published Friday, February 5th, 2010

Downtown Partnership dissolved

Audio clip

Kim White

The RiverCity Co. has dissolved its subsidiary Chattanooga Downtown Partnership, which for years produced events such as the Nightfall Concert Series, Winter Days & Lights, the 3 Sisters Music Festival and TaleSpin.

With the move, which both sides described as amicable, Carla Pritchard, former director of the partnership, has created a new, privately owned company called Chattanooga Presents. Its first client is RiverCity Co., which has contracted with the new company to produce the Nightfall series.

The free Friday night concerts take place through the spring, summer and fall at Miller Plaza, which is owned by RiverCity Co., a downtown redevelopment group.

Mrs. Pritchard has been the CDP's only director since it was formed 20 years ago to "bring people downtown and to animate Miller Plaza."

"We will continue to animate Miller Plaza (with Nightfall) and I think in some new ways also," said Kim White, president and CEO of RiverCity. "Nightfall has a great following, and that has Carla's name on it and it will continue seemlessly."

2009 Partnership events

* Nightfall Concert Series

* TaleSpin storytelling festival

* 3 Sisters Music Festival

* Winter Days & Lights, which includes the Grande Illumination, Appalachian Christmas, Holiday Starlight Parade and Breakfast with Santa

* Rhythm and Noon

* Co-produced 4 Bridges Arts Festival

* Pops on the River

* Swingfest

The move is designed to "return RiverCity to its core mission of economic development downtown," Mrs. White said. "It allows Carla to do what she is really good at, which is putting on events."

While Nightfall, 3 Sisters and RiverRocks, a new event scheduled for October, will be produced by Chattanooga Presents this year, it is less certain whether other CDP-produced events, such as the Grande Illumination and Pops on the River, will be done this year.

Mrs. Pritchard said she would like to see the events continue, but questions remain as to who will produce and fund them.

"There are a couple of important community events that I am anxious to see how and if we can continue to do them," she said. "My hopes are high that we can continue to do them."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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