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Teddy Anderson

SPRINGVILLE — Roberta "Teddy" Anderson figures she's on her sixth career.

At 72, she's retired from her job with the city of Springville, finished with her stint as general director of the World Folkfest and ready to devote time now to her artwork, her quilting, her embroidery and her family, which includes her husband, four children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

She just needs to recover from some minor surgery on her thumb so she can get on with things.

"I feel like I've had four, five, maybe six careers in my life," said Anderson. "I had my dance life. (She was on stage dancing the hula in Provo at 3 years, was en pointe at 6, teaching dance in high school and performing in the chorus line in the Ziegfeld Follies at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas for two years after she graduated.)

"I was a home mother raising four children. I worked at Central Bank as a loan officer, then I did insurance for a while. That's what I was doing when the city approached me with the offer to work part time for them (administering a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts). Then I went to work full-time overseeing the grant which involved the Folkfest and the development of the Spring Acres Arts Park.

"Now I guess I'm starting on another career."

Most people know Anderson from the Folkfest where she guided the effort to bring cultures from around the world to Springville for nearly two decades.

"The majority of people in small towns like Springville do not get a chance to travel abroad. This way they could experience other peoples and other cultures without leaving town," Anderson said.

Anderson said her job as general director of the Folkfest was fairly easily done due to the impressive spirit of voluntarism in Springville. People opened their homes to the dancers and donated their time and energy to manning the event from taking tickets to helping set up the stage.

The job became a lot harder after 9/11. Visas now had to be cleared not only with the Immigration and Naturalization Services but with Homeland Security officials who knew little about such festivals.

Last year, the Folkfest was canceled after all but one group had been blocked from coming to the United States to perform.

"This year, we're working with Canada and countries that don't have the kinds of political problems others have," Anderson said.

Anderson still has a great love for the Folkfest.

She was tickled to be asked to be the grand marshal for the 2008 Art City Days parade and doesn't mind being consulted about various aspects of the Folkfest.

But right now, she's just wants out of her cast so she can get to the projects she hasn't had time for in years.

"I always have a project," she said.


E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com