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

DeWitt Middle School Orchestra Selected for National Orchestra Festival: Supported by Carol J. Buckley Scholarship for Students in the Arts, an IPEI Fund

The DeWitt Middle School Orchestra was selected, by audition, to perform at the Heritage National Orchestra Competition and Festival in Boston, MA, April 27-28, 2013. DeWitt Middle School students will participate in master classes with professional musicians and perform in a concert with other selected schools.

DeWitt Orchestra Director Aaron Buck states, “Going to festivals and competitions is a great way for these seventh and eighth grade students to see what other orchestras are doing and helps them as a team to achieve something great. It gives our students a goal to shoot for.”

The Carol J. Buckley Scholarship for Students in the Arts, a fund of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), supported this special opportunity with a grant....(read more)

Ithaca City School District Named One of the Best Communities for Music Education

from the district….

The NAMM Foundation recognizes the Ithaca City School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation. The ICSD joins 307 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction this year.

In its 14th year, Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs....(read more)

Fall 2013 Mini-Grant Link to Film

One of the booster mini-grants this fall was to Ithaca High School and Carol Spence’s art class work on the Memory Project.

See the feedback and report below.

“Below is the video link sharing the delivery of our portraits to the VietNamese children. Thanks to FABG for helping us practice the transformative power of art. Carol

From: Ben Schumaker []Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 10:08 PM To: Carol Spence

Your portraits were delivered to the kids in Vietnam!Dear Ms. Carol Spence and Artists,I’m happy to let you know that your portraits have now been delivered to the kids in the Vietnam!...(read more)

Fine Arts “Word” Boosters Victorious at IPEI’s Adult Spelling Bee Sunday, March 3

The Fine Arts “Word” Boosters; Ellie Hobbie, Anne Hobbes and Linda Loomis; correctly spelled “bezoar” to win the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 3, and have their name engraved on the Fuzzy Bee Trophy. They advanced to the championship words by winning one of four preliminary rounds along with The Discovery Trail, We Spell Krazy Good, and Two Engineers and a German. At the start there were 24 teams sponsored by numerous businesses, organizations, and individuals.

“We congratulate the Fine Arts ‘Word’ Boosters who were spelling in the ninth bee, and all participants who joined together in Ithaca High’s Bliss Gym....(read more)

Saltonstall Arts Colony Hosts Residencies for ICSD Teachers

from the Saltonstall Website

In partnership with the Ithaca City School District’s Fine Arts Booster Group (an affiliate of IPEI, the Ithaca Public Education Initiative), we are offering a special residency for local public school teachers during their upcoming winter break, February 15 through 19.

Five teachers were chosen through a lottery. They are:

Edna Brown, a social worker at Caroline Elementary. “I hope to one day write and publish children’s books.”

Maureen Jakubson, an occupational therapist at Dewitt Middle School. ” I would paint, batik, and dye paint, alternating processes. Five days of concentrated work would be a gift.”

Mike Levy, a creative writing teacher at Lehman Alternative Community School....(read more)

Ithaca City School District Arts Page

Visit the Ithaca City School District arts page, a new version was created in Fall 2013. This page is still being worked on. Feedback welcome. Contact the ICSD Fine Arts Director. In addition, each school has arts information. There is also a combined district arts calendar. Wander through the ICSD website at Ithaca City School District.

Ithaca City School District Arts Page

In Memory of Josh Endo

It is with great sadness, we report the death of Josh Endo. Josh was a 2010 graduate of Ithaca High School and an active Ithaca High School Band and Orchestra member, sang in the Young Men’s Chorus of Ithaca, enjoyed playing the guitar and piano and participated in Rock the Arts. To celebrate Josh, his family is establishing a memorial fund.

To honor Josh’s memory, contributions may be made to The Josh Endo Memorial for the Continuing Support of Music Education, through the Fine Arts Booster Group, online at or by check. Checks can be made out to IPEI, PO Box 4268, Ithaca, NY 14852 (memo line JEMM).

Click on the IPEI logo at the bottom left of this home page to link directly to IPEI for more information and online donating. Questions?...(read more)


The Saltonstall Arts Colony, in partnership with the Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, is offering a five-day, four-night retreat for Ithaca City School District (ICSD) teachers February 15 – 19, 2013. This pilot project is designed to provide a residency-type retreat experience for local ICSD teachers in the following disciplines: creative writing, photography/film/video, and painting/sculpture/visual art. The program is totally free to attend and five teachers will be selected through a lottery system. Overnight stays are encouraged but not mandatory. The deadline for online applications is January 25, 2013....(read more)

Next Booster Mini-Grant Deadline is Feb 1, 2013

The next grant deadline for booster mini-grants is February 1. Click on the Receive tab for instructions and an electronic application. Any questions, just email

Syndicate content