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What is the Confluence Project? 

Watch this video overview.

The Confluence Project is a collaborative effort to redevelop a blighted area in downtown Eau Claire at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. The centerpiece of the project is the Confluence Arts Center, a state-of-the-art facility to serve UW-Eau Claire and local arts organizations. 

Neighboring the Arts Center will be a public plaza and mixed-used building that incorporates retail and student apartments. The live/learn relationship between the Arts Center, student housing and community arts organizations strengthens UW-Eau Claire’s commitment to public engagement.

confluenceMapThe Confluence Project combines philanthropy with state, county, and city funds in a true public-private partnership. It is the collaboration of ideas and sharing of capital that affords both the community and the University this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish more than any single group could alone. 

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the Confluence Project.

Chancellor Schimdt talks about the Confluence Project

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Dr. James Schmidt gathered with UW-Eau Claire alumni Justin Vernon and Zach Halmstad to discuss the project and its many benefits to the Eau Claire community. Chancellor Schmidt commented on the significance of the arts in preparing students to be become leaders in business and the community.

Blugold Alumni talk about the Confluence Project

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Jay Edenborg, ’98 shares how his professional life has been enhanced by his involvement in the arts as a UW-Eau Claire Singing Statesman.
Zach Halmstad, '04 owner of JAMF Software talks about what the project means for the future of his company and employees.
Justin Vernon, '04 realizes the need for change and the potential of collaboration with national recording artists and musicians.
Ben Richgruber, '00 envisions how the Confluence Project will create synergy between the university, local business and the arts community.

Community members talk about the Confluence Project

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Nick Meyer, emphasizes the benefits of students living and learning downtown and the impact on economic development in Eau Claire.

Rebecca Wurzer, explains the importance of Eau Claire’s economic development to recruiting and retaining talent at JAMF Software.
James Hanke, as an Eau Claire resident he is not concerned about students living downtown. Instead, he see it as an important factor in the development of new retail, restaurants and businesses downtown.

Jake Lindgren, actor, dancer and choreographer explains why he may have to leave Eau Claire to pursue his career, because he needs to live where opportunities in the arts thrive.

Watch more videos interviews about the Confluence Project at

give to support the confluence project

$100,000 Challenge Grant

UW-Eau Claire Foundation is thrilled to announce Coming Together, a $100,000 challenge grant in support of the Confluence Arts Center. The challenge grant, initiated by a coalition of donors, utilizes social media and text-2-give mobile to raise 6,000 donations in 60 days. Donations of any amount will help us match the challenge grant!

You can make a $10 donation right now by simply texting ECARTS to 501501, and a one-time $10 charge will be added to your cell phone bill or deducted from a prepaid balance. You can donate up to three times each month – every individual donation counts toward the 6,000 goal. 

If you want to make a tax deductible donation larger than $10, please click on the above Give button.

Join a Confluence

Giving Group

Philanthropy is vital to building the new Confluence Arts Center. Currently, we are seeking conditional pledges that can be outright gifts or payable over a five year period. Your pledge will make it possible to expand UW-Eau Claire's arts programs AND the economic development of downtown Eau Claire.

The City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire County have committed $8.5 million in funding to the project. The total philanthropic goal for the Arts Center is $13 million.


Join a diverse group of business leaders, concerned citizens and arts advocates who have each pledged $50,000 to be paid over a five year period. Members will be recognized on a permanent plaque in a prominent area of the Arts Center to commemorate the significant impact of these leadership gifts.

Pledge payment begins only after state, city and county funding is assured. All gifts will be placed in a fund designated only for the development of the Arts Center. Gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


Meet the challenge from a group of young entrepreneurs who have a stake in the future of Eau Claire. The founding members of The Forty are committed financially to the development of arts and culture in Eau Claire.

Join The Forty with a $10,000 pledge payable over 3 years to the Confluence Project. Your investment in the Arts Center will inspire the dreamers of tomorrow and create an opportunity for our community to flourish.

To join 50 with Fifty or The 40 giving groups, please contact Kimera Way, president. UW-Eau Claire Foundation at or 715-836-5180.

Naming Opportunities at Confluence Arts Center

Leave a legacy at the Confluence Arts Center that bears your name. Put your name in lights or on a stage or gallery! Many options to show your support for perpetuity are available. Whatever your passion—dance, visual arts, art education, film—there is a space to match your passion and personality or to honor and memorialize someone special in your life.

Confluence Naming Opportunities

For more information on naming opportunities, please contact Kimera Way, president. UW-Eau Claire Foundation at or 715-836-5180.

The Power of Possible Centennial Campaign
Learn more about the Power of Possible Campaign here.

What can you make possible today?