• Community for the Confluence is on YouTube!

    confluence-videoFriday, January 15, 2014

    New Video Answers Key Questions About the Confluence Project

    The Community for the Confluence now has a YouTube channel! We’ve compiled some great information about the Confluence Project, including an informative overview that answers a lot of great questions about the Confluence Project.

    You’ll also see a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the State Theatre from Eau Claire Regional Arts Council Executive Director Ben Richgruber, and clips from the press conference where JAMF Owner Zach Halmstad, local musician Justin Vernon, and UWEC Chancellor James Schmidt speak about the future of Eau Claire and the importance of the Confluence Project.

    Watch for more great videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel and sharing the videos with your friends and family who want to see this project move forward!

    YouTubeIconSubscribe to our YouTube Channel:

  • Make Your Voice Heard TODAY!

    ecc_courthouseContacting Eau Claire County elected officials is vital right now!

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Speak up in support of funding the Confluence Project. The Eau Claire County Administration Committee voted to contribute $3.5 million to the project.  On January 21, the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors will vote on the Administration Committee’s recommendation to fund $3.5 million to the project. Let the Board of Supervisors know the Confluence Project should be funded directly with their votes.

    The Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors want your input. They need to know LOTS of people support the Confluence Project. We ask you to take two minutes right now, and email your support to the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors. A complete list of Eau Claire County Board of Supervisor email addresses is at the bottom of this newsletter. There is an option for Outlook users with email addresses separated by semicolons.

    If you want help writing your email, we can help – go to Communtiy for the Confluence Tools and Resources. Copy and paste the text from the appropriate designation – Eau Claire Resident, Non-Resident or Alumni- into your email program. Copy and paste the “All the Email Addresses” listing from the lower left column – there is an option for Outlook users with email addresses separated by semicolons. Use the Subject line “I Support the Confluence Project” and send!

    Your support today is extremely important to the future of the Confluence project. If you haven’t done so already, please add your name to the list of supporters at Thank you for speaking up and letting your voice be heard!

    Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Email Address:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    For Outlook Users – Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Email Address:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    Stay up-to-date on Confluence events and progress on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Speak Up at Eau Claire County Meeting

    Please join us on Tuesday, January 7 to support the Confluence Project.

    Monday, January 6, 2014ecc_courthouse

    Bring a friend and speak up for our community’s future at the Eau Claire County Committee on Administration public hearing on Tuesday, January 7 at 4:30 p.m. Say YES to committing $5 million to the Confluence Project and the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire.

    The Confluence Project development partners will introduce an updated economic development impact report that reflects changes since the Rogers & Associates Economic Impact Report was provided last year.  If you are available to attend and speak, we encourage you to do so.

    This Tuesday is the time to speak up, because the Committee on Administration meeting agenda includes consideration of resolution to help fund construction of “The Confluence” Community Arts Center/Discussion-Action! The January 9 Committee on Finance meeting will not have public comments, and the January 21 County Board of Supervisors meeting will only allow 30 minutes of public comment.

    Now is the time to speak up!

    Please join us on Tuesday, and say YES to the Confluence Project. And, spread the word via email, Facebook, or any way possible.

    Eau Claire County Committee on Administration meeting
    Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
    Courthouse – Room #1301/1302
    721 Oxford Avenue
    Eau Claire, WI

  • UW-Eau Claire Student Senate Absolute Support

    Friday, January 3, 2014UWEC Student Senate

    On behalf of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate, Bryan Larson, Student Body President and Jacob Wrasse, Director Intergovernmental Affairs sent the following letter in support of the Confluence Project to the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors.

    “As representatives of the over 10,000 students attending our university, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Student Senate wishes to convey absolute support for the Confluence Project.

    One of the major priorities of UW-Eau Claire is shaping students that aren’t just members of the university, but of the community as a whole. The Community Arts Center would provide a golden opportunity for partnership between community groups and our student population. This center would be a major asset for the university’s recruitment efforts and a chance to bring in not only students who participate in the performing arts, but also those who value living in an arts-rich area. Our data shows that this is a majority of potential applicants.

