Donations Add Up for Confluence Project

Tom Giffey

Two more Eau Claire business recently made major donations toward the proposed Confluence Project performing arts center. Commonweal Development, a commercial real estate company, announced March 9 it would pledge $100,000 to the campaign. Commonweal has been a major partner in the multi-building public-private project since the beginning: The commercial real estate firm is one of the partners in the privately funded Haymarket Landing, which is under construction on South Barstow Street. The second big gift came three days later in the form of a $50,000 pledge from the law firm Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci. Both pledges will go toward the $13.5 million fundraising goal for the joint community-university performing arts center, which is slated to open in fall 2018 next to Haymarket Landing. So far, $7 million has been raised in pledges from local businesses and individuals. Meanwhile, the Confluence effort has surpassed another fundraising milestone: The “50 for 50” campaign – which sought separate $50,000 contributions from 50 residents and business owners – has reached its goal, and will be renamed the Century Club, with the aim of soliciting 50 more $50,000 gifts. The $40 million arts center will be funded with a combination of donor dollars and public funds. In addition to the $13.5 million fundraising goal, funds have been pledged by the city and county of Eau Claire. Gov. Scott Walker also included $15 million for the project in his version of the 2015-17 state budget, but that money still must be approved by the state Legislature. The state funding is contingent on a local match. To learn more about the Confluence Project, visit communityfortheconfluence.org or Facebook. –Tom Giffey

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