In 2012, Kaine was asked to help open the 1800-seat Royal Palace Theatre, a city-owned theatre and internet gaming facility on
I-95 in his home state of North Carolina. As Theatre Manager, (still cleaning toilets) he led the company through planning and opening with a successful first season but after the state outlawed the gaming operations, the theatre closed once again.
His most recently completed contracts include Vance-Granville Community College, Temple Theatre, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation and Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission. He lives on Kerr Lake in North Carolina and writes grants & plays.
Kaine Riggan was 19 when he first moved to Nashville from his small, North Carolina hometown with five hundred dollars, a guitar and a dream. He cut his teeth working in the box office at The Grand Ole Opry and sang demos for local songwriters before a break came that would divert his passion from country music to theatre.
Gaylord Entertainment cast Kaine in a musical at the newly renovated Ryman Auditorium called "Smoke on the Mountain" in which he ironically played a shy North Carolina boy who could play the guitar and sing. That role took him all over the country, the Caribbean and even landed him on the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Meanwhile, Kaine and Dave Jones (a blind, aspiring singer-songwriter he had met while they both worked for the Opry) started Celebrity Limousines, Inc. The company eventually grew to the top of its market, but for the first couple of lean years, Kaine worked as an assistant to Dolly Parton and Trace Adkins during the day, and drove limousines at night.
"Don't be too impressed. I cleaned toilets and such."
In 2002, Riggan and Jones re-opened the 1800-seat Lee Greenwood Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with a production of "Always, Patsy Cline" in rep with a weekly concert series called "Nashville Nights".
The next year, Kaine was named Director of Performing Arts for the State of Tennessee where he credits mentor Rich Boyd for teaching him the grants game from the inside.
During that time, Riggan founded The Senior Center for the Arts in Nashville and secured the funding and corporate support to renovate an old school cafetorium into a 200-seat dinner theatre which quickly became one of Nashville's Top 20 Tourist Attractions (Nashville Business Journal). He won the Center for Nonprofit Management's Innovation in Action award and received both mayoral and gubernatorial board appointments during his five years launching the organization.
In 2009, he served as Director of Grants & Sponsorships for The Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center (Saban Theatre) for one year, but was pulled back to Nashville for a business venture. He had found an old, speakeasy-styled theatre on World Famous Printer's Alley, downtown Nashville.
He renovated and opened Nashville Dinner Theatre in the fall of 2010 with his musical "A Scattered, Smothered & Covered Christmas" starring Joyce DeWitt (Three's Company). Both the show and this new theatre were a huge hit from day one and the venue was a surprise nightclub destination hosting top industry DJs and even Lil Wayne. But the business deal with the lease came down as fast as the renovation had gone up.
"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."
Edward J. Phelps
Copyright © Kaine Riggan - Development Consultant KaineRiggan@DowntownDevelopment.org
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