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New initiative to re-evaluate the culture of Eau Claire

V1 Staff |

Here’s a little behind the scenes fun fact for you: Volume One Magazine basically prohibits its writers from directly expressing the opinion that, “People say there’s nothing going on here, but guess what? There’s tons of stuff going on! And here’s a big list of awesome cultural events to prove it!” We don’t let our writers write that because a) the whole dang magazine is designed around that concept; b) despite this, we’ve still written about the concept extensively, and c) much of the population – gasp – is truly uninterested in that big list of awesome cultural events.

This last idea is the focus of a new initiative in town called “The Good Life Project.” It hopes to pinpoint what people around here really like, what they’d like to see more of, and how they’d like to experience it. Chippewa Valley Museum director Susan McLeod and a team of other organizations with a stake in the culture of our community have joined forces to create the initiative – with the help of a grant from Institution of Museum and Library Services. The heart of the project is the idea that Eau Claire’s cultural offerings, more so than its infrastructure, most contribute to a good life for its residents.

Put simply, it’s a massive re-evaluation of our local culture. The first step of the project was unveiled in mid-June, with an online and mail survey available to Eau Claire county residents. The survey aims to gather an understanding of how the community currently views cultural availabilities in the region, in order to forecast a cultural future for Eau Claire.

The Good Life coalition anticipates the plan they create to be used by local governments, organizations, developers, and funding groups as a blueprint for where the city and county residents place their cultural priorities.

You can read more about the project in this week’s issue of Volume One, but you can go take the the survey right now at And you should.