    Additionally, the Confluence Project is an opportunity for the county to join the groundbreaking collaboration between the City of Eau Claire, UW-Eau Claire, the State of Wisconsin, and countless local organizations and individuals. By promoting this project, you are investing in the viability of your largest city’s downtown and its ability to bring in an estimated 75,000 patrons from outside the county in its first year of operation alone. This investment in Eau Claire County’s future is a bold move in an unprecedented economic atmosphere that will allow our area to prosper for decades to come.

    The Confluence Project could raise the standard of performing arts in Eau Claire County and add vigor to the already beautiful downtown, which will be enjoyed by citizens and students alike. The Student Senate asks you, as stewards of our county’s collective future, to add your support to this already strong collaboration and invest in economic prosperity.”

    UWEC Student Senate Letter of Support to Eau Claire County

  • Visit Eau Claire’s Support for Confluence Project

    main-logo-vec2Thursday, January 2, 2014

    The Visit Eau Claire Board of Directors has unanimously approved the following Position of Support for the Confluence Project:

    Visit Eau Claire enthusiastically supports the development of the Confluence Project as a positive asset for the City of Eau Claire. The Confluence Project will foster the growth of our city and county through economic development, increased tax base, downtown revitalization, enhanced tourism, cultural/artistic investment, and advanced educational opportunities.

    Visit Eau Claire is supportive of relocating its offices to the location of the Confluence Project, and is willing to contribute up to $50,000/year for full occupancy costs to the project in return for the agreed upon 5,000 square feet of leased office/visitor center space.

    The core mission of Visit Eau Claire is to market the Eau Claire Area for tourism promotion and development in a way that is highly likely to generate overnight stays. As such, Visit Eau Claire will allocate a minimum of $25,000 per year for an initial three years (once the performing arts center opens) to a Visit Eau Claire marketing campaign, featuring the Confluence Project and its programming. Visit Eau Claire will also continue to contribute to the growth of City of Eau Claire room tax revenues by focusing its efforts on generating new room tax for the City.

    The new strategic partnership with UWEC for facilities use, along with the opening of Holiday Inn Eau Claire South I-94 this year, provides new facilities inventory to promote, resulting in significant opportunities for new hotel room bookings. A new arts center would be another important pillar in the destination’s tourism product; targeted marketing of this project to out-of-area visitors will allow the overall room tax generated for the City to grow, thereby providing new room tax funds to the City.

    Visit Eau Claire looks forward to being involved in the advocacy of this important City project, and will continue to offer tourism-based information and expertise as needed throughout the process.

    Visit Eau Claire Confluence Support 2013

  • Fact Check – Eau Claire County Return On Investment

    Fact-Check-countyWednesday, December 18, 2013

    Eau Claire County will Directly Benefit Economically from Arts Center

    It is estimated Eau Claire County will realize an additional $140,000 in sales tax in the first year of the arts center operation, and an estimated property tax revenue increase of more than $750,000 from the overall project after five years.

    Arts Center Direct Impact – First Year

    • More than 186,000 patrons – 40% from outside County
    • $1.08 million in organizational expenditures
    • $3.55 million in audience expenditures
    • 4.6 million in total economic impact (without multipliers)
    • 141 Total FTE Jobs (supported by audience and organization expenditures)
    • 40 Direct FTE Jobs (directly supported by arts and culture nonprofits)


    Property and Sales Tax Revenue to Eau Claire County

    Operating under revenue caps, local governments must rely on growth in property and sales taxes to sustain current programs and to address new needs. While property tax growth related to this project will be considerable, performing arts centers typically are excellent generators of sales tax.

