Stories of Wisconsin’s Creative Economy-Northwest

Confluence Project, Eau Claire

This public-private partnership initiative will redevelop a blighted area in the heart of Eau Claire, at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers.  The project includes UW-Eau Claire and community space, and mixed-use retail and housing.  The City of Eau Claire has pledged $5 million to support the project.  “The Confluence Project … would realize positive operating balances of more than $100,000 in its first year of operations, with those positive operating balances growing steadily.”  VenuWorks Consulting, Ames, Iowa.
“Once in a lifetime does an opportunity come along to do something like this – to build a center for the cultural expansion of Eau Claire and finally hold a mirror up to the deep rivers of talent that flow here.”

~ Justin Vernon (UW-Eau Claire ’04), of Grammy-winning indie folk band Bon Iver


„  St. Croix Falls Civic Auditorium:

  • „The City of St. Croix Falls is providing leadership for this theater restoration project as integral to downtown revitalization and cultural tourism development
  • „Grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • major funding application pending to USDA Rural Development croix


Northwoods NiiJii, Inc, Lac du Flambeau

flambeauA partnership of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and Sokaogon Chippewa Community of Mole Lake, supported by municipal, county, state and federal governments.  Economic development programs include apprenticeships with elders, business planning, and restoration of cultural heritage centers and the Woodland Indian Art Center.



IRAlex pine needles with rain_16x20-L

“Pine Needles” by Alex, 17. St. Croix Natural Scenic Riverway

In a New Light: Northwest Passage

Northwest Passage is an organization that exemplifies high
standards and effective, innovative programming. They strive to blend mental
health services for children and families with an appreciation for art, nature,
and the healing process. One of their programs, called “In A New Light” has
garnered worldwide media exposure and been shown in national art exhibitions. Focused
on providing strength-based therapeutic programs, In A New Light empowers
children living in residential treatment at Northwest Passage through
photography and nature. By teaching children and young adults photography and
photojournalism, Northwest Passage helps them to understand their own journeys
and how to view the world around them. As one representative states, “In A New
Light gives marginalized children a voice to prove to the world that they are profoundly worthy of society’s investment”.