Fine Arts Boosters support all the arts for all the kids

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG) works in partnership with the Ithaca City School District to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. FABG does this as an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI).

Photo: Lauren Comly

The Fine Arts Boosters support district programs and staff, and support increased student access and participation in the arts programs. Formed in 2001 as an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the boosters believe the arts – music, dance and visual, literary and theater arts – are a central part of every child’s public school education. IPEI is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that works to develop supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District.

Ongoing FABG initiatives include production of performance booklets for all concerts and theatrical productions in the middle and high schools; grants to our schools; fundraising and friendraising; Play It Again, Ithaca, the collection of used musical instruments to refurbish and donate to the ICSD; assistance with community wide events; and support for teachers in arts residences at the Saltonstall Arts Colony; and various other efforts in support of arts in the schools.

To date, Fine Arts Boosters Group has funded hundreds of grants and arts-related programs representing thousands of dollars in local projects that supplement the arts in the Ithaca City School District. In addition, we have placed over two hundred recycled musical instruments directly into the hands of local young musicians in our schools.

FABG is open to all public education staff, parents, students and community members.

Our Mission We do this by
Support and celebrate arts education Communication
Foster appreciation for the arts Fundraising
Improve learning opportunities for all Partnerships
Increase access for all children Grant giving and recycling instruments

Major Actions

  • Continuing support and information through passion, presence and people
  • Joined with Sports Boosters and LACS Community to support Facilities Bond
  • Major Public Art Project - Watershed Wall in downtown Ithaca’s Butterfly Alley
  • Fundraising and Friendraising
  • Musical instrument support
  • Community connections as opportunities arise—Wynton Marsalis visit in 2010, Saltonstall Residency for Teachers ongoing
  • Communication (listserv of over 200 members)

Quick Facts

  • Established in 2001
  • Live under the non-profit umbrella of IPEI (Ithaca Public Education Initiative) as an affiliate
  • Serve all the arts and all schools in the Ithaca City School District
  • All volunteer
  • Join the listserv by emailing to stay informed about what is happening with the fine and performing arts in the Ithaca City School District.

Check the attachments below for our current goals and year end reports, as well as flow chart of what we do.

In May 2000, FABG was sparked by Michael Allen, then Cayuga Heights Elementary Band teacher, now Boynton Middle School band director, and Holly Kazarinoff, TST BOCES Enrichment Coordinator. Starting with a desire to improve the condition of the elementary school’s musical instrument inventory, Mr. Allen perceived the need for a music booster group in the community. Dr. Judith Pastel, Superintendent of Schools for the Ithaca City School District, supported the formation of a booster group that included all of the arts.

Meetings were held to determine the group’s structure, draft bylaws, and form the first board. Patti Nozell served as the first president, and IPEI offered to partner with the group to lend its not-for-profit status and administrative structure to the group’s activities. Deborah O’Connor, then IPEI treasurer, served as the first FABG treasurer. By May 2001, FABG was up and running.

Links below to organizations we admire and some you tube clips!: IPEI 15 and forward clip on FABG Ithaca High School Choir video made by a student, “What is IHS Choir?” Ithaca City School District Arts Page, Hangar Theatre, Kitchen Theatre, State Theater, Saltonstall Arts Colony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Community Arts Partnership,
Community School of Music and Arts, Running to Places, Village at Ithaca, Greater Ithaca Activities Center,
Southside Community Center, Americans for the Arts [Opus Ithaca School of Music] (

FABGsurvey_responses.pdf329.48 KB
8_22_18 YEAR END REPORT ON FABG GOALS 2017 2018.doc37.5 KB