Patron of the Arts: Kobi Brinson

Who knew pirouettes and drum beats could bring tears to the eyes? It did for Kobi Brinson. In 2007, she fell in love with a fusion performance of a drumline and ballet at the North Carolina Dance Theater. She joined the NCDT board in 2009 and is education chair. Brinson has planned the Step Up Soiree, which engages the African-American community as dance patrons. (ncdance.org/StepUp.asp).

Stepping up: "NCDT is nationally recognized and locally beloved. Giving financially is my small way of ensuring that that NCDT continues to call Charlotte home."

Tiny dancers: Brinson's children, ages 7 and 9, benefit from mom's involvement. "The arts provide all of us with creativity and innovation," she says. "Without both, we suffer economically, emotionally and intellectually. I don't want that for my children or any child."

New project: Brinson is on the formative board of Arts Empowerment Project, which uses the arts to help child victims of violence. Joanne Spataro