    Property Tax Impact

    • Overall property tax revenue to County year one – $200,505
    • Mixed use building is projected to generate more than $500,000 taxes annually
    • Eau Claire County property tax increase after 5 years – $769,653

    Sales Tax Impact

    • Annual direct local sales tax revenue accrued to Eau Claire County – $20,286
    • Applying the Confluence Project’s 6.9 multiplier to the Center’s equipment, professional services and supplies purchases, annual county sales tax revenue increases by $139,974 during the Arts Center’s first full year of operation
    • State sales tax revenues will increase $1,399,740. Some of that money will return to Eau Claire as state-shared revenue


    Shared Funding is Effective and Efficient Use of Public Resources

    Significant community projects are considerably more difficult to accomplish today. Funding partnerships assure broad and sustainable community support. Shared services and shared resources is fast becoming the new normal; it is more efficient government and it is the right thing to do.

    The Arts Center will Help Promote Conventions and Tourism

    It has been suggested that as much as 30% of typical convention activity could be accommodated in the proposed arts center. Visit Eau Claire has been hindered by lack of facilities; this project will help.

    The Confluence Project is an Important Resource to Attract and Retain Business

    Several recent publications note the importance of cultural and entertainment assets in economic development efforts. Zach Halmstad, JAMF Software’s founder recently stated that the vibrance of the Barstow redevelopment and anticipation of the Confluence Project is considered an employee perk just as significant as their 401(k) and health plans. This is the new paradigm in economic development, and the Eau Claire area is well positioned to compete in this new business development marketplace.


    The Good Life:  A Cultural Direction for Eau Claire County

    “As we move forward we should capitalize on the unique identity of downtown Eau Claire, built on the confluence of two scenic and historically interesting rivers, to bring about social and economic change – the change residents are still clamoring for three decades after the downtown revitalization efforts began in Eau Claire.”

    Only one question on The Good Life survey directly asked respondents about downtown Eau Claire: “Please indicate the degree to which you agree with the following statements…A vibrant arts district in the downtown city of Eau Claire is important.”

    87% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. This unsolicited attention and consideration from survey respondents – no matter where in Eau Claire County they live – suggests the importance of downtown Eau Claire to cultural life of the city and county.


    Let Your Voice be Heard!

    Contacting your elected officials is an important part of this process. They need to know LOTS of people support the Confluence Project, so every email is very important. Please take a moment to email the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors. Ask them to collaborate with the City and support the Confluence Project with a $5 million investment. Not sure what to say? Sample emails are available at Tools & Resources.

    Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Email Addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Email Addresses separate by semi-colon for Outlook Users:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

  • Fact Check – Confluence Project Funding

    Get the Facts on Tax Increment Financing

    December 10, 2013


    Citizen comments in opposition to the Confluence Project have stated concerns about funding the City’s capital contribution.

    “I believe the project will not pay for itself and will only temporarily increase the tax base,” submitted via email to Eau Claire City Council by Lisa Herrmann.

    “In my opinion this is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars for a project that will not generate dime one hard revenue for the City,” submitted via email to Eau Claire City Council by Carl Vande Vrede.

    In order to answer these, and other concerns, lets first look at Tax Increment Financing (TIF).


    What is a TIF District?

    TIF districts are one of the few remaining economic development tools local governments can use to attract new business, invest in infrastructure and rebuild blighted areas. A tax increment is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of property tax revenue generated after TIF designation.

    Only property taxes generated by the incremental increase in value of the TIF district are available for TIF projects—such as Phoenix Park and the Confluence Project. Tax rates do not change when a TIF district is designated. TIF funding for capital improvements, when structured as proposed for the Confluence project, DOES NOT increase general fund spending or taxes.


    TIF Districts Do Not Reduce Tax Revenues to Schools, Parks

    Also, TIF districts do not reduce tax revenues to other taxing bodies such as schools. Taxes collected on properties included in the TIF at the time of designation continue to fund schools, parks, libraries and other taxing districts and are not reduced by the creation of a TIF district. Only taxes from future development projects—which would not happen with out TIF funding—go to re-pay the funds advanced to complete the TIF eligible projects.

    Make sense? Alright, now lets look at Confluence Project funding.


