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  • Moving Forward with Community for the Confluence

    Our citizen-led group is now joining forces with the official Confluence Campaign to better serve the community.

    Tuesday October 29, 2013

    We have an important announcement about our group, Community for the Confluence. This effort started as a grassroots campaign of people who were not directly a part of the Confluence Project – namely, the staff of Volume One and some friends – and we thank them for getting us started. Our group believed a development like this was good for the future of our community, so we tried to make some things happen and help out where we could. And thanks to you, it worked! Hundreds of you signed on to our effort, attended meetings, sent emails, and made phone calls. Eau Claire City Council has now made a $5 million commitment to the project and it’s time for things to shift gears and get serious. And we’re hoping you’ll help us take this community movement to the next level.

    So, what’s new? Well, to make sure citizens have a constant flow of updates and information on the Project, Community for the Confluence will now be collaborating with the official Confluence Campaign online and in the community. This means the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, UW-Eau Claire, Commonweal Development, BluGold Real Estate, and supportive citizens will be using this channel to communicate with you as one cohesive voice for the Confluence Project. That basically means you’ll get more in-depth information from us faster, and you’ll be given more opportunities to make a difference.

    To be clear, the next biggest challenge to the success of the Confluence Project is raising the funds to make it a reality – but we know Eau Claire is up to that challenge. It will take a combination of continued advocacy and financial gifts to get us there, so every effort from every person counts. And so does your help in spreading the word about this important community movement and its goals.

    Thank you again for your interest and involvement thus far. It’s exciting to see the community rally around this exciting project. Together we can make an enormously positive impact on the city, county, and region, and build a future we can all be proud of.

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  • Will You Stand Up For Eau Claire’s Future?

    It’s critical you join us on Monday at 7pm to support the Confluence Project.

    Friday October 18, 2013

    City Hall

    It doesn’t take a referendum to make your voice heard in Eau Claire. Bring a friend and stand up for our community’s future at the Eau Claire City Council Public Hearing on Monday, October 21 at 7pm to say NO to the holding of a referendum and YES to committing $5 million to the Confluence Project.

    A referendum is not appropriate for the Confluence Project. This is an important strategic decision for the City Council. It requires an understanding of tax base growth to support local governmental services; an awareness of TIF financing and the value of employing such a mechanism to relieve the taxpayer of the general fund borrowing impacts.

    The City Council has worked diligently over the past year to fully understand how unique the Confluence Project really is, and how difficult it would be to design and attract capital for an alternative plan. The project provides the City of Eau Claire with an opportunity to redevelop downtown and generate highly essential property, room and sales tax revenues. It’s an economic development win for everyone.

    A referendum is a dangerous delay tactic; a lengthy and unnecessary wait that puts the entire project at risk. We cannot let the obstinate voices of a tiny minority stop our community from moving forward towards a better future.

    Please join us on Monday, and say NO to the holding of a referendum and YES to the Confluence Project. And, spread the word via email, Facebook, or any way possible.

    Eau Claire City Council Public Hearing on the Confluence Project
    Monday, October 21, 2013, 7pm
    Council Chamber, City Hall
    203 S. Farwell Street
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701

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  • Vernon, Halmstad, and Chancellor Schmidt tout the enormous value of the Confluence Project in major press event

    Friday September 20, 2013

    Press Event at the Volume One Gallery Bon Iver JAMF Zack Halmstead UWEC Chancellor James Schmidt

    September 19 was a big day for the Confluence Project as a special press conference was held inside the Volume One Gallery featuring Grammy award winning local musician Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, etc),
    JAMF Software founder Zach Halmstad, and UWEC Chancellor Dr. James Schmidt gathered to discuss the project and its many benefits to the Eau Claire community.

    Vernon and Halmstad also announced themselves as honorary co-chairs of the fundraising committee, which has already raised $3.5 million.

