15 Years of Volume One, Culture & Community

Nick Meyer, photos by Andrea Paulseth

On our ten year anniversary in 2012, we moved Volume One & The Local Store into our current downtown home at 205 N. Dewey St. in downtown Eau Claire. (above). From there we expanded our offerings to the community, striving to make our headquarters more than just an office and store, but a sort of community-based cultural center. We host talks, readings, concerts, film screenings, workshops – more than 125 events each year. Thank you to anyone who has visited us and supported us here these last five years.
On our ten year anniversary in 2012, we moved Volume One & The Local Store into our current downtown home at 205 N. Dewey St. in downtown Eau Claire. (above). From there we expanded our offerings to the community, striving to make our headquarters more than just an office and store, but a sort of community-based cultural center. We host talks, readings, concerts, film screenings, workshops – more than 125 events each year.

This modest experiment called Volume One started back in March of 2002. While we don’t have much planned in the way of celebratory fanfare (you’re reading the “fanfare” now), we thought we’d at least use the cover of this issue to commemorate our 15-year milestone with a collage of images from throughout our history. Flip back and you’ll see some of what’s made our world go ’round this last decade-and-a-half – things like music, art, events, stories, issues, sports, movies, products, parades, ideas, and more. When you push as hard as we sometimes have, a lot of stuff can happen in 15 years.

As we look back at that span of time, it’s easy to see how our community has evolved. Back in 2002 I’m not sure many people would have predicted the huge, positive developments we’ve seen transpire across the Chippewa Valley. But what’s truly remarkable now is how the pace of change here seems to be accelerating. Sure, as I get older time tends to move a little faster, but I believe something else is at play. A new culture has taken root here, one where the people of our community are no longer waiting to take action on their ideas, and sometimes, on their dreams. And they’re quicker to lend a hand, or a few bucks, to other people’s ideas, too. Many people here believe – perhaps more than ever – that their ideas will have support and a shot at success. Businesses, events, public policy, non-profits, partnerships – even some crazy, outside-the-box stuff – can very well succeed in this new communal mindset. There’s a sense we’re all here to support each other’s efforts and to keep pushing this place forward. To me, the way things are going, the next 15 years in the Chippewa Valley offer as bright of a blue-sky opportunity as one could imagine. New faces will keep stepping forward, and fresh thinking will lead the way. And as for Volume One, we plan to stay right here to help tell the story.

All that said, we do have one bit of fanfare to celebrate our 15th year. After five years of public pleas for its triumphant return, we’ve partnered with The Oxbow Hotel to revive our storied April Fools’ Day Pillow Fight. The five minutes of feathery fury will return at 4pm sharp on Saturday, April 1, this time in a new location on the corner of Farwell and Galloway streets in the Oxbow’s courtyard, right in the heart of downtown Eau Claire. We’re thrilled that after the five-year hiatus, the Oxbow has stepped forward to carry the torch. There will be prizes for best pillowcase, best costume, best team, and more. Whether you come to “fight” or come to watch, all are welcome. Because a little celebration of foolishness is good for the soul. See you there, sun or snow. 

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