SOME PEOPLE AROUND EAU CLAIRE ... like to complain that college students never get off campus. They never really see the city. They never fully appreciate what’s going on here. They’re basically self-absorbed toddlers, and they just don’t care about the hard-working, creative people who build this town into something great.
But we know that’s not true.
OK, it’s kinda true. I mean, there’s always a few weird globs of unfinished Gummi Bear stuck to the bottom of every bag, right? Nobody’s perfect. I’ve definitely come across a certain kind of person who just doesn’t know how to live in a city. You know the type – they stick to their routines. They keep their heads down. They rarely explore.
On the surface, these people might even seem to be outgoing and engaged, but at the end of the day, between the couch, classes, and bed, there’s only a handful of places they actually go. They might hit a certain restaurant a few times a month, a certain bar every week, a certain bike trail, but that’s about it.
But thankfully, these kinds of people are fewer and fewer.
I graduated from UW-Eau Claire and I’ve been living and working in this town ever since. In that time, some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met have been students – students willing to get out of the dorm room and out of their rental unit to try something new and see something different.
Maybe “willing to get out” isn’t the right bunch of words. These are people who need to get out and really see what’s going on. And when seeing what’s happening around here just doesn’t cut it anymore, they starting making things happen.
“Eau Claire is filled with the right kind of stuff to create almost anything you want. It’s big enough to offer you a variety of resources and real audience, yet it’s small enough that you won't get lost in the noise.”
Eau Claire is a sweet spot. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that it’s filled with the right kind of stuff to create almost anything you want. It’s big enough to offer you a variety of resources and a real audience, yet it’s small enough that you won’t get lost in the noise. People live here for their entire lives without ever really getting that concept.
For years, a lot of great individuals have worked very hard to build this place. We’ve got music and art and food and a huge pile of things to do outside. It’s always changing, and it’s not perfect, but how boring is “perfect?” A city’s imperfections usually provide a foundation for the really good stuff. This is where exciting new scenes flourish and thrive. And this is where you come in.
This town is a gift – it’s yours now. But like all gifts, it’s not much fun until you get up off your butt and use it.
So welcome to Eau Claire. We can’t wait to see what you make of it.
— Mike Paulus, Volume One