another million dollars has been pledged by an anonymous donor in the form of a challenge grant. The Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign will receive the million dollars if it can raise an additional $500,000 locally by December 31. The fundraising committee will officially kick-off an “It’s Time” community campaign – intended to raise the $500,000 match — Friday, October 16, at the Uncorked Autumn Wine Tasting Gala sponsored by Gordy’s Market.
“We are continuing to see strong momentum with philanthropy for the Confluence Arts Center,” said Tom Barland, the fundraising campaign’s co-chair. “The $15 million dollar grant from the State of Wisconsin, included in the state’s budget, and Eau Claire County’s recent re-affirmation of its $3.5 million investment in the project has convinced people that the Confluence Arts Center is going to be a reality. They are eager to help assure the capital campaign’s success.”
“Our focus these past several months has been on Century Club gifts of at least $50,000 and contributions from businesses through the Businesses for Growth campaign,” said Jill Barland, a fundraising committee co-chair. “During this time, we’ve had many people ask us how they can help. The ‘It’s Time’ campaign provides a way for everyone who wants to see the Confluence Arts Center happen to step forward with their gifts. Contributions of any size are needed and welcome.”
The Eau Claire Community Foundation is the main recipient of community campaign gifts. The UW-Eau Claire Foundation is also continuing to accept gifts for the Arts Center.
For more information about the Uncorked Autumn Wine Tasting Gala click here.
For information on how to make a gift, contact Sue Bornick at the Eau Claire Community Foundation (715-552-3801) firstname.lastname@example.org or Kimera Way, UW-Eau Claire Foundation (715-836-5180) email@example.com.
For Community for the Confluence web and social media questions contact Scott Morfitt at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center (715-832-2787) firstname.lastname@example.org.October 15, 2015
The Confluence Arts Center fundraising campaign has exceed $10 million in contributions and pledges thanks to three timely, significant gifts: from Peter and Randi Scobie, BMO Harris, and Jon and Maureen Homstad.
Peter Scobie is area chairman of RPS Scobie Group (formerly known as R.W. Scobie), and Randi is a retired real estate agent and interior designer. They have pledged $100,000 through the ‘Lead Gifts’ portion of the fundraising campaign. The Scobies have built several successful area businesses and have provided leadership and support to community organizations like the Rotary Club, United Way, Eau Claire Community Foundation, Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, and the Regis Foundation. The Scobies said they wanted to help ensure that the community maintains a vibrant arts an entertainment sector that attracts people to Eau Claire and that creates a catalyst forthe revitalization of downtown Eau Claire.
“We think the Confluence Arts Center is one of the most exciting and transformational projects in our community for generations. We want to help assure the success of this project so that our grandchildren and future generations of young people will be able to enjoy a great facility to serve the outstanding arts community in our region,” said Randi.
The Scobies have strong ties to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In addition to their gift supporting the Arts Center, their contribution will be recognized as a major gift to the University Centennial campaign. “Being able to help both the community and the university with our contribution makes this even more meaningful for our family,” said Peter.
BMO Harris has committed $50,000 to the Arts Center through its Businesses for Growth program. As part of their gift, they have provided $10,000 to help underwrite the October 16 Uncorked Autumn Wine Tasting event, sponsored by Gordy’s Market. The event supports the Confluence project’s Arts Center.
“BMO Harris has been working with the Arts Center’s fundraising group for some time, providing a mechanism for a contribution that helps leverage more dollars for the project” said Laura Talley, Market President of BMO Harris in the Chippewa Valley. “We are particularly interested in supporting on-going operations. We are thrilled to see the Confluence project move forward. We have a great appreciation for all the groups that have come together to make this happen.”