    Confluence Project Funding and TIF Districts

    The Confluence Project will be developed in Tax Increment District 8 (TID 8). The City’s share of funding the Community Arts Center (CAC) is $5 million, and TID eligible expenses necessary to  develop the Mixed Use Building (MUB) site are $5.9 million.

    The City’s capital contribution through TID 8 is proposed to  fund “up front” the $5 million CAC investment and $3.3 million of the MUB infrastructure.

    This is accomplished with approximately $2 million in funding available from the existing TID 8, and the balance from an overlay district that includes the Confluence site. The Confluence MUB is valued at $25 million yielding an estimated property tax payment of $588,000 annually. This guaranteed tax payment will fully fund the repayment of the City’s capital contribution to the arts center AND the mixed use building.


    Developers, Not Taxpayers, Are Responsible for Creating Increased Tax Revenues Through Development

    TID 8 is proposed as a “Pay-As-You-Go” concept. This means the $2.6 million balance of the contribution to the MUB infrastructure will not be paid until tax revenues  are generated by future development within the TID area. This places the risk of TID revenue performance on the developer, not the taxpayer.


    Long-Term TIF District Tax Revenues Will Benefit Other City Services

    Once TID 8 fully funds the City’s Confluence investment, the TIF district’s tax revenues benefit other taxing bodies. At the end of the TIF, all the tax revenues generated by the revitalized downtown property go to underlying taxing bodies, which provides an ongoing tax revenue increase for schools, parks, libraries and other bodies without raising taxes.

    The fact is the Confluence Project will rejuvenate a blighted area, generate new economic development downtown and increase City tax revenues without raising property taxes!

    Choose Growth for Eau Claire.

    • Support the Confluence Project through the City of Eau Claire’s online forum E2C2.
    • Email your support to Eau Claire City and County representatives.

    Thank you.


    Next Week: Fact Check – Local Share of Operating Expenses

  • Support the Confluence Project on E2C2!

    Join the Conversation on the City of Eau Claire’s Online Forum

    December 3, 2013

    The City of Eau Claire, through its online forum Eau Claire Electronic Conversation (E2C2), is asking residents to answer the question: What do you think about the Confluence Project?

    In October, the City Council adopted a resolution to pledge $5,000,000 to the Community Arts Center portion of the Confluence Project, which includes a mixed-use building for commercial/retail space and university housing. The City’s question addresses the entire Confluence Project, not just funding of the Community Arts Center.

    Please take a few minutes right now to answer the question at
    As a Community for the Confluence, it is important that everyone’s voice be heard. The City’s E2C2 survey is a great opportunity to express your opinion on the Confluence Project.

    Once you have registered, you will have the opportunity to answer three question-comments regarding the Confluence Project:
    1. Are you in favor of the Confluence Project?
    2. If you wish, please add an explanation.
    3. Do you have any concerns with the project?

    Comments made by registered participants can be reviewed under the General Public section. City officials plan to incorporate E2C2 comments into their decision-making process.

    Please go to and let your voice be heard! As of Tuesday, December 3 at 3:00 p.m., there were only 41 comments in general public responses. If we speak up as a Community for the Confluence, we can elevate this conversation into the hundreds, into the thousands!

    Please share the E2C2 link with friends, family and co-workers. Thank you!

    Stay up-to-date on Confluence events and progress on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Community for the Confluence’s Outreach in Support of Arts Development


    UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I concert at Mondovi High School

    December 2, 2013

    Community for the Confluence in collaboration with the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will present the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I in concert on Tuesday, December 10, 7:00 p.m. at Mondovi High School, 337 N Jackson Street.

    The concert is part of Community for the Confluence’s community outreach in support of arts development throughout the Chippewa Valley. UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I will celebrate American Big Band music with selections from Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey brothers and Duke Ellington. 

    Tickets are $3.00 general admission, available for purchase at the door the night of the concert. Mondovi Band Boosters will be selling refreshments, and space will be available for dancing.

    UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I is a six-time winner of Down Beat’s “Best College Big Band” award and has been nominated for a Grammy twice. The New York Times has called UW-Eau Claire jazz program one of the most “well regarded in the country.”

