Anita Hansen is the relationship team administrator support manager, Vice President at Regions Bank, where she started her career in 2002 in retail banking. Hansen graduated from Lindenwood University in 2005, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in international business. Daughter to an immigrant mother from Mexico and an immigrant father from Sweden, Hansen is the first of her family to be born in the United States. Having a diverse cultural background has allowed her to have a strong appreciation for diversity and inclusion which she promotes within Regions Bank. She is a member of Regions’ Diversity and Inclusion committee in St. Louis and serves as the chair for the Diverse Talent Management subcommittee.

Hansen volunteers with a variety of local organizations including the Arts and Education Council’s Young Friends of the Arts board since 2017. In 2021, she served as the Young Friends of the Arts president. This year, she’s co-hosting the St. Louis Arts Awards alongside Terry Harris, Ed.D. and Anthony Omosule.

We sat down with Anita to learn more about her passion for the arts.

How did you first get interested in the arts?

I would say my mother was very influential early on with introducing me to the arts. When I was just a little girl, we moved up from Texas. My mom just had always had an appreciation for plays, musicals, dance and just anything arts. When we came up to St. Louis, we loved that this was the first time we were in a big city that had the arts. We got exposed to that very early on because my dad would travel a lot for work. And so she would always have these mother daughter dates with me and my sister.

As I got into school, I started with the band and then it turned to the marching band. Then in high school, I loved the dance aspect of it. So I did the theatrical dance pieces and marching band and winter guard. That followed me through college and really I just surrounded myself with people that, like me, had an appreciation for the arts and we’d have some great conversations. My sister ended up becoming an art teacher and I ended up meeting my husband and marching band in college.

Did you ever consider a career in the arts?

I love music and I love working with my hands, but I just didn't see myself as an artist. So instead, I chose to be a patron of the arts and really appreciate it. But I still try to pull in my passion for creativity and whatever I'm doing. So even though I'm working in business and working in finance, if I have to write or I'm working on a project I try to find the creative things and to pull into it and show just a little bit more flavor or color. That's how I produce art, whatever I'm doing, I make it my passion so I can customize it and make it me. So I just try to be creative and fluid with anything I do work on.

Why is it important to support the arts in the St. Louis region?

It's really important because unfortunately, there's so much negativity that I think gets highlighted andI think it's more impactful, more important when you highlight the beauty and the positivity and the things that we have in St. Louis that I think unfortunately get missed or taken for granted. So I think it's really important that we highlight the programs that are available to our community. Everybody should have that accessibility to the arts.

Anita Hansen, Terry Harris, Ed.D. and Anthony Omosule will join event co-chairs Jeffrey Carter, M.D. and Margaret McDonald to co-host the 2022 St. Louis Arts Awards on May 23.

For more information about the 31st annual event and to purchase tickets, visit KeepArtHappening.org/2022ArtsAwards.