FABG Thanks David Brown!


(ITHACA) The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, thanks David Brown, outgoing Ithaca City School District Director of Fine and Performing Arts. David has accepted the position of Superintendent of DeRuyter Central School District, where he began his teaching career. FABG Co-President Vanessa Wagner notes, “Ithaca is an arts community, with resources and community support for public education. But communities need leadership and David Brown helped our district maximize existing resources and expand outreach. Under his tenure, elementary instrumental music participation has doubled in band and orchestra. Our district has received national recognitions. The district partnership with the booster group has been productive and creative, helping students and teachers. There is always work to do, but it requires a great leader to manage it. Thank you, David.”

David Brown states, “The Fine Arts Booster Group is an astonishing partner in support of arts education and keeping it in the public schools. The partnership has been productive and effective, assisting all students across the district. As an IPEI affiliate, FABG has amplified the efforts of the district and the community. I am proud to champion the shared mission of arts for all. No student should experience a barrier to participation. Our district vision is to provide an arts education that will impact each student, and change their lives.

I want to thank Dr. Brown and the Board of Education for allowing the district program to strive for excellence. They recognize the intrinsic value of the arts as well as arts participation effect on other subjects. That being said, we have just scratched the surface of our vision. The district is committed to grow this vision in visual art, music and the performing arts. We are blessed with passionate, strong and talented teachers. I am grateful for all their hard work. In addition, our district is also able to serve our community with our building spaces. A special thank you goes to Stephen Brookhouse, Ithaca High School’s Kulp Auditorium manager and technical director, as well as Sharon Warren who has kept the Fine and Performing Arts Program administrative details running on a daily basis.”

“We really appreciate David’s openness, accessibility, and enthusiastic support for the Fine Arts Booster Group and the arts. His positive can-do attitude has been invaluable in helping FABG provide students with more accessibility to and excellence in the arts. We will miss David’s collegiality and his leadership: the students of this district are better off because of his vision, and we wish him all the best in his new position!” adds FABG Co-President Alice Wu.

The Ithaca City School District is embarking on a plan for filling the position. David Brown begins his new position in DeRuyter on July 1.

David Brown shared one of his favorite quotes from Michelle Obama, “The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.”

An affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the FABG works in partnership with the ICSD to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. The Fine Arts Boosters strive for increased student access, and participation in 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 www.fabgithaca.org.

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 www.ipei.org.

For more information about the booster group and how you can help, contact Co-Presidents Vanessa Wagner and Alice Wu at president@fabgithaca.org or (607)256-4734. If you want to stay informed about what is happening with the fine and performing arts in the ICSD, consider joining the FABG Facebook page or listserv which includes information about arts issues, performances and general news. Join the listserv by emailing FineArtsBoosters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com . In addition, you can follow @FABG.

Ongoing FABG initiatives include mini-grants to teachers, printing the performance booklets for ICSD secondary schools’ concerts and drama productions; strengthening community connections; fundraising; Play It Again, Ithaca (collection of used musical instruments and funds to purchase new instruments for use in the schools); and various 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, grant giving, development, community connections, and instrument recycling.