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Vote puts Confluence Arts Center funding back in state budget

 A new arts center in downtown Eau Claire to be used by UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff as well as the arts community of Eau Claire and northwest Wisconsin is back in the proposed state budget following a vote May 27 by the Wisconsin State Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance.

The committee voted to approve a $15 million non-state agency grant for the Confluence Arts Center in downtown Eau Claire as part of the 2015-17 state budget.

On May 7, the Joint Committee on Finance voted to remove from the state budget $15 million in general purpose revenue cash funding for the project. The May 27 vote restores funding through the state capital building program.

"The $15-million-dollar investment by the state of Wisconsin in the Confluence Arts Center demonstrates tremendous value for state taxpayers by providing UW-Eau Claire with significant and much needed upgrades to our performing arts facilities at a fraction of what it would cost to build a similar facility on campus," said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt. "This is truly a win-win-win for UW-Eau Claire, the greater Eau Claire community and Wisconsin taxpayers. I want to personally thank our local legislators who worked tirelessly in a bi-partisan manner to communicate the many merits of the Confluence Arts Center to their colleagues on the finance committee. It is clear from the results of today's vote that their advocacy on behalf of our university and community was heard loud and clear in Madison."

Project funding will be included in the budget sent by the Joint Committee on Finance to the full state legislature for consideration and then to Gov. Scott Walker for approval.

Find more details about the Confluence Arts Center on the Community for the Confluence website.