Commonweal Pledges $100K to Confluence Arts Center

Tom Giffey

One of the original site map renderings for the Confluence Project.
One of the original site map renderings for the Confluence Project.

Eau Claire-based Commonweal Development is donating $100,000 toward the proposed Confluence Project performing arts center, making it the latest Chippewa Valley business to pledge support for the transformative downtown Eau Claire effort. Commonweal has been a major partner in the multi-building public-private project since the beginning: The commercial real estate firm is one of the partners in the privately funded Haymarket Landing building, which is under construction on South Barstow Street.

Commonweal’s donation will go toward the $13.5 million fundraising goal for the joint community-university performing arts center, which is slated to open in fall 2018 next to Haymarket Landing. So far, $7 million has been raised in pledges from local businesses and individuals. “The performing arts center will help revitalize downtown Eau Claire and make it a destination place again. We believe this is an essential project in the area’s future economic development,” Jamie Radabaugh of Commonweal said in a press release. “We choose growth.”

The $40 million arts center will be funded with a combination of donor dollars and public funds. In addition to the $13.5 million fundraising goal, funds have been pledged by the city and county of Eau Claire. Gov. Scott Walker also included $15 million for the project in his version of the 2015-17 state budget, but that money still must be approved by the state Legislature. The state funding is contingent on a local match – which is one of the reasons philanthropy is so important.

“We are very grateful for this most generous commitment from Commonweal Development,” said Gerald and Meghan Bauer, co-chairs of the Confluence Fundraising Campaign. “Commonweal has been an integral part of the Confluence Project since its inception. Their vision, dedication and hard work has moved the project closer and closer to reality.”

To learn more about the Confluence Project, visit CommunityForTheConfluence.org or Facebook.com/CommunityForTheConfluence