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

Summer Time - Refresh for Next School Year

Summer is a great time to restart your brain, your creative juices, and take a break from the busy schedule that comes with the school year. Consider doing something totally different with your students - paint together, play music together or go to one of Ithaca’s performing arts events.

Summer is also a good time to plan for next school year. In August you can check the district’s fine and performing arts calendar and mark dates down. Look at grant deadlines and think about how to help your school. Consider how a volunteer role might fit into your life. The boosters have many doable jobs waiting for a bit of your energy.

Contact us by clicking on the contact tab for more info.

Lee Strebel Memorial Award

Haley Evanoski named Lee Strebel Memorial Award Winner

Haley Evanoski was named the 2009 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts recipient. Haley accepted the award at the Ithaca High School’s Underclassman Award Night June 4, 2009 in 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)

Ithaca High Band Does Outreach

On Wednesday May 27th, the IHS Band Director Nicki Zawel arrived with her Woodwind Quintet students at Caroline Elementary School, and for a half an hour the musicians played to a full cafeteria of very excited students. The Caroline students proudly identified the five instruments played by the Quintet with Zach Montague on flute, Dan Snedeker on bassoon, Madeline Zehnder on clarinet, Josh Endo on french horn, and Kailey Eldredge on oboe. They listened carefully and eagerly answered questions about music asked by Mrs. Zawel. To enthusiastic applause, the Quintet played selections that included themes of musical conversations, animals, a masquerade ball and ended with a shortened version of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf narrated by Mrs. Zawel....(read more)

New York State Music Association Success!

District students just completed participation in the NYSSMA solo festival, held May 8 and 9 in Groton, where each student played a solo and was adjudicated by a NYSSMA representative....(read more)

Thanks for voting on the 2009-2010 Budget!

Thanks to all those who voted on May 19th. The Ithaca City School Budget proposal passed. Now our job is to monitor how the 2009-2010 school year goes with the arts cuts that remain. Please provide feedback to your principal, central administration and the board of education. Let the Fine Arts Boosters know what is happening by posting to this web site.

Welcome to the Fine Arts Booster Group Web Site

This is our web home. We will use this interactive site to host discussions among our membership and the greater community, as well as to gather resources that have been spread over multiple web sites in the past.

In addition, if you want to become a member, donate or advertise in the school performance booklets or playbills, you can do that here.

Please let us know what you think as you explore the new site.

Board of Education Adopts Budget

On April 21, the Ithaca City School District Board of Education adopted the budget to present to the voters. The school budget vote is May 19, 2009 from noon to 9:00.

The arts items that made it back into the budget reflect some of the top priorities registered in our website ranking poll....(read more)

Update on Budget Discussions


Thanks for the show of support at the April 6 public hearing. The majority of speakers were students who voiced strong support for after school co-curriculars. There were petiitions from DeWitt (over 100), AIDA (426), Booster poll (98 and counting). The poise and passion of all the student speakers was particularly moving. Thank you!

Co-curriculars (after school music and drama) seem likely to be added back. Elementary band/orchestra at grade 3 and 4, too. However, we still have cuts in music and art staff at DeWitt, music or art staff at Ithaca High, drama, music, art staff at LACS, and the District Liaison positions reduction.

We will follow the Board news as they progress towards the final budget to be adopted April 21.

Budget Discussion

View the poll results

The Fine Arts Boosters wanted to find out what you think about the arts in our schools. The first poll was regarding the budget cuts. You can read about the initial proposed arts cuts, view the poll, and continue to register your thoughts on the budget and on other issues. We are also interested in collecting your stories about the impact of arts on young people. Do that here.

This web site is our new forum for discussion and connection to resources. We will also continue to post announcements and news....(read more)

Impacts on the arts of proposed ICSD budget cuts

All schools are affected by cuts, elementary and secondary. Cut are being made to teaching staff administrative, athletics, arts and support staff.

The projected arts impact include the elimination of drama, increased class size, tight scheduling and access to classes due to fewer offerings, drop off in instrumental music participation, access issues due to no late buses, and more.

Elementary Postponing start of instrumental music:

  • Strings would now start in fourth grade instead of third grade.
  • Wind instruments would now start in fifth grade instead of fourth.
  • This means a reduction of .75 FTE staff in elementary Strings/Band

Secondary (Ithaca High, LACS, DeWitt, Boynton)

Staff cuts including:

  • DeWitt general music staff reduction by .20 and art staff by .30
  • LACS music staff reduction .15 (one section equivalent)/art staff .15
  • Ithaca High staff reduction in music or art by .2 (Cuts that are related to loss of students due to New Roots enrollment are not yet known because scheduling is ongoing and New Roots enrollment is not finalized.)

Elimination of co-curricular activities including:...(read more)

Syndicate content