Brad Anderson has spent most of his life in Salina and has had many roles in its vibrant art community. From a traveling artist to Salina Arts and Humanities director, he has worked to connect the citizens of Salina with art. Brad Anderson is the BANK VI Hero of the Week.
After graduating from Salina South, Brad attended Marymount College before going to Kansas State University. His interest in introducing art to the community started early. He was in his 20s when he volunteered for the first cultural plan in Salina. Brad was on the first advisory committee.
“I enjoy making the connections between the art and artist and the community,” Brad said. “Some of that includes making the art more accessible. It doesn’t have to be just a formal experience. We want to make it part of everyday life.”
Brad wore several different hats after college. He said he lived in Salina but spent a lot of time traveling around the country attending art festivals and workshops. Before becoming the Arts and Humanities director, he also spent 20 years in higher education, working at Marymount College and Kansas Wesleyan University.
Brad said he began to contemplate a career change when he was in his 50s. He was very active with the Arts and Humanities department and the director position opened in 2011. Brad said he took the position “and never looked back. It has been a beautiful fit.”
Salina is one of only two cities in the state with a fully staffed arts and cultures department.
“I am paid to say great things about the art community in Salina,” Brad said. “I know it is a healthy community when the citizens speak passionately and defensively about the arts in their town and I have been seeing that happen.”
In his free time, Brad likes to work in his garden. He is also an active member of his church.
Brad is married with three adult children and six grandchildren.