    The press event was streamed live on VolumeOne.org, and you can watch the entire conference there and see the associated online discussion here:
    volumeone.org/webcast_confluence

    Check out these media links below for the full story:

    WQOW TV – w/ video

    WEAU TV – w/ video

    Leader-Telegram

    Volume One – w/ full video

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  • Confluence Would Boost Economy, Create Jobs, Generate New Tax Revenue

    July 23, 2013

    What kind of positive economic impact will the Confluence Project have for the community? VenuWorks, an Iowa-based consulting firm, was hired by the Confluence partners to answer that question. The group’s report, which was released in May, highlights the positive impact the Confluence Project would have on Eau Claire’s economy: In its first year of operation, the Confluence would create $4.5 million in economic activity, the study estimated. In addition, because private, taxable development would be part of the project, in the Confluence’s first three years of operation the city would gain a total of $1.1 million in new tax revenue while the county would gain a total of $444,000. That means more money for city and county programs that benefit the entire community, as well as less demand for taxes from other homeowners and businesses.

    The study found other economic benefits for residents and taxpayers as well. In the Confluence Project’s first decade, it is estimated to increase city room tax revenue by $904,000, to boost county sales tax revenue by $1.8 million, and to expand state sales tax revenue by $18 million. And in addition to boosting revenue, the project would also create jobs, including an estimated 525 construction jobs, 141 jobs in new businesses by helping revitalize the downtown, and 40 jobs in the arts and culture sector.

    Read the full VenuWorks report for yourself in PDF form.

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  • City Council work session attended by dozens of supporters.

    July 16, 2013

    The council work session held at City Hall on Monday, July 15 was attended by dozens of supporters of the project. Lead developer of the project, Dan Clumpner, of Commonweal Development, took the lead in getting the council up to speed on where the project has been and where it currently sits.

    Partway through the meeting, council President Kerry Kincaid opened the floor for comments from the public. People that spoke in favor of the Confluence Project outweighed detractors by more than 3 to 1, but in attendance it appeared as though there were several times more people there for it than against.

    In addition to energized citizens, people spoke in favor of the project from the Chamber of Commerce and JAMF Software, plus, the Chancellor of UWEC, and leaders from several arts organizations including Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, the Chippewa Valley Museum, and Eau Claire Jazz just to name a few.

    This was a great step in the process, stay tuned for the next meeting and further developments.

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  • Show your support to the city council on July 15th

    July 9, 2013

    The Confluence Project — which has attracted support, financial and otherwise, from many local groups and leaders — still needs final approval from the Eau Claire City Council to become reality.

    Confluence Shirt Mock Up

    The next step in that process will be a council work session at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 15, in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 203 S. Farwell St. At the meeting, the council will review the results of an economic study of the Confluence Project that was released in May.

    The study by the consulting firm VenuWorks found that, among other things, the Confluence would create $4.5 million in economic activity in its first year alone. The council meeting is a work session, but citizens are still welcome and encouraged to attend, and there will be time for public testimony.

    A show of support by community residents will demonstrate the excitement the Confluence Project has created. Plus, if you’re among the first few dozen supporters to show up, you’ll get a cool T-shirt to wear, courtesy of Community for the Confluence!

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  • Why a Public Plaza?

    July 7, 2013

    Confluence Plaza

    A part of the City’s investment in this project will go towards the creation of a public plaza right at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. The yet-to-be-designed plaza would be situated between the public arts center and the privately owned housing/commercial building with restaurants and retail.

    While Eau Claire is rich in green parks, what we do not have is a “plaza” space. Plazas are more city-based gathering spaces that are less like parks and more like a town square. While there can certainly be trees and vegetation, they are more often covered in pavers and cobblestone than the grasses common in parks. This gives them a different sort of functionality for civic life than parks.

    Plazas can be amazing places for city life to take hold on a daily basis, or for special events and festivals. Things that COULD be included in a plaza on this location include:

    • free public wi-fi
    • benches, chairs, tables
    • decorative and functional lighting
    • fountains
    • public art
    • splash pad for kids
    • kubb pitch area
    • a landing to the water
    • sidewalk vendors
    • speaker system
    • readily available power
    • and much more!

    Stay tuned to local media for announcements about how you could play a role in helping plan and design a public plaza on our city’s two rivers.