Jon and Maureen Homstad join the Confluence Arts Center’s Century Club with their $50,000 commitment to the project. The Homstads helped found the Eau Claire Community Foundation and have a long history of philanthropic giving and civic involvement in the community. Jon is a retired CPA and partner in the WIPFLI accounting firm; Maureen is a retired teacher. ‘We’ve spent our entire adult lives in Eau Claire. We’ve had front row seats, watching and participating in its growth,’ said Jon. “It’s important for us to continue to invest in projects that have such a wide-reaching impact on our home town’s quality-of-life. We are so pleased to be part of this major endeavor that will have such a lasting impact.”October 12, 2015
A regional community bank has joined the growing list of donors making financial commitments to the Confluence Arts Center. Security Financial Bank, headquartered in Durand, with offices in Eau Claire, River Falls and Bloomer, has committed $50,000 to the arts center through its Businesses for Growth Campaign. With this commitment the private fundraising for the Confluence Arts Center has passed the $10 million mark in gifts and pledges.
Jim Mayo, president and chief executive officer of Security Financial Bank, said that they have been watching the Confluence Campaign for some time, and when the state committed $15 million the timing was perfect for the Bank to step in with its pledge. He added that they have been particularly impressed with the number of supporters of the project and the increasing certainty that the Arts Center will be a reality in the next couple years.
“As a locally owned community bank one of our primary missions is to invest in and support the communities we serve,” said Mayo. “Talent recruitment and retention is at the top of the list when it comes to business challenges. We invest in our communities — whether it’s a band shell in Durand, ball fields in Bloomer, or the Confluence Arts Center in Eau Claire — because it enhances the quality of life for the residents and creates a vibrant community. While the scope and size of these projects vary, their impact is the same – they create an energy that is crucial to keeping our workforce here, happy and engaged in their communities.”
Security Financial Bank is a business and agriculture bank that was established in Durand in 1934. It opened its River Falls office in 2005, the Eau Claire office in 2009 and purchased the Bloomer office in 2014. Mayo said the Bank partners with various community-minded groups to complete community projects and has made a special commitment to partnering with the school districts in the communities they serve.
Philanthropy is one part of the fundraising target for the $40 million arts center. City and county government have conditionally pledged $8.5 million for the project. The State of Wisconsin also has committed $15 million through a non-state agency grant. Later in September, a broad community campaign seeking funds for the Confluence Arts Center will kick off and run through the end of 2015.September 29, 2015
Thank you to the Eau Claire County Board for reaffirming their $3.5M support for the Confluence Project!
They have been committed partners since the inception of this project and we deeply value their support.
Now is the time for all of us to give to build the arts center! Please visit our donation page to show your support of the Confluence Project!
County reaffirms $3.5M in funding for Confluence Project – WEAU
County Board OKs $3.5M for Confluence with contingencies - Leader TelegramSeptember 16, 2015
M3 Insurance has announced it is donating $50,000 to the Confluence Project’s performing arts center, slated to open in downtown Eau Claire in fall 2018.
“M3 is committed to supporting the Eau Claire area community and excited to be part of a project that has the potential to vastly and positively affect the city for generations to come,” said Mike Victorson, president & CEO at M3 Insurance. “The new performing arts center will undoubtedly contribute to the region’s cultural, social and economic health.”
Wisconsin-based M3 has five offices throughout the state, including one in Eau Claire.
M3 Insurance offers insight, advice and strategies to help clients manage risk, purchase insurance and provide employee benefits. We are committed to being experts in both the products we represent and the industries we serve. Our people advance M3’s competitive advantage in the marketplace, and our focus on community builds better places to live and work. M3 is consistently ranked a top 100 broker in America.August 20, 2015
- July 12, 2015
Nearly 35 physicians affiliated with the OakLeaf Medical Network in Eau Claire have made a collective $1 million in personal pledges to the Confluence Arts Center’s fundraising campaign. To acknowledge this generosity, the lobby of the new arts center will be known as the OakLeaf Physicians Lobby. Thanks to their generosity, the total commitments for the Confluence Arts Center are closing in on $9 million.
