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

ICSD Arts Initiatives Increase Student Participation


(Ithaca) David Brown, Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Fine and Performing Arts Director, lauded the work of district staff in outreach to students. Brown reported on the “State of the Arts”at a recent Fine Arts Booster Group meeting, discussing arts initiatives and efforts that align with ICSD Board of Education goals.

“Due to some restructuring and rearrangements, some ICSD schools are seeing a 50% increase in students signing up for instrumental music, such as Enfield Elementary Band,” stated Brown....(read more)

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ICSD Middle School Band Members Earn State Level Honors

Michael Treat, Band Director at DeWitt Middle School, and Michael W. Allen, Boynton Middle School Band Director, are proud to announce that 22 ICSD Middle School Band Members have been accepted as members or alternates for the 2014 New York State Band Directors Association Statewide Middle School Honor Band....(read more)

Boynton Middle School Band and Cayuga Chamber Orchestra Collaboration today

The Boynton Middle School Band Program and Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (CCO) will engage in a collaborative effort that will bring visiting composer, Casey O’Neil, to Boynton to work with student composers at 10:00am on Thursday, September 26, 2013. Mr. O’Neil is participating in the CCO’s Commission Series and is in town to present his original composition at the CCO’s Concert on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

Accompanying Mr. O’Neil to Boynton will be the Music Director of the CCO, Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., and CCO Board Member, Lisa Fenwick. Mr. O’Neil will work with the student composers to help them develop creative ideas for their own compositions.

Special thanks for Susan Spafford for organizing Mr. O’Neil’s visit to our school....(read more)


The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, has teacher mini-grants available for dance, drama, music and visual arts support or projects. The 2013-14 fall deadline is October 30, 2013, for electronic submission. Ithaca City School District teachers and principals are eligible to apply and applications are available online at or by calling 277-4631 or emailing . The spring deadline is February 1, 2014.

Past mini-grants have included Kindergarten through Grade 12 support for visiting artists, a student art garden, theater supplies, a mural and a pre-school dance residency, for example. Since 2001, the Fine Arts Boosters have awarded over $170,000 in grants for district activities....(read more)

Fine Arts Booster Group Year End Report 2012-2013

Ongoing Programs Performance Booklet Printing and Ads Target at least $9,000 in ad sales, reached $12,050 with 82 advertisers, 10,305 programs for 35 events over 51 days PR/Outreach created two articles for inclusion in booklets

Mini-grant Program Award $8,000 in grants through our fall and spring mini-grant review, awarded $8,505 Continue Education Program Fund grants to drama programs at middle and high schools, $950 Opportunity Fund increased to $1,500, awarded $1,700

Play It Again, Ithaca Instruments received and refurbished then given to the district – 7 in all, clarinet, alto sax, trombone, snare drum, guitar and 2 trombones

Membership Included donation page in pe...(read more)

Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center Receives NY-CHPS distinction for Energy Efficiency

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that the Lehman Alternative Community School and the Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center have received the New York Collaborative of High Performance Schools (NY-CHPS) distinction for high level energy-efficiency achievement. With these designations, the Ithaca City School District becomes the first district in the State with two NY-CHPS Verified School buildings.

Both Lehman Alternative Community School and the I.H.S. building that includes Kulp Auditorium were recognized for addition and renovation projects that increased energy efficiency well above what is required by the New York State energy code....(read more)

Ithaca High Students Make Art Garden

Ithaca High School visual art students and Garden Club members are collaborating on an Artful Garden, a community garden space to grow produce, display art and provide a natural refuge for students. “Students are investigating issues around planning and gardening, creating an outdoor art space, seasonal planting, and designing a pocket park within our school community,” explains Ithaca High Art Department Chair Carol Spence.

“With the Cooperative Extension’s Gardens 4 Humanity as our community resource, the students are planning, building, planting and decorating the atrium garden space, adjacent to the school’s cafeteria....(read more)

Student Service for the Arts

Dorothy Braun, a Boynton eighth grader, recently celebrated her bat mitzvah, a Jewish ceremony where young people are welcomed as an adult into the community. Preparation for the bat mitzvah service includes year-long study of Hebrew and the Torah in order to read a part of the Torah in Hebrew during the service.

The Hebrew word tzedaka is loosely translated as “charity” and a bat mitzvah often performs acts of charity during their year of training. Dorothy Braun chose the Fine Arts Booster Group as one of the groups for her charitable giving. Dorothy contributed her savings set aside from her weekly allowance, babysitting earnings and bat mitzvah gifts to support the arts. One of Dorothy’s passions is visual art....(read more)

Cohn Scholarships Announced for Summer 2013

IPEI and the Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), awarded six 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, announced that six 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)

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