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In the News

Fill-in lead: Jason Jon Anderson is confident he’s right person to step in to lead Confluence Arts Center to its destiny as centerpiece of revitalized downtown Eau Claire
Leader-Telegram -November 3, 2017

UWEC Grad Will Hit Ground Running as Confluence Arts Center Director
VolumeOne -June 29, 2017

Ashley Furniture makes $25,000 donation to Confluence Arts Center
WQOW -February 20, 2017

Ceremonial start of the Confluence Arts Center construction
Leader-Telegram – October 7, 2016

Xcel donates $250,000 to Confluence Project
Leader-Telegram – May 17, 2016

Xcel Energy announces $250,000 donation to Confluence Arts Center
WEAU – May 17, 2016

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

Confluence fundraising at $11.5M

Leader Telegram – Feb 6, 2016

Confluence Project performing arts center design unveiling nears

Leader Telegram – Feb 6, 2016

Arts, cultural scene helps attract business

Leader Telegram – Jan 31, 2016

Confluence offer too good to miss

Leader Telegram – Dec 18, 2015

Students pledge $50,000 toward Confluence

Leader Telegram – Dec 18, 2015

Time winding down for Confluence fundraising campaign

WEAU – Dec 16, 2015

Eau Claire Confluence project receives big donation

WQOW – Dec 14, 2015

Confluence Arts Center campaign receives two additional pledges

WEAU – Dec 4, 2015

Council Inks Confluence Agreement

Volume One – Nov 25, 2015

Confluence Arts Center gains three new pledges

Leader Telegram – Oct 12, 2015

County reaffirms $3.5M in funding for Confluence Project

WEAU – Sep 15, 2015

County Board OKs $3.5M for Confluence with contingencies 

Leader Telegram – Sep 15, 2015

Local county commission approves resolution to pledge $3.5M to arts portion of Confluence Project

WQOW – Aug 11, 2015

New Eau Claire TIF district eyed to fund downtown upgrades

Leader Telegram – Aug 1, 2015

Arts center fundraising needs final push

Leader Telegram – July 19, 2015

Confluence funding moves forward

WEAU – Jul 13, 2015

Behind-the-scenes lobbying saved state funding for Eau Claire performing arts center

Leader Telegram – May 29, 2015

Rep. Bernier & Sen. Moulton discuss funding for Confluence

WEAU – May 29, 2015

If funding secured for project, developer hopes arts center can be completed by end of 2016

Leader Telegram – May 29, 2015

State funding restored for Confluence Project

Milwaukee Business News – May 28, 2015

Joint Finance about-face great news

Leader Telegram – May 27, 2015

Mason Trust Pledges $100k to Confluence Performing Arts Center

Volume One – Apr 13, 2015

Big Orange Crane

Volume One – Apr 1, 2015

Construction Company Pledges $250K Toward Eau Claire Arts Center

WPR – Mar 30, 2015

Eau Claire city leaders ask legislators to back Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – Mar 23, 2015

TIF used as intended in downtown

Leader Telegram – Mar 16, 2015

Candidates differ over $5 million city pledge to Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – Mar 12, 2015

Commonweal Pledges $100K to Confluence Arts Center

Volume One – Mar 10, 2015

Confluence Project 50 for 50 campaign met, expanded, renamed

WQOW – Mar 10, 2015

A tale of two cities, with one difference

Leader Telegram – Feb 15, 2015

Nationally known musicians to donate to Confluence

Leader Telegram – Feb 12, 2015

Art crawl raises money for Confluence Project

WEAU – Feb 7, 2015

It’s third and goal for arts center effort

Leader Telegram – Feb 2, 2015

Bipartisan regional support seen for Confluence in Legislature

Leader Telegram – Jan 31, 2015

Consultant: Arts center would increase development, jobs

Leader Telegram – Jan 28, 2015

UWEC Professor explains the economic impact of Confluence Project

WEAU – Jan 29, 2015

UPDATE: Walker’s budget will include $15M for Confluence

Volume One – Jan 28, 2015

Walker’s $15M pledge for Confluence cheers supporters

Leader Telegram – Jan 28, 2015

Gov. Walker announces matching funds for Confluence Project

WQOW – Jan 28, 2015

Confluence arts center fundraising nears halfway mark

Leader Telegram – Jan 15, 2015

Confluence Project claimed the No. 1 spot on the Leader-Telegram’s list of top local stories for the second year running

