Patron of the Arts: Nancy Howe

Nancy Howe enjoys a big perk from a lifetime supporting the arts: The community comes to her instead of her going to them. She hosts folk concerts, earthworks sales, and contra dancing in her bucolic log cabin home. Since 1955, Howe has donated her time, money, and efforts to the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Actors Studio Theatre, and the Charlotte Symphony.

From the Windy City to Queen City : Howe is originally from the Chicago suburbs. "Chicago was the place for culture," she says. In 1955, she moved to Charlotte when her husband David became head of Charlotte Country Day. Their children were involved in CPCC's summer theater program, sparking her interest in the budding arts scene.

Hands on: "The thing to do then was support the Symphony," she says. "It needed lots of encouragement." She worked with Actor's Theatre ("from the start") and other organizations any way she could, helping with stage sets and ushering.

What's next: "We do have lots of good artists, actors, actresses of all sorts." However, "We need to be willing to support them [actors]."