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13 Nights on the River splits from parent organization


Summer concert series plans to form its own nonprofit

The group behind the popular “13 Nights on the River” summer concert series in St. Helens is planning to break away from its parent organization and form its own nonprofit.

At the St. Helens city council meeting on Oct. 17, Lyman Louis, a local musician and music chairman for 13 Nights, announced the group’s intention to split from the St. Helens Community Foundation which funneled funding to that as well as other community events.

“We want a peaceful and happy parting of ways,” Louis said. “Not a contentious one.”

Access to specific grants and endowments and avoiding confusion among sponsors were among the reasons for the split, Louis told the council members.

As an independent nonprofit, 13 Nights would be able to pursue grants and funding sources on its own. For sponsors, it would mean a clear message of how to give support and what they are supporting. Currently, the St. Helens Community Foundation distributes what it receives to the many groups under its oversight.

Louis also requested that the city consider signing a multi-year contract with the 13 Nights organization, saying that every year they have to obtain the same permits and permissions to hold the summer concerts. He said the work involved is a heavy additional burden on volunteer staff.

Mayor Randy Peterson directed Louis to work with City Administrator John Walsh on the matter.