Phoebe Erickson was named this week to head the program, succeeding Jessica Reynolds, who resigned last month to take a position with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Erickson, a Bremen native, is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing. Erickson began work last fall with the Main Street program, assisting Reynolds in planning, implementing and hosting events in downtown Carrollton, including at the new amphitheater and the renovated train depot.
Prior to her move to Main Street, Erickson served for four years as a visual arts coordinator and supervisor in the Cultural Arts Division of the Carrollton Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department. She developed innovative programs and booked galleries with local, national and international artists, ultimately increasing the Carrollton Artist Guild by 75 percent. In 2011 she secured the Taiwan International Watercolor Exhibition. The exhibit chose two locations in the United States to exhibit, Philadelphia and Carrollton.
“I love downtown,” Erickson said. “I frequent the restaurants and shops. I think we’ve got a fantastic group of merchants, a lot of diversity.”
She said she plans to promote the downtown businesses through Facebook, while working to bring new retailers into the vacant storefronts.
“One of first things I’d like to see is to have more retail on the square so that we can bring in more tourists,” she said.
Already helping bring visitors downtown are three major venues that have opened within the last year. Erickson will be responsible for two of those, The Amp on Adamson Square, an 800-seat outdoor amphitheater, and the Historic Train Depot on Bradley Street.
She said there are 23 events — including birthday parties, weddings and class reunions — currently booked for the train depot.
The West Georgia Quilt Museum, which is not under Main Street, opened in the fall and is expected grow into a major attraction and provide an economic boost for downtown merchants.
Erickson takes over Mayfest and Taste of Carrollton, two annual downtown events that have continued to grow each year. Last year’s Mayfest was the largest in number of vendors, attendance and money raised.
“Every time you can bring more people downtown and make them aware of what we’ve got, it really adds to everything going on,” she said.
Erickson will work closely with the Main Street Board of Directors but will report to Carrollton Assistant City Manager Tim Grizzard.
Erickson resides in Carrollton with her husband, Stephen Ericson and is a member of the Carrollton First United Methodist Church.