The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Ithaca (New York) City School District to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. FABG is an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative.

Latest News

Welcome Back to School and Celebrate Learning in the Arts!

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, believes the arts – music, dance, and visual, literary and theater arts – are a central part of every child’s public school education....(read more)

Grant deadlines and Join the Listserv

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, has teacher mini-grants available for dance, drama, music, and visual arts projects that engage students. The Fall 2015 deadline is October 15, and Spring 2016 is February 1 for electronic submission. Ithaca City School District (ICSD) teachers and principals are eligible to apply. Applications are available online at or by calling 277-4631 or emailing

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, promotes communication about arts education through its listserv. This announcement-only listserv encourages members to share information and resources of interest to Ithaca City School District (ICSD) students, teachers, families, arts supporters and the community....(read more)

IPEI and FABG Grant Deadlines 2015 - 2016

As the 2015-16 school year begins, please keep these IPEI Grant Programs in mind:

Connecting Classrooms Grants

A highly competitive grant program, encouraging collaboration and innovation within the Ithaca City School District. IPEI expects to invest a minimum of $1000 in each Connecting Classrooms Grant, and in select cases, grants may reach $10,000....(read more)


The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, is seeking advertising sponsors for its 2015-2016 performance program booklets for Ithaca City School District (ICSD) secondary schools events including concerts, dramas, and musicals at Boynton Middle School, DeWitt Middle School, Lehman Alternative Community School and Ithaca High School. Display ad space is available for sponsors who would like to support FABG activities throughout the ICSD. Contact the boosters at

Performance program display ad sales support the Fine Arts Booster Group’s Mini-Grants for teachers that fund enhanced arts experiences for students....(read more)

Interim Fine Arts Director Appointed

Mr. Stephen Beamish was appointed the Interim Director of Fine and Performing Arts. The name might seem familiar. Steve taught strings music this year at Fall Creek two days a week. He resides in Rochester with his family, and is a retired music teacher and district arts administrator from Rochester New York.

Please welcome Steve to Ithaca in his new role. He will be a one year interim. His start date will be in mid August.

Former Fine Arts Director David Brown, in his new District Chief Administration Officer position, will continue to oversee the fine and performing arts. This team, along with our great staff, will continue to move the arts forward in the ICSD.

Thanks for the Record Number of Instrument Donations!

The Fine Arts Booster Group, an IPEI affiliate, wants to thank our generous community! A record number of used musical instruments were donated this year. Twenty – three instruments made their way from people’s closets to the boosters, where each instrument is evaluated, repaired then incorporated into the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) inventory. ICSD students use these instruments, as well as the district’s supply, to study instrumental music. District second graders can begin taking string instrument lessons and third graders can begin taking band. Certified music teachers teach our students weekly, including free ensemble lessons. Instrumental music study is available to all from elementary school through high school....(read more)

Rella and Barney Cohn Summer Music Scholarship Fund

The Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), will award summer music scholarships through the Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarship Fund, established by Abby Cohn in memory of her parents and in honor of the excellent music education available in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). The fund provides music scholarships for summer study through the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB) Summer Band and Orchestra Program.

Michael W. Allen, Director of the IYB Summer Music Program, notes several students will be the beneficiaries of Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarships this summer. “The Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarships are a gift from their daughter, Abby Cohn, to the youth in our community....(read more)

Congratulations to the Sunflower Room! Download their CD!

Belle Sherman Elementary students, supported their wonderful teacher Randi Beckmann and a FABG Mini-Grant, produced a CD recording songs from the students’diverse communities. Songs include the South African lullaby “Thula Thul,” the Dutch “Hanje Panje” and “Far Above Cayuga Waters,” Cornell’s alma mater. Find the link to listen to the cd via this link here:!projects/c21kz

Boynton Middle School Concert Band Honors

Ron Simmons, Executive Director of Music Showcase Festivals, announced today that the student members of the Boynton Middle School Concert Band, were named the Grand Sweepstakes Award Winners for their performance in Harrisburg, PA, on May 16, 2015. Over a seven week period from mid April to early June, 67 middle school and junior high school instrumental ensembles, including concert bands, jazz ensembles and orchestras, performed at the Harrisburg Site.

The score of 96.5 earned by the Boynton Middle School Concert Band was the highest score awarded to an instrumental ensemble, at the Harrisburg, PA, site, this season.

Congratulations to the students in the Boynton Middle School Concert Band for this outstanding and noteworthy achievement....(read more)

Ian Statema Named Lee Strebel Memorial Award Winner

Ian Statema named Lee Strebel Memorial Award Winner

Ian Statema was named as the recipient of the 2015 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts. Ian accepted the award at the Ithaca High School’s Underclassmen Awards Night, June 2, 2015 in Ithaca High School’s Performing Arts Center Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an Ithaca High School student who has not only participated in the performing arts at the high school level, but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit.

The award is given in loving memory of Lee Strebel, an Ithaca High School student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February 2006....(read more)

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