A Winter Surge for the Valley's Cultural Landscape

Nick Meyer

Hot on the heels of the Banbury Art Crawl, which was Feb. 5-6, the Chippewa Valley’s arts and culture scene is about to step it up even further this February. And that’s above and beyond the usual list of music, theater, comedy, literature, and art events that take place at venues across the valley every week. This surge is in large part due to a few major developments happening over the next couple of weeks. And it’s all further evidence of the momentum building in this place – momentum that doesn’t stop for the frigid depths of winter. To the news…

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the partners behind the Confluence Project released a cache of new information and images to bring the community up to speed on their ongoing effort. Among the images released are actual floor plans for all three (big) stories of the arts facility, which include the two main theaters, an art gallery, recording studio, rehearsal facilities, a Visit Eau Claire welcome center, arts offices, and much more. It’s going to be an amazing and flexible facility, but there are still more funds to be raised. You can read more here.

Just last week, Rock Fest released its 2016 line-up and amped up the buzz about the valley’s summer music festival season. Read who’s on the bill for the July 14-16 fest on page 12. Then on Thursday, Feb. 11, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival will release its full 2016 line-up along with other tidbits about the second year of the festival. Watch VolumeOne.org and our social media streams for details. But starting today, early ticket buyers are receiving custom mixtapes featuring exclusive tracks from many of the artists playing the festival, which will be Aug. 12-13. And what’s more, The Oxbow Hotel, which opens later this summer, will be giving away a pair of tickets to the festival plus a three-night stay package that includes meals, drinks, a pre-fest concert, and more. Visit TheOxbowHotel.com for details and tell all your out-of-town friends to enter.

And finally, a very cool new local initiative for our literary scene will be taking its first steps in a couple of weeks with a kick-off talk at The Local Store on Feb. 25. It’s called the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, and it’s an ambitious joint project of the UWEC Foundation and the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council. The group features talks, workshops, resources, summer writing residencies, and more, all of it aimed at supporting and enhancing the valley’s burgeoning writing scene with some big new moves. Read more here.

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