A new place to play: Pablo Center opens a new intimate performance space | Local News

PARKER REED Chippewa Herald

Near the edge of the Pablo Center building at the intersection of Graham Avenue and Gibson Street in Eau Claire, a space with a lot of possibilities presented itself recently. The space has been occupied by Visit Eau Claire for the past two years, functioning as their experience center. The tourism company recently vacated the space, leaving an opening at Center Pablo to meet a need of the local music community.

“We want to have a club to help our vibrant music scene,” said Pablo Center executive director Jason Jon Anderson. “We want it to be an incubator for new artists to play where anyone can get off the streets and engage with the building. We have lost several vital places in downtown Eau Claire due to the pandemic, and our job is not to replicate what they have done, but rather to create something new and exciting to meet to this need.

The new performance space is unnamed as donors decide what to name the space, but Andersons said the venue will be a place to host intimate performances of around 100 to 200 people. In addition to hosting small performances, the venue will also host pre- and post-show performances after larger events at the Pablo Center, as well as a space to host get-togethers.

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Creating an inviting atmosphere will be easy for the venue, as it is at street level, has garage doors that open directly onto the sidewalk, and allows attendees access to the rest of the building at will. Anderson said establishing the space is important to the vitality of the Chippewa Valley music scene, as the loss of venues such as The Plus and The Metro in recent years has left many bands without places. suitable for playing.

To welcome patrons to the venue, Center Pablo hosted an open mic night on Monday, May 23 for singer-songwriters, comedians and poets. The event was hosted by local musician Jerrika Mighelle.

For more information, visit the Pablo Center website pablocenter.org.