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

Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarships Awarded

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)


The Ithaca Community Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), has received funds from the Carol J. Buckley Scholarship for Students in the Arts Fund, administered by IPEI. This grant supported Boynton and DeWitt Middle School students with spring music trip scholarships.

David Brown, Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Fine and Performing Arts Director, articulates the value of student music trips to festivals and competitions, “Music education happens in so many places. It starts in the classroom and goes to the home where students practice and is enhanced by opportunities that teachers give students when they travel and perform for world renowned adjudicators....(read more)

Remember to Vote on May 20 - ICSD Budget and School Board Elections

Find out about what is at stake. Educate yourself about the district budget proposal and vote on May 20, 12- 9:00 p.m. at your polling place.

Visit the district website by clicking on Ithaca City School District above. You will also find information about your polling place there.

THE ICSD SCHOOL BUDGET VOTE: WHAT IS AT STAKE? A 60% supermajority is required in order to pass the proposed school budget. This budget trims some parts of the budget, but keeps current programs intact. If the proposed budget fails to win by a supermajority, then a new budget will be proposed and will be brought before voters. In order to win by a simple majority, the alternative proposed budget would have to make significant cuts in programs all across the district....(read more)

Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Hosts Teacher Retreat

During the recent President’s Week vacation from school, five creatively-inclined Ithaca teachers had the rare opportunity to spend their break in residence at the Saltonstall Arts Colony. This program, now in its second year, provided each teacher-artist with a private apartment, studio space, vegetarian dinners, peaceful surroundings, and long, uninterrupted hours to devote themselves to their arts, all at no cost to the teachers. Some funding was provided by the school district’s Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of Ithaca Public Education Initiative.

Lesley Williamson, director of the Saltonstall Foundation, was inspired to create the teacher retreat project by similar program at a Florida arts colony. “I thought, ‘what a great idea!...(read more)

Visual Art, Adventures in Teaching in Learning

The Ithaca City School District counts arts learning as important. Students have access to art instruction taught by certified teachers throughout their grades K-12 experience. One fine arts credit is required to graduate from high school. Arts instruction during the school day, graduation requirements and certified teachers reinforce the value of arts learning.

Our district has benefited from seasoned teachers, many of whom are also practicing artists. Elementary art teachers have the distinction of instructing every student every year, developing relationships over time. In addition, elementary art teachers are often collaborators with general classroom teachers to reinforce learning in other subjects....(read more)

STEAM, Art and Science Combined for 21st Century Learning

No student or teaching practice is one dimensional. Students are not all science or math or art. Best teaching practices are not all lecturing or all demonstration. IthacaSTEM Advocates, the newest affiliate of IPEI (Ithaca Public Education Initiative) understands this. Two very different subjects and approaches to learning, the arts and science/math, are combined in many IthacaSTEM projects. The whole notion of STEM + Art = STEAM is a widely adopted movement initially championed by the Rhode Island School of Design. The intersection of art and science is important and recognized in the Ithaca City School District. Illa Burbank, President of IthacaSTEM Advocates notes that STEAM is already in action throughout the district....(read more)

FABG General Meeting ICSD Budget Updates from Superintendent Brown

Monday, April 21, 2014 in Ithaca Performing Arts Center’s Kulp Lounge

5:30-7:00, pizza provided

Here about the effect of the budget on the arts. Information and updates provided from Dr. Brown and Fine Arts Director David Brown. Meeting will begin promptly at 5:30, with Dr. Brown providing updates.

All welcome.

Questions, email

‘Legally Blonde’ at IHS a Comedy with Heart—and Lots of Pink

From jump-roping prisoners to singing sorority sisters, Legally Blonde, the Musical, at Ithaca High School April 4-6 is non-stop entertainment, as fun for parents as for teens. It’s a romantic comedy with heart—and lots of pink.

When Elle (Keara Byron) gets dumped by boyfriend Warner (Noah Elman), her sorority sisters (Elisheva Glaser, Lisa Podulka, Maddie Vandenberg) convince her that she can win him back. She follows Warner to Harvard Law School and with the help of new-found friends Paulette (Jewell Payne) and Emmett (Brendan Coyle), Elle manages to succeed in law school—despite the vindictive Vivienne (Cali Newman)—and help wrongly imprisoned fitness queen Brooke (Erin Hilgartner)....(read more)


(Ithaca) The Fine Arts Booster Group announces a special concert to be performed March 12 by the DeWitt Middle, Boynton Middle, and Ithaca High School bands in recognition of Music in Our Schools Month.

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Kulp Auditorium in the Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center. The program includes pieces by Mark Williams, Brian Balmages, Charles Carter and others, and will conclude with the combined bands playing Bill Calhoun’s “Jubilant Festival.”

Music in Our Schools Month recognizes the importance of music as a part of an outstanding education....(read more)

Spring Mini-Grants Awarded

The Ithaca Community Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, has awarded $2,755 to Ithaca City School District (ICSD) teachers as mini-grants serving over 2,500 students. Funded projects include Urban Art, an all-school trip to the Hangar Theatre, Botanical Illustration and more.

Funds are raised through the FABG performance booklet advertisement sales. The Boosters produce performance booklets for middle and high school concerts and plays, totaling over 30 events each year.

The Fine Arts Boosters support all the arts for all the kids. FABG strives to foster appreciation for the arts, advocate for the arts, and improve learning opportunities for all in ICSD. To reach these goals, the Boosters fundraise, communicate, form partnerships and give grants....(read more)

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