    “The Big Band Era was one of the most memorable musical eras in American history,” said Robert Baca, Director of Jazz Ensemble I. “It was a time when swing was the thing. The Big Bands – Benny ‘The King of Swing” Goodman, The Dorsey brothers, Glenn Miller, and a host of others – they had people doin’ the Lindy Hop in every ballroom and dance hall across America. Now a generation is discovering that excitement of big band jazz.”

    Please join us for a musical journey celebrating the songs, events and people of the Big Band Era. For more information, contact Community for the Confluence at 715-832-2787 ext. 101 or by email to

  • Why it is Important for You to Attend the Pep Rally

    Building Momentum as a Community Gathered Together

    November 22, 2013

    You may ask yourself: why is it so important for me to attend the Confluence Pep Rally? We have busy lives—kids, work, shopping, laundry, volunteering—and it’s Thanksgiving week with family coming for dinner. One hour is precious time to catch up or get ahead.

    This is exactly why we need you at the Pep Rally. We can’t lose another minute building momentum in support of the Confluence Project. Your voice—the voices of your friends, family, co-workers—must be heard above the hubbub of opposition. As a group, as a community gathered together, the truth will be heard loud and clear!

    Opposition to the Confluence Project isn’t just trying to stop this singular project. They want “any physical construction of any municipally financed (in whole and in part) project which includes a building planned for dramatic, musical, or artistic performances, requiring a capital expenditure…of one million dollars or more” to be submitted for public vote as a binding referendum. Thus placing a strangle hold on arts facility development in the City of Eau Claire.

    As a Community for the Confluence, we stand together for economic development through arts and culture. Eau Claire is blessed to have a diverse and innovative arts community. Our elected City representatives understand how to use economic development tools to build an arts district within a tax increment financing (TIF) district. Your co-workers, friends and family probably don’t understand the economic dynamics of tax increment financing, or that TIF districts do not increase taxes. Our elected representatives do understand how a TIF district can be used to fully fund the City’s capital expenditure for the Confluence Community Arts Center.

    Bring them to the Pep Rally, together let’s show broad, diverse support for the arts. Let’s talk about how the Confluence Project will help grow and sustain our innovative arts community. How the University and the City are making an investment in the rejuvenation of our downtown.

    Take an hour out of your day, buy the arts a beer and enjoy the camaraderie of Community for the Confluence. Together we can make this unique public-private opportunity to revitalize downtown happen now. Come to the Pep Rally!

    Community for the Confluence Pep Rally
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013
    5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

    State Theatre
    316 Eau Claire Street
    Downtown Eau Claire

  • It’s Time to Rally for the Confluence!

    First Ever Community for the Confluence Pep Rally

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    tshirt-buttonYou’ve signed up, emailed and followed the progress of the Confluence Project. Now it’s time to rally for the Confluence as one BIG group! It is time to present the many faces of the Confluence Project, the multitudes who support and participate in the Chippewa Valley’s innovative arts community.

    Join us at the State Theater on Tuesday, November 26 at 5:00 p.m. for the first ever Community for the Confluence Pep Rally!

    Mark your calendar, because we need a little face time with YOU! Special guests, live music and a Community for the Confluence group photograph. Opponents of the Confluence Project have stated there isn’t broad, diverse community support for the project. We need EVERYONE to come to the State Theatre to prove the naysayers are wrong. Come to the Community for the Confluence Rally, and show your support for the future of the arts in the Chippewa Valley.

    Wear your Confluence blue, bring your co-workers, friends and family BE SEEN in support of the Confluence Project. Don’t miss this event! Come early, come late, but come to the rally!

    Community for the Confluence Pep Rally
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013
    5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    State Theatre
    316 Eau Claire Street
    Downtown Eau Claire


  • Why Eau Claire County should invest in the Confluence Project

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Now that the City of Eau Claire has pledge $5 million to the Confluence Project, it’s time for the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors to help do what no single entity or constituency can do on its own. An investment of $5 million from Eau Claire County will secure the future of the project, the revitalization of downtown, renewed job creation, and an innovative arts community across the region.

