News Stage

Local Cultural Groups Get a Half Million in Pandemic Relief

Pablo Center, theater groups among 13 recipients from Chippewa Valley

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

The Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire is one of the recipients of a COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant  from the state of Wisconsin.
The Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire is one of the recipients of a COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant  from the state of Wisconsin.

More than a dozen Chippewa Valley-based arts organizations will receive over half a million dollars in COVID-19 relief grants from the state of Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant program has awarded $15 million to 385 cultural organizations around the state that have been affected by the pandemic, a press release from the governor’s office said.

“These cultural organizations represent the vibrant fabric of communities across our state and support Wisconsin’s tourism industry and local economies,” Evers said. “This grant program will help organizations cover essential costs related to keeping their employees and communities safe throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Thirteen organizations from Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire counties will receive a total of $562,000 from the program. The largest grant made to a cultural group in the Chippewa Valley went to the Confluence Council Inc., the nonprofit entity that operates the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, which received $137,712. Other local recipients include the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, the Mabel Tainter Theater in Menomonie, the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre, and the Chippewa Valley Cultural Association in Chippewa Falls. (A complete list is below.)

“These cultural organizations represent the vibrant fabric of communities across our state and support Wisconsin’s tourism industry and local economies.”

Gov. Tony Evers

The grants were administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration and taken from federal aid delivered to the state earlier this year by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to Evers’ office, the grants were intended for “nonprofit organizations whose primary missions are to produce, present, or exhibit cultural disciplines such as music, dance, theater, literature, and the visual arts, or items of environmental or scientific interest. Grant awards can be used to cover pandemic-related impacts such as lost revenue, increased workers’ compensation costs, cleaning and sanitization, and purchases of services or equipment to facilitate telework by employees.”

“Just like small businesses, cultural organizations have taken a major financial hit,” Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan said in a press release. “We’re all in this together. We hope that these funds will make it possible for us to be able to enjoy the museums, theaters, and music from these organizations once it is safe to do so again.”

Here is a full list of the recipients in the Chippewa Valley:

  • OneFest Ltd., Cadott – $22,585
  • Chippewa Valley Cultural Association, Chippewa Falls – $62,741
  • Mabel Tainter Literary, Library, and Educational Society, Menomonie – $72,899
  • Dunn County Historical Society, Menomonie – $7,452
  • Chippewa Valley Symphony, Eau Claire – $24,334
  • Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild, Eau Claire – $30,604
  • Chippewa Valley Museum, Eau Claire – $19,301
  • Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, Eau Claire – $7,436
  • Eau Claire Jazz Inc., Eau Claire – $17,174
  • Eau Claire Children’s Theatre, Eau Claire – $70,193
  • BaredFeet Co., Eau Claire – $617
  • Confluence Council Inc., Eau Claire – $137,712
  • Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, Eau Claire – $88,671

More information regarding the COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant Program is available here. A full list of grant winners is available here.