Joe Riley: 40 years in office, 40 years a Spoleto Festival booster

Jun 07, 2015 792

by Sarah Hope

Months before winning the mayoral seat he would hold for 40 years, Joe Riley was talking about art. "I remember it like it was yesterday," Riley said, sitting behind his large, crowded desk, reflecting on the Spoleto Festival USA's first 39 years. "What I knew — what I believed — was that a great arts festival, a world-class, world-renowned arts festival, if it was held here, would produce so many positive changes for the city."

Riley confessed he has no artistic talent himself, a fact he discovered during "lovingly coerced" piano lessons as a child. But his commitment to the arts as a valuable asset has remained strong throughout his life.

Read more


You may be interested