The Physicians’ Initiative was spearheaded by Dr. Steve Immerman, founder and general surgeon with Evergreen Surgical in Eau Claire, and his wife, Eileen. The Immermans, who had made an early $50,000 commitment to the project, worked with Dr. Jim and Holly Iwakiri and Dr. John and Helen Drawbert to extend the message about supporting the Arts Center Project. The collective initiative to join their gifts toward a common goal of naming the Art Center’s lobby was accomplished over the past five months.
“Telling the Confluence story was easy – I’m proud of our community and excited about creating a showcase for art and culture in our city,” said Steve Immerman. “Our colleagues recognized that their personal investment, coupled with that of many others, would really make a difference with this project.”
Many of the commitments for the Arts Center project were at the $50,000 and above level, which qualified the donors for membership in the Century Club. The goal of the Confluence campaign is to secure 100 gifts of $50,000 or more for the Arts Center. With the additional pledges from the OakLeaf physicians, the campaign now has nearly 70 donor units in the Century Club.
“We have been deeply gratified by the generous response of the OakLeaf families,” said Eileen Immerman. “The Confluence Project has the potential for vastly improving the quality of our city center. Its ramifications will benefit generations of Chippewa Valley residents and businesses both culturally and economically. The OakLeaf families recognize this potential and support it.”
In addition to the wonderful response from the individual physicians, the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital has made a Century Club commitment to the project.
The Immermans added that there are still a number of pledges pending from the OakLeaf Network physicians, so they expect that $1 million number will grow before the campaign ends. The total philanthropy goal for the Confluence Arts Center is $13.5 million.
Philanthropy is one part of the fundraising target for the $40 million arts center. City and county government have conditionally pledged $8.5 million for the project. Early today, the Joint Committee on Finance approved $15 million in bonding for the Confluence Arts Center.
For further information, contact:
On the Overall Fundraising:
Wallace Rogers, Campaign Coordinator
Rogers & Associates
Eau Claire Community Foundation
On the Physician’s Campaign
Dr. Steve and Eileen Immerman
email@example.comMay 28, 2015
The Wisconsin State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance today will approve a $15 million non-state agency grant for the Confluence Arts Center in downtown Eau Claire as part of the 2015-17 state budget.
The committee’s voting agenda includes capital bonding in the state budget to construct an approximately $40 million arts center at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers to serve the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, local arts organizations and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
On May 7, the committee voted to remove from the budget $15 million in general purpose revenue cash funding for the project. Today’s vote restores funding through the state capital building program.
Project funding will be included in the budget sent by the Joint Committee on Finance to the full state legislature for consideration and then to Gov. Scott Walker for approval.
The Confluence Arts Center would replace the inadequate and obsolete State Theatre in downtown Eau Claire and Kjer Theatre on the UW-Eau Claire campus. It also would enable the community to host musical, theatrical and other entertainment and cultural events that, to date, no venue in the region has been able to accommodate.
Anticipated Confluence Arts Center venues and space use:
- a 1,200-1,500-seat theater, a 400-seat flexible theater, a 200-seat performance venue
- visual arts studios and galleries
- scene, prop and costume shops, dressing rooms and back-of-the-house operations
- dance studio, music instruction classrooms, rehearsal rooms
Anticipated Arts Center funding:
- $5 million city of Eau Claire
- $3.5 million Eau Claire County
- $13.5 million philanthropy ($9 million currently pledged)
- $3 million New Market Tax Credits
- $15 million state of Wisconsin non-state agency grant
The Confluence Project is a unique collaborative effort between the city of Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, philanthropists and private developers to create a new arts center to support university academic programs and the thriving arts community of Eau Claire and northwest Wisconsin.
Eau Claire City Council President Kerry Kincaid, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt and Eau Claire Regional Arts Council Executive Director Ben Richgruber provided the following statements about the Joint Committee on Finance vote:
“We are grateful to the committee members for their vote to provide state funding for the Confluence Arts Center. Their vote embraces the innovative and collaborative nature of the project — and recognizes that by partnering together, the city, county, state, philanthropy and private investment can accomplish much more than the old way of going it alone. The city of Eau Claire has a long and rich tradition of collaboration, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with the state of Wisconsin on this transformative economic development project in downtown Eau Claire.”
