July 18--If 6,000 people each give at least $10 toward the Confluence Project by September, a group of donors has pledged a $100,000 gift to the project.
The fundraising campaign began Thursday and will be conducted primarily though cellphone text messages, according to a news release from Community for the Confluence.
People interested in donating $10 can send a text message of the phrase "ECARTS" to 501501 using their cellphone. A $10 charge will appear on their phone bills. Donors are allowed to do this three times.
Donors can make larger tax-deductible contributions online at eauclairearts.com/confluence.
The campaign is intended as both a financial and political show of support for the $51.2 million community performing arts center included in the proposed $77.2 millionConfluence Project planned for downtown Eau Claire.
Backers of the project hope to raise $13 million in private donations and so far have raised about $5 million.
"This will also be a positive show of support from the Chippewa Valley for the project as state government leaders in Madison make their final decision on supporting the Confluence Project," the release stated.
The project is seeking $25 million in state funding through the UW System. The Wisconsin Legislature will decide if that will be part of the 2015-17 state budget, which will be finalized next summer.
The 6,000 donors sought in the campaign would represent about 10 percent of the Eau Claire population. It also would be more than the 4,935 signatures on petitions last year that favored future referendums before the city could spend $1 million or more on an arts project.
That April 1 city referendum failed in a 8,205 to 5,756 vote.
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