Mayo Clinic Health System of northwest Wisconsin has awarded the Eau Claire Community Foundation a $250,000 grant for the Confluence Arts Center in downtown Eau Claire.
“The Confluence Arts Center highlights the value placed on the arts in the Chippewa Valley,” said Randall Linton, M.D., president & CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System of northwest Wisconsin. “Mayo Clinic Health System is proud to play a role in making this performing arts center a reality. It will be a destination landmark for years to come and will also help attract and retain highly skilled healthcare workers in the Eau Claire area. We look at this as an investment in both our community and our employees.”
The Mayo Clinic Health System grant will be paid over five years and will be matched by a $1.5 million challenge gift offered by a group of anonymous donors. The “Breaking New Ground” campaign is a community-wide effort to build the Arts Center. Funding has included $15 million from the state of Wisconsin, $5 million from the City of Eau Claire and $3.5 million from Eau Claire County. More than $14 million in philanthropy has already been committed to the $45 million dollar project, according to Sue Bornick, Executive Director of the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF).
Presenting the grant award was Dr. Linton from Mayo Clinic Health System. The award was accepted by ECCF Board of Trustees Vice Chair Laura Talley, ECCF Board of Trustees Secretary Laurie Klinkhammer, and Eau Claire Confluence, Inc. Chair Jerry Jacobson. Members of the Confluence Fundraising Committee were also present.
The Confluence Project, located at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers, is a collaborative effort to continue the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire.
The 130,000 square foot Arts Center will include a 1,200 seat large theater and a 400 seat flexible theater, along with rehearsal rooms, offices, and classrooms for UW-Eau Claire. The project is expected to break ground in late fall if the philanthropic goal of nearly $16 million is reached and to be completed in late 2018.