GRAMMY-winning soul veteran Roberta Flack is transforming two abandoned buildings in Harlem, New York, into a music school.

The facility will offer free liberal arts classes for talented students when it opens next autumn (05) and will house a permanent faculty of teachers, classrooms, a recording studio, an auditorium and a performance cafe.

Flack, 65, has already secured a $1 million (GBP526,500) investment from Carver Federal Savings Bank and is seeking an additional $2 million (GBP1 million) in donations and private investments.

She says, "There are so many young artists who have talent but they need support. I had such good teachers when I was young, I just wanted to give some of that back."

Flack studied piano at Howard University in Washington DC.

21/12/2004 09:33