Meet the Best

Meet the Best – Pablo Center at the Confluence

Pablo Center at the Confluence prides itself on showcasing world-class artistic talent in the heart of Eau Claire

If you happen to peruse the results of Volume One’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, you might have noticed one name repeated often: The Pablo Center at the Confluence pops up on the list frequently – very frequently.

The downtown Eau Claire arts center was voted as the Best Place for Live Music, hosted all three of the winners in the Best Touring Theatrical Production category (Charlie Berens, Waitress, and RENT), was the site of two of the three Best Art Exhibitions, and ranked No. 2 for Best Art Gallery and in the all-inclusive Best Thing category.

These aren’t just empty honors for the Pablo Center, said Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson.

“It means a lot,” Anderson said when asked about receiving so many Best Of awards. “It means that we’re serving our mission and the reason that we’re here. More importantly, it’s reinforcing to me that all citizens do feel welcome inside the building and are engaging with the building.”

That’s particularly noteworthy as the Pablo Center emerges from the shadow of a pandemic that wreaked havoc on all aspects of society, live entertainment venues included. The arts center was closed from March 2020 to September 2021, yet audiences flocked back when it reopened for its fourth season last fall. 

it’s reinforcing to me that all citizens do feel welcome inside the building and are engaging with the building.



“I think we were missed,” Anderson said, “and (the public) responded in a way that said the Pablo Center is the place that we want to go to see live music and want to engage with it.” 

He continued: “We want to be the place where we can have challenging and hard conversations about topics, and we can laugh and cry together, and most importantly we can have memorable experiences and then a really short commute home.”

Patrons will have plenty of reasons to make that short commute during the Pablo Center’s fifth season, which begins this fall and will be unveiled soon: The full season will be announced June 13 (June 10 for Pablo Center members), with tickets available to Pablo Center members starting July 13 and to the public July 27.  

While most of the season is still under wraps, Anderson was able to mention a few upcoming performances. Postmodern Jukebox will return to the Pablo Center (tickets go on sale April 21-22) while the well-received series of Broadway hits will continue with a touring production of Fiddler on the Roof (tickets on sale May 5-6). The Pablo Center will continue to announce new shows every other week beginning May 2.

It’s conceivable the Pablo Center could snag even more awards in the Best Of voting for next year. In May, the arts center plans to open a new mini-venue (the official name is TBD) in the former Visit Eau Claire Experience Center near the building’s Gibson Street entrance. Starting in May, on the first and fourth Mondays of the month the space will become an acoustic music club, featuring free performances by local musicians as well as an open mic. Patrons will be able to cozy up with cocktails from the bar and listen to live tunes.

It’s all part of presenting a broad range of offerings – from Broadway musicals to comedy, from fine art exhibits to tribute bands – that attract patrons of all kinds.

“If people are going to spend their hard-earned money, we own the responsibility to ensure that what we’re presenting is worth every penny spent,” Anderson said.

Pablo Center at the Confluence

128 Graham Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Box Office: 715-832-ARTS (2787)
Administrative Office: 715-492-0240