The citizens and residents of Columbia and Marion County boast a creative culture with influence across varied areas of the community. For example, in manufacturing, St. James Lighting creates beautiful hand-crafted lighting fixtures with customers across the nation and Canada. Dozens of local artists are contributing to local economic growth, through the historic Main Street District’s resurging retail atmosphere to new developments across the county. In addition, proximity to the University of Southern Mississippi and Pearl River Community College, which claim the finest art schools in the state, provides access to a wealth of resources and assets these institutions offer. All of this means Marion County benefits from a creative spirit and economy exhibited in events and businesses throughout the region.