The Arts Take Eau Claire to the Top of Forbes' List
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Forbes magazine recently published a list ranking the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. Eau Claire ranked #38 in the nation. That places us ahead of ALL other Wisconsin towns on the list including La Crosse (39), Appleton, Oshkosh, Racine, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Janesville and Wausau (135).
So why did Eau Claire rank so high compared to the other Wisconsin cities? THE ARTS! From Forbes:
"Eau Claire is home to burgeoning arts and music scene that can be seen showcased in its many indoor and open air venues such as the State Theatre, Grand Little Theater, House of Rock and Sarge Boyd Bandshell in Owen Park. The city also hosts a number of events that celebrate the community's enthusiastic music scene such as the Eau Claire Jazz Festival and Country Jam USA. There are several large parks in the city, in addition to Owen Park, including Putnam Park, Carson Park, situated in the middle of an oxbow lake and Phoenix Park on the site of the old Phoenix Steel plant at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa River."
That's all they said…ALL they said. No talk about our solid healthcare or manufacturing industries. They didn't talk about the University or CVTC. They didn't even mention that little hardware place that saves big money.
This ranking continues to illustrate that in these difficult economic times - in the words of my friends at Arts Wisconsin - "the arts are part of the solution." To have a successful local economy, we need a workforce that is able to think creatively. We need a community that will attract the best and the brightest workers. The arts are an integral part of that innovative, creative, entrepreneurial community.
So thanks for noticing, Forbes. And thank YOU Eau Claire, for your continued support of all things creative.
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