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Patron of the Arts

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Patron of the Arts: Tracey Hembrick

As the co-founder of the Black Swan Society and co-chair of the development committee at N.C. Dance Theatre, Tracey Hembrick gathers together diverse professionals to socialize before ballet performances. At one dinner, NCDT artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux came to talk about one of the company’s shows. Another time, the group watched NCDT resident choreographer Dwight Rhoden rehearse for “Limitless,” an upcoming ballet running at the Knight Theater Oct. 25-27. All of these opportunities keep Hembrick, who danced ballet in her earlier years, young at heart.

Audience Participation: The goal of the Black Swan Society is to encourage more African-Americans to attend ballet performances on a regular basis. “(Other than for ‘The Nutcracker,’) the audiences aren’t as big and we don’t see an audience that is as diverse,” she said. “We want more diversity in general, not just African-Americans.”

Like Mother Like son: Hembrick has encouraged her 13-year-old son to appreciate the arts, and if he has a daughter when he grows up, he says he wants to take her to the ballet. “Not only do I try to expose him to ballet, but to the symphony, and visual arts museums as well,” she said.

Field Trip: Hembrick hopes opportunities like watching Rhoden practice for “Limitless” will put a brighter spotlight on NCDT. “We hope that it will help create awareness of N.C. Dance Theatre and drive greater interest in it and also cultivate a whole community target market for the art form of dance in general,” she said. Joanne Spataro

What’s your favorite arts group? Should we feature you or someone you know as a patron of the arts? Tell us why. Email living@charlotteobserver.com. Put patron in subject line.

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