Advancing the Creative Spirit Chosen Few Arts Council


Dream, create, achieve. Not only are Valorie Horton and her son Omar Batson talented artists, they are sharing their talents with underprivileged children in the Flint community. Valorie was concerned when schools in Flint started dropping music and art classes from their curriculums. So, she and her son started volunteering at the schools to teach art and music. This endeavor led to the formation of a nonprofit organization, the Chosen Few Arts Council.

The organization is committed to filling the void in high-quality arts instruction in the Flint area schools. Art and music classes are held at Berston Field House near Downtown Flint, an ideal location for the students. Some of the classes include pottery, basic drawing, photography, arts and crafts, Music 101, basic singing and beginning drums. The classes are offered to students age 7-18 for arts and crafts and age 10-18 for music production. All of CFAC instructors are retired teachers.

Valorie is the president of the organization and teaches pottery classes. Omar is the director, and also teaches music production, Music 101 and songwriting. In his class, the students learn how to write a song, make a beat, put it together in the sound booth and record it. “Then, the kids get a CD of their song!” he exclaimed. “We have found a lot of great singers.”

Omar says there are so many things in the city that are bad whereas CFAC gives kids an opportunity to experience something good. “Music and art are expressions of emotions and this is one way the students can release their emotions,” he said. It makes him happy that the kids have something to do and that they have an opportunity to express themselves through music. “I just like to see them smile,” he says.

CFAC is host to the Berston Festival in July, when the students perform and show their artwork. Now in its third year, last year’s event drew approximately 300 attendees. “It’s growing,” smiles Valorie. FCAC also holds an Open House when the students have completed their classes. They talk about what they learned and they all get a certificate of completion. “I just love watching them succeed,” she said. ♦


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