The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, has awarded $3,061 in mini-grants to seven Ithaca City School District (ICSD) projects that will reach 360 students. Funded projects include support for three projects at Ithaca High School’s Art Department, a Fall Creek Elementary School play production, South Hill Elementary School music assemblies, Caroline Elementary School mosaic mural, and a Boynton Middle School, DeWitt Middle School and Ithaca High School Jazz program visiting artist.

Booster Grants Chair Mary Ann Erickson states, “It’s inspiring to help support the wonderful work that teachers and students create in the arts.” Co-President Alice Wu adds, “FABG is very glad to support the ICSD teachers in their varied and creative projects that will help enhance students’ knowledge and appreciation of the arts.”

Grant funds are made possible through Fine Arts Booster Group performance booklet ad sales and through donations. The boosters produce performance booklets for middle and high school concerts and plays, totaling over 30 events each year.

The next mini-grant deadline is in October 2016. Email or check the Fine Arts Booster Group website at for an application.

An affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the FABG works in partnership with the ICSD to advocate, support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. The Fine Arts Boosters strive for increased student access and participation, and for equity in the arts programs. The boosters believe the arts – music, dance and visual, literary and theater arts – are a central part of every child’s public school education. Visit

Ongoing FABG initiatives include mini-grants to teachers, printing the performance booklets for ICSD secondary schools’ concerts and drama productions; fundraising; Play It Again, Ithaca (collection of used musical instruments and funds to purchase new instruments for use in the schools); and various advocacy efforts in support of arts in the schools.

FABG is open to all K-12 staff, parents, students and community members and is concerned with all arts areas. Join the group and volunteer to work on goals – communication, advocacy, grant giving, fundraising, community connections, and instrument recycling.

IPEI is a not-for-profit organization that believes the education of every ICSD student is enhanced through community connections and support facilitated by IPEI for students and teachers through engagement, collaboration, gifts, and grants. Visit

FABG Spring 2016 Mini-Grant List

Funded projects include: Ithaca High School teacher Gina Cacioppo will work with art classes on color blending skills with special material markers.

Ithaca High School teacher Ursula Hilsdorf will reach more students with a new wheel in the clay wheel class.

Ithaca High School teacher Gina Cacioppo will explore digital photography with art classes and store art works on memory cards . DeWitt Middle School, Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High School Combined Jazz bands will work with a guest jazz artist, organized by teacher Michael Treat.

Fall Creek teacher Chris Bell and his first graders will collaborate with Cornell University’s Public Achievement Program to plan, design, direct and perform their own play.

Caroline Elementary art students will work with artist Margaret Corbit and art teacher Kerri Burke on a large scale mosaic mural, also supported by an IPEI Teacher Grant.

South Hill Elementary music teacher Karen Cushman will bring the Fun Bus, jazz ensemble, to perform for students in two assemblies.