Kerry Kincaid, Eau Claire City Council President
“The $15-million-dollar investment by the state of Wisconsin in the Confluence Arts Center demonstrates tremendous value for state taxpayers by providing UW-Eau Claire with significant and much needed upgrades to our performing arts facilities at a fraction of what it would cost to build a similar facility on campus. This is truly a win-win-win for UW-Eau Claire, the greater Eau Claire community and Wisconsin taxpayers. I want to personally thank our local legislators who worked tirelessly in a bi-partisan manner to communicate the many merits of the Confluence Arts Center to their colleagues on the finance committee. It is clear from the results of today’s vote that their advocacy on behalf of our university and community was heard loud and clear in Madison.”
James Schmidt, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor
“Eau Claire is nationally and internationally known for the quality of our performers and artists. The vote by the committee today will enable our community to create a facility that will provide state-of-the-art space for those performers and artists. Creation of the Confluence Arts Center will have impacts that reach far beyond the arts: Studies show the arts are good business and that the cultural resources the Confluence Arts Center will provide will have rippling economic benefits throughout the community and the region, make Eau Claire a more attractive place for new business, and help existing employers attract and retain top talent.”
Ben Richgruber, Eau Claire Regional Arts Council Executive Director
For additional comments on the Joint Committee on Finance vote, please contact:
May 27, 2015
- Kerry Kincaid, Eau Claire City Council president, 715-577-2360
- James Schmidt, UW-Eau Claire chancellor, 715-836-2327
- Ben Richgruber, Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, 608-445-0044
- Dan Clumpner, Commonweal Development, 715-832-8707
- Kim Way, UW-Eau Claire Foundation, 715-577-5955
- Sue Bornick, Eau Claire Community Foundation, 715-552-3801
Market & Johnson will donate $250,000 to the Confluence Project’s arts center fundraising campaign. Their announcement was made at a presentation at the building site in downtown Eau Claire at noon on Monday (March 30). Market & Johnson, an Eau Claire-based construction company, is one of the partners in Haymarket Concepts. The company is the construction manager for Haymarket Landing, the mixed use building under construction on the Confluence Project site.
“Market & Johnson has been a proud and an actively engaged partner in the Confluence Project since the project’s inception,” said Jerry Shea, president of the company. “We consider this contribution to be an investment in our community. The performing arts center will do much toward making Eau Claire a destination place in our region.”
“Our entire company is committed to deliver a complete project that will reinvigorate downtown Eau Claire, helping provide it with a signature facility that will make our city proud.”
Market & Johnson was founded in 1948. The company has been an important participant in Eau Claire’s development for more than 65 years – as a builder and a philanthropist. .
