Alison Bankowski: Banker with a major interest in artBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
January 26. 2014 8:11AM
Alison Bankowski, 31Home: Nashua
Family: Father, the late Richard Bankowski; mother, Lynn Bankowski; sister, Amy Allgeyer, brothers, Blake Bankowski and Chris Bankowski
High school: 2001 graduating class of Nashua Senior High School
College/post grad degrees: 2005 bachelor’s of communications major and business management minor of University of New Hampshire, Durham
Current job: Senior bank loan accountant at State Street Bank & Trust, Boston
Key past positions held: Chi Omega Sorority alumni; treasurer of Positive Street Art; Better Living Chair of iUGO; Nashua’s Young Professionals Network; and advisory board member of Girls Incorporated of Nashua.
Volunteer activities: Treasurer of Positive Street Art, Better Living Chair of iUGO, Nashua’s Young Professionals Network and advisory board member of Girls Incorporated of Nashua.
Most admired person (outside your family): Women who are strong-willed, independent and inspiring with an idea, vision and dream they chase and never give up; who make an impact in a big or small way to change for the better in a local, statewide or worldly level; and who also appreciate the rewarding impact and efforts of giving back and paying it forward.
Last major achievement: It’s been on a personal achievement level of the success of my past art showcases: Art After Dark, Art In Bloom and next ... Reflections! And the success of how far I have come and where I see myself going.
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: The challenge of building a stronger business economy and culture for young individuals to stay, work and play.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: Seacoast for beaching in the summer and White Mountains for skiing in the winter.
How do you relax? At my favorite coffee shop with a hot cup and reading a good book. Scenic long walk. Spa visit.
Favorite TV show or musical artist: ABC’s "Nashville," a show about music city USA! I got the chance to visit this honky-tonkin’ country city this past year for the CMA Music Festival, one of my favorite places to travel now for good southern music, food and vibes.
NASHUA — Alison Bankowski, a banking professional by trade, has a hardcore passion for the arts that is helping to enhance the culture of the Gate City and beyond.
Bankowski, 31, said, "Art is a way of expressing a creative experience, and inviting others in to share that experience. I have always had a passion for celebrating life in a positive way. Art is such a large part of my everyday life that I hardly even stop to think about it."
She is active with Positive Street Art, is founder of the Downtown Art Movement, is chairman of iUGO's Better Living program, is part of Nashua's Young Professionals Network and serves on the advisory board for Girls Incorporated of Nashua.
Bankowski recently organized an Art in Bloom event and a Flash Exhibition for the Downtown Art Movement to showcase local artists and their mixed media, photographs, painting, sculptures and more.
She says the success of her past art showcases have been a personal achievement, and she is looking forward to her next project, dubbed Reflections.
As an artist, Bankowski said she admires women who are strong-willed, independent and inspiring, who have ideas, visions and dreams that they chase rather than give up.
One of her goals, she said, is to make an impact - whether big or small — and make a change for the better at every level, whether it is locally, statewide or across the nation.
Giving back and paying it forward have been a motto she tries to follow.
"If I had the option, I would love to bring a multicultural center for the arts to Nashua's downtown district — a place of music, dance, theater and art exhibitions," said Bankowski.
A local arts center would serve as a permanent invitation to the public to appreciate art, educate the community about artistic diversity and inspire future artists, which would all enrich Nashua's art scene, she said.
"Bridging metropolitan art opportunities with Nashua's downtown business community, Alison works to foster a greater appreciation for artistic expression," said Brian Lavoie, a former 40 Under Forty honoree.
"Alison sees the potential for diversity of expression in Nashua and is passionate about strengthening the Nashua community through support of its artists."
When she isn't working as a bank loan accountant with State Street Bank & Trust Professional, Bankowski is busy organizing fashion shows, paint socials, art shows and other events more commonly found in larger cities, according to Lavoie.
Recently, she helped organize Nashua's first citywide block party.
"She gives her time generously, helping groups to improve the execution of their events and vastly improve the exposure they receive. She is continuously thinking about new and creative ways to make New Hampshire a better place to live, to make it a more attractive and vibrant place for young professionals to return to," said Lavoie.
Bankowski is a 2001 graduate of Nashua Senior High School and has a degree in communications from the University of New Hampshire.