Fine Arts Boosters Award Grants to Ithaca Teachers

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, has awarded $5,837 in mini-grants to 13 Ithaca City District School (ICSD) projects that will reach 1,321 students. Funded projects include support for DeWitt, Boynton, Lehman Alternative Community School and Ithaca High School drama programs; artist visits following a Kids Discover the Trail! Ithaca Johnson Museum field trip; exploration of musician biographies; digital photography; music books; a composer’s arrangement; native culture song recordings; square dancing; trip scholarships; School Success Transportation Coalition support; and a dance/creative movement and language-arts initiative.

For example, in Sheila Bowman’s third-grade classroom at Belle Sherman Elementary School, students will explore musicians in their biography unit, develop an understanding of the genre, the role of the author viewpoint and imagination in historical nonfiction narrative, build vocabulary, identify music and increase their speaking skills and imagination by acting the part of their subject.

“FABG is very glad to support the ICSD teachers in their varied and creative projects, which will help enhance students’ knowledge and appreciation of the arts.” notes Co-President Alice Wu. Co-President Janine Eng sees that these grants help unlock understanding as noted by former US Secretary of Education William Bennett, “The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”

Grant funds are made possible through Fine Arts Booster Group performance booklet ad sales and donations. The boosters produce performance booklet programs for middle and high school concerts and plays, totaling over thirty events each year.

The next mini-grant deadline is February 1, 2015. Email or check the Fine Arts Booster Group website at for an application.

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

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

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