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.

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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)

DeWitt Trip Report

The DeWitt Middle School Orchestra seventh and eighth graders travelled to the Heritage National Orchestra Competition and Festival in Boston, MA in April and learned about musicianship and team building. As part of the trip that included performance for judges and master classes, DeWitt students learned the benefit of long term planning and practice.

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

Orchestra students learned the necessity of working together and the importance of each member. The DeWitt Orchestra repertoire for the trip was St....(read more)

Emily Scarpulla Announced as Strebel Memorial Award Winner

Emily Scarpulla was named the 2013 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts recipient. Emily accepted the award at the Ithaca High School’s Underclassman Award Night June 3rd in Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an Ithaca student who has not only participated in the performing arts at the high school level, but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit. The award is given in loving memory of Lee Strebel, an Ithaca High School student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February of 2006. In his short time at the high school, Lee became a standout in the drama department after playing the leading role of George Gibbs in Our Town....(read more)

Thank you to all who helped with NYSSMA Hosting!

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG) would like to take this opportunity to give a big THANK YOU to everyone for all your support in helping with the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo and Ensemble Festival! The amount of time that our teachers, staff, parents/caregivers, students and community friends gave to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) to help host this event showed how much our community values music education!

This past Friday & Saturday, May 10 - 11, 1,426 student musicians in grades 4 - 12 from 8 counties descended on Boynton Middle School to participate in NYSSMA....(read more)

DeWitt Middle School Orchestra Achieves Silver!

DeWitt Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra students achieved a Silver Level Award at the national competition in Boston in April. Congratulations! These middle school students competed against high schoolers and were one point away from Gold.

Orchestra students also enjoyed a clinic with a professor from the Boston Conservatory of Music.

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