Leader Telegram – Dec 29, 2014

Gov. Walker wants to make sure plan for Confluence Project ensures success

WEAU – Dec 17, 2014

Construction underway at Confluence Project’s ‘Haymarket Landing’

WQOW – Dec 16, 2014

Panel favors pedestrian bridge over Eau Claire River

Leader Telegram – Dec 11, 2014

Put your money where your heart is

Volume One – Dec 11, 2014

Turning a New Page

Volume One – Nov 27, 2014

Art Center Design

Leader Telegram – Nov 25, 2014

Court deadlines set in suit related to Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – Nov 19, 2014

Haymarket Landing a huge step forward

Leader Telegram – Nov 16, 2014

Northwestern Bank pledges $100,000 to Confluence Project

Chippewa Valley Business Report – Oct 22, 2014

Confluence Project development agreement released

WQOW – Oct 10, 2014

Commission approves Confluence Project’s mixed-use building

Leader Telegram – Sep 24, 2014

Leaders named for Confluence Campaign

Leader Telegram – Sep 22, 2014

Confluence project fundraising effort organized and underway

WEAU – Sep 22, 2014

More buildings dismantled to make way for Confluence Project

WEAU – Sep 19, 2014

City Votes to Support Confluence Non-Profit

WEAU – Sep 9, 2014

Downtown demolition draws spectators to sidewalks

WQOW – Aug 26, 2014

UW System regents verbally back Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – Aug 21, 2014

City leaders react to Confluence Project funding changes

WEAU – Aug 20, 2014

Regents consider new way for Confluence funding

Chippewa Herald – Aug 18, 2014

Hotel renovations would aid Confluence funding

Leader Telegram – Aug 17, 2014

Confluence Project alive due to public-private partnership

Chippewa Valley Business Report – Jul 28, 2014

Confluence fundraising effort begins

WEAU – Jul 25, 2014

The Confluence: It’s still up to you

Volume One – Jul 23, 2014

Governor Walker speaks in support of the Confluence Project

Volume One – Jun 23, 2014

Inside the ‘Black Box’

Volume One – May 15, 2014

Taking next steps as Confluence Project moves forward

Leader Telegram – May 7, 2014

Area lawmakers need to push Confluence

Leader Telegram – April 10, 2014

The Confluence Project Wins Big

Volume One – April 2, 2014

Referendum results final, Confluence Project finish line still a ways off

WQOW TV-18 – April 2, 2014

WPR Covers Confluence Project

Wisconsin Public Radio – March 31, 2014

Donors pledge $675K to Confluence, put total over $5M

Volume One – March 27, 2014

Long-term View Needed in Arts Center Decision

Leader Telegram – February 2, 2014

Confluence Referendum Wording Concerns UW-EC students

Leader Telegram – January 31, 2014

Local Meeting with State Arts Board Leaders Addresses Strategies for Thriving

Leader Telegram – January 28, 2014

Confluence Project Developer Reacts to County-Wide Referendum

WQOW TV-18 – January 22, 2014

County Board OKs Confluence Funding, but Only if Referendum is Held

Leader Telegram – January 21, 2014

New Group Supporting the Confluence Project Targets Young Entrepreneurs

WQOW TV-18 – January 16, 2014

Confluence Referendum Petition Verified; Council Action Possible This Month

Leader Telegram – January 10, 2014

Chamber President Urges Members to support Project

Leader Telegram – January 9, 2014

Walker Should Like The Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – June 23, 2013

Will This Venue Work?
Volume One Magazine – May 22, 2013

Zach Halmstad announces $500,000 gift from JAMF Software

JAMF Software – May 20, 2013

JAMF Software Pledges $500,000 to Confluence Project

Volume One Magazine – Mar. 13, 2013

UWEC Student Senate gives $50,000 and their support [PDF]

UW-Eau Claire Student Senate – Nov. 19, 2012

UW Regents approve concept [PDF]

Capital Planning & Budget Committee – Oct. 4, 2012

RCU gives $1,000,000 to Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – Sep. 19, 2012

Stars Align For Confluence Project

Leader Telegram – May 23, 2012

Businesses React To Place For Downtown Dormitory And Arts Center

Leader Telegram – May 16, 2012

$85 Million “Confluence Project” coming downtown

Volume One Magazine – May 15, 2012