    The Community Arts Center at the Confluence represents different things to different people:

    • To UW-Eau Claire, it is an opportunity to support its academic mission in an area of strength
    • To the arts community, it’s a home from which to grow and prosper
    • To many area residents, it’s a quality of life issue
    • To employers, it’s a tool to recruit and retain employees
    • To local government, it’s an economic development initiative
    • To all, it’s a demonstration of the power of collaboration

    Why should Eau Claire County support this project?

    Currently, city and county governments have state-imposed limits on the amount of increased property taxes they can collect annually. Local government must rely on tax base growth to sustain current programs and address new challenges. Eau Claire County’s $5 million share of the Community Arts Center will result in a $77 million investment in the community. Which will generate additional property, room and sales tax revenues for the City and County.

    Eau Claire County is highly dependent on what happens within the City of Eau Claire:

    • More than 50% of the County’s property tax base is within the City
    • An overwhelming majority of activities that generate sales tax happen within the City
    • High percentage of existing jobs are located within the City
    • Projected job growth is expected to occur within the City

    Value of operational collaboration between County and City has been demonstrated across the nation.

    The product of collaboration is the efficient and responsible use of government resources. The new economic development standard is based on a merging of State, County, City and private resources to achieve growth. It is essential for Eau Claire County to join with the City and State to invest in the extraordinary potential of the Confluence Project.

    Let Your Voice be Heard!

    Contacting your elected officials is an important part of this process. They need to know LOTS of people support the Confluence Project, so every email is very important. Please take a moment to email the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors. Ask them to collaborate with the City and support the Confluence Project with a $5 million investment. Not sure what to say? Sample emails are available at Tools & Resources.

    Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Email Addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Email Addresses separate by semi-colon for Outlook Users:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

  • Placemaking Haymarket Plaza

    Community inspiration is needed for a special placemaking project in downtown Eau Claire

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    Eau Claire City Council Representative Catherine Emmanuelle invites you to join a team of citizens working together to help plan the new downtown public plaza. The group is working with the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to use placemaking theory as a civic engagement tool for citizens to help plan the public plaza. Placemaking is the planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves listening to and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a  particular space to determine their needs and  aspirations. This means YOU get to have a say in how the public plaza is designed!

    For information on the Haymarket Plaza placemaking project, check out Volume One’s article by Thom Fountain at:

    There is no cost to participate, as the project is 100% locally funded through donations. Advance registration is necessary. Ideal people to be a part of the planning are those who love downtown Eau Claire, want to be a part of a forward-thinking Eau Claire, and want to see another public park success in the heart of our city.

    Monday, November 4 is the deadline to be a part of the planning process.
    Register online today at:

    Placemaking Haymarket Plaza meeting schedule:

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013
    4:00-7:30 p.m.
    The Plus (Pizza Plus)
    208 S. Barstow Street


    Saturday, November 9, 2013
    9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    The Plus (Pizza Plus)
    208 S. Barstow Street

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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, and you can watch the entire conference there and see the associated online discussion here:

    Check out these media links below for the full story:

    WQOW TV – w/ video

    WEAU TV – w/ video


    Volume One – w/ full video

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.


In the News

It’s Official: Eau Claire’s New Downtown Arts Center Has a Name
VolumeOne – February 16, 2018

Trio do­nate $5M, name art cen­ter
Leader-Telegram – February 16, 2018

Naming rights sold for Confluence Arts Center
WEAU – February 16, 2018

Naming rights to Eau Claire Confluence Arts Center unveiled
WQOW – February 16, 2018

Confluence Arts Center: Newly hired artistic director has big, splashy, intimate plans for center’s first season in 2018-19
Leader-Telegram – February 2, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage look at Eau Claire’s Confluence Arts
WQOW – January 26, 2018

Sizable donation gifted to Eau Claire Confluence project
WEAU – January 11, 2018

Inside Eau Claire’s Confluence Arts Center
WEAU – December 20, 2017

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