Philanthropy is one part of the fundraising target for the $40 million arts center. So far, more than $7 million has been pledged or donated from local individuals, families and local businesses. The community awaits action from the state in response to the governor’s budget request for $15 million for the arts center project. The state’s funding will require a local match.March 31, 2015
In the News
Confluence plans clear final hurdle
WEAU – Mar 22, 2016
Eau Claire City Council to vote on arts center design
Leader Telegram – Mar 22, 2016
Public meeting held for Confluence Arts Center
WEAU – Mar 22, 2016
Arts center, UW-EC plans reach City Council
Leader Telegram – Mar 19, 2016
Plan Commission approves arts center site plan
Leader Telegram – Mar 15, 2016
Confluence Project: Open bids, closed meetings
Leader Telegram – Mar 9, 2016
Transfer of Confluence property made
WEAU – Mar 8, 2016
Confluence Arts Center board hires auditing firm, construction manager
Leader Telegram – March 8, 2016
Arts center transparency touchy subject
Leader Telegram – Feb 17, 2016
This is what’s possible when we pull together
Leader Telegram – Feb 10, 2016
Stakeholders release Confluence Arts Center Plans
WEAU – Feb 9, 2016
Leader Telegram – Feb 6, 2016
Leader Telegram – Feb 6, 2016
Leader Telegram – Jan 31, 2016
Leader Telegram – Dec 18, 2015
Leader Telegram – Dec 18, 2015
WEAU – Dec 16, 2015
WQOW – Dec 14, 2015
WEAU – Dec 4, 2015
Volume One – Nov 25, 2015
Leader Telegram – Oct 12, 2015
WEAU – Sep 15, 2015
Leader Telegram – Sep 15, 2015
WQOW – Aug 11, 2015
Leader Telegram – Aug 1, 2015
Leader Telegram – July 19, 2015
WEAU – Jul 13, 2015
Leader Telegram – May 29, 2015
WEAU – May 29, 2015
Leader Telegram – May 29, 2015
Milwaukee Business News – May 28, 2015
Leader Telegram – May 27, 2015
Volume One – Apr 13, 2015
Volume One – Apr 1, 2015
WPR – Mar 30, 2015
Leader Telegram – Mar 23, 2015
Leader Telegram – Mar 16, 2015
Leader Telegram – Mar 12, 2015
Volume One – Mar 10, 2015
WQOW – Mar 10, 2015
Leader Telegram – Feb 15, 2015
Leader Telegram – Feb 12, 2015
WEAU – Feb 7, 2015
Leader Telegram – Feb 2, 2015
Leader Telegram – Jan 31, 2015
Leader Telegram – Jan 28, 2015
WEAU – Jan 29, 2015
Volume One – Jan 28, 2015
Leader Telegram – Jan 28, 2015
WQOW – Jan 28, 2015
Leader Telegram – Jan 15, 2015
Leader Telegram – Dec 29, 2014
WEAU – Dec 17, 2014
WQOW – Dec 16, 2014
Leader Telegram – Dec 11, 2014
Volume One – Dec 11, 2014
Volume One – Nov 27, 2014
Leader Telegram – Nov 25, 2014
Leader Telegram – Nov 19, 2014
Leader Telegram – Nov 16, 2014
Chippewa Valley Business Report – Oct 22, 2014
WQOW – Oct 10, 2014
Leader Telegram – Sep 24, 2014
Leader Telegram – Sep 22, 2014
WEAU – Sep 22, 2014
WEAU – Sep 19, 2014
WEAU – Sep 9, 2014
WQOW – Aug 26, 2014
Leader Telegram – Aug 21, 2014
WEAU – Aug 20, 2014
Chippewa Herald – Aug 18, 2014
Leader Telegram – Aug 17, 2014
Chippewa Valley Business Report – Jul 28, 2014
WEAU – Jul 25, 2014
Volume One – Jul 23, 2014
Volume One – Jun 23, 2014
Volume One – May 15, 2014
Leader Telegram – May 7, 2014
Leader Telegram – April 10, 2014
Volume One – April 2, 2014
WQOW TV-18 – April 2, 2014
Wisconsin Public Radio – March 31, 2014
Volume One – March 27, 2014
Leader Telegram – February 2, 2014
Leader Telegram – January 31, 2014
Leader Telegram – January 28, 2014
WQOW TV-18 – January 22, 2014
Leader Telegram – January 21, 2014
WQOW TV-18 – January 16, 2014
Leader Telegram – January 10, 2014
Leader Telegram – January 9, 2014
Leader Telegram – June 23, 2013
Will This Venue Work?
Volume One Magazine – May 22, 2013
JAMF Software – May 20, 2013
Volume One Magazine – Mar. 13, 2013
UW-Eau Claire Student Senate – Nov. 19, 2012
Capital Planning & Budget Committee – Oct. 4, 2012
Leader Telegram – Sep. 19, 2012
Leader Telegram – May 23, 2012
Leader Telegram – May 16, 2012
Volume One Magazine – May 15, 2012