The Pablo Center Needs to Raise Half a Million Dollars. Here Are Two Ways to Help Right Now.

V1 Staff |

The coronavirus pandemic has hit entertainment venues particularly hard: For the Pablo Center at the Confluence and its peers, the restrictions necessary to slow the pandemic have meant months without in-person performances, with no clear end in sight. No performances means no revenue, which puts venues in financial peril.

Faced with such uncertainty, the Pablo Center is turning to the community that helped build it to help survive the coming months: The Pablo Center has announced the “Bridge Campaign,” an effort to raise $500,000 to bridge its operating needs through the end of the year.

“Pablo Center, along with other live venues, was among the first to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we do not want to be among the 90% that will never reopen,” Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson said in a media release. “We know that to ensure the safety of our members, donors, guests, artists, and staff we will be among the very last businesses to reopen.”

There are two ways donors can help the Bridge Campaign:

  1. By buying a ticket to the Second Annual Pablo Center Gala, a virtual event which will be streamed through a Perigon webcast at 7:30pm Thursday, Aug. 13. “The event will showcase performances from artists including Naalia, Milwaukee’s 11th Poet Laureate, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, FLOWt with Sue Orfield and Terry Meyer, and Phil Cook as well as remarks from Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson,” the Pablo says. “The evening will be hosted by Director of Artistic Programming Evan Middlesworth and Director of Development Monica Frederick. It will also feature an open-to-the-public, virtual silent auction.” Tickets are available for $20 online, and must be purchased by midnight on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
  2. Supporters can also help the Bridge Campaign by making a donation of any size online or by calling the box office at (715) 832-ARTS (2787). “All contributors who give $25.00 and above to the campaign will have their name added to the legacy donor wall in the OakLeaf Physicians Lobby of Pablo Center, as well as be added to the legacy list of donors in all Season 3 programs,” the Pablo Center says.

Millions of dollars donated by generous Chippewa Valley residents, businesses, and organizations helped build the Pablo Center just a few years ago; now, a half million more can ensure the venue survives.

Here are the full details on the Bridge Campaign and the upcoming Pablo Center Gala:

Pablo Center Announces Bridge Campaign to Support Operational Needs

Virtual Gala to Help Support Efforts to Raise $500,000

Pablo Center at the Confluence announces the launch of the “Bridge Campaign” to aid in operational expenses. With COVID-19 halting mass gatherings and in-person performances since March of 2020 and projections indicating the potential to not reopen until January 2021, that leaves Pablo Center with the daunting reality of having no revenue for nine months. The goal of the Bridge Campaign is to raise $500,000 to help bridge operational needs from August through December. Without additional federal relief, Pablo Center will require $1.75M just to maintain the building through June of next year.

The Eau Claire City/County Health Department’s guidance plateauing indoor event capacity at 250 guests makes holding in-person performances before January infeasible.  However, Pablo Center plans to continue presenting free and paid streaming and programming experiences through the fall as well as continuing their efforts to support local artists and increase access to art education.  Pablo Center will continue to be a leader in advocating on behalf of independent venues and artists locally and nationally as captain of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

There are several ways for the community to participate in this campaign for operational funds. Support and gifts of all sizes are welcomed.  The first is by going online or calling the box office at 715-832-ARTS (2787) to become a Member or donate.  All contributors who give $25.00 and above to the campaign will have their name added to the legacy donor wall in the OakLeaf Physicians Lobby of Pablo Center, as well as be added to the legacy list of donors in all Season 3 programs.

The second way to support the campaign is by purchasing a ticket to our virtual Second Annual Pablo Center Gala. This year’s Gala will be streamed virtually through Perigon webcasting on Thursday, August 13, at 7:30 p.m.

The event will showcase performances from artists including Naalia, Milwaukee’s 11th Poet Laureate, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, FLOWt with Sue Orfield and Terry Meyer, and Phil Cook as well as remarks from Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson. The evening will be hosted by Director of Artistic Programming Evan Middlesworth and Director of Development Monica Frederick.  It will also feature an open-to-the-public, virtual silent auction. Check our website for more details on available items and how to access the auction at www.pablocenter.org/season3-gala.

In addition to virtual programming, attendees can also add on a customizable Gala Gift Box to enhance the at-home experience. The Gala Gift Box can be added to the event stream ticket upon checkout.  Orders for Gala Gift Boxes must be received by August 3 to have a guaranteed delivery date before August 13, although they will be available for purchase until the date of the event. Tickets for the Gala stream are available until midnight on August 12.

The stakes for Pablo Center have never been higher for its staff, its future, and the arts in the region. Support the Bridge Campaign by visiting pablocenter.org to become a Member, donate, or buy tickets to the gala.

“Pablo Center, along with other live venues, was among the first to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we do not want to be among the 90% that will never reopen. We know that to ensure the safety of our Members, Donors, Guests, Artists and Staff we will be among the very last businesses to reopen,” says Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson.  “Pablo Center is a crucial thread in the tapestry of our creative economy, a creative economy that is a driving force to our region’s economy.  The impacts of COVID-19 on large mass gathering events were immediate, halting all incoming revenue in March. We were fortunate to receive relief through the CARES Act that has allowed us to continue our vital mission with the hope of presenting in-person events this fall. Now five months later the opportunity to present those events has faded as COVID-19 numbers have increased. We will continue to present free and paid for streaming events online; however, this will not replace the required revenue that full-capacity, in-person events can for Pablo Center. While we hope to present events starting in January, the reality of the moment is that we need to ensure the legacy of the building and its obligations to future generations. The Pablo Center team is truly an A-Team of extraordinary individuals who I am honored to work with every day. They have worked tirelessly to ensure Pablo Center was a success; proving that in the very first season, and serving as incredible stewards to this world-class facility.  Please help us “bridge” this gap and keep our lights on so we can continue to help you all Dream|Create|Inspire as we all navigate these uncharted waters together.”