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Art Festival Paints Prosperity for Small SC Town

Three years ago a small South Carolina town decided that the best way to rejuvenate its business community was through art.  And so they held a nine-day juried art festival with $100,000 in cash prizes, an almost unheard of sum of money for a rural art competition.  Is it working?  Our next guest says the growing number of artists involved, increasing sponsorship sales, town improvements (including a new hotel), all point to yes!

Mike Switzer interviews Ray McBride, executive director of Artfields in Lake City.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.