What We Do? Yup, you guessed it...we boost!
Student Scholarship support through grants to the district.
We connect community resources to the schools.
Each year, through our Saltonstall Arts Residency partnership, ICSD teachers can take an arts retreat during the school breaks to work on their own art. The Staltonstall Foundation is located in Ithaca, NY, and provides juried residency programs over the summers and off-season retreats.
Congrats to a recent group of teachers going to Saltonstall:
Aurora Rojer (humanities teacher, LACS)
Jessica Stratton (artist, Lansing H.S.)
RJ Malabanan (Spanish teacher, BOCES)
Amy Dawson (math teacher, Trumansburg Mid. school)
Abigail Bokaer (writer, Fall Creek)
Sarah Locke (art teacher, Belle Sherman Elementary School)
Esmé Saccuccimorano (art teacher, Northeast Elementary School)
Justin DiMatteo (STEAM collaborator, Trumansburg Elementary)
Rebecca Czajkowski (English teacher, Trumansburg H.S.)
Jennifer Gibson (instructor / artist, TST BOCES)
Michelle Harty (art teacher, Fall Creek / Enfield)
Sara Apker (art teacher, Trumansburg Elementary)
“Walking in the woods, spending time with a book of poetry, and then writing late into the night reminded me why I teach… Spending time at Saltonstall
rejunvenates me and, I hope, makes me a better teacher”.
Jon Raimon, teacher at Lehman Alternative Community School,
Teacher Classroom Grants
Are you a teacher who has an idea?
Are you a Grade K-12 teacher or staff member in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) who has an idea to enhance your classroom in or through music, dance, visual, literary and theater arts?
We can support you with grants!
Applications are accepted in the fall and spring of the school year. Arts staff have the option of applying any time. FABG grants can be paired with other grants from IPEI and the Community Arts Partnership. Projects can include things like visiting artists, materials for a special project, field trip support and more.
Play It Again, Ithaca
Through our Play It Again, Ithaca program, we have placed over 200 instruments into the hands of students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in band and orchestra in the Ithaca schools. Donated instruments in need of attention are repaired, and instruments are given to the Ithaca City School District for loan to students. Help us provide more instruments for all of the interested young musicians in our community. (At this time, upright pianos are not a need in the school district. Please direct this donation to one of our other Ithaca organizations, like the Ithaca Youth Bureau or GIAC. Electronic keyboards are accepted.)
Cristina Cutts Dougherty
Special Tuba Recital, supported by FABG MiniGrant 2017-2018
What role did your Ithaca City School District education play in your love of the Tuba?
The ICSD music education program started my music career. From third grade, we had required music class each week, which included everything from drumming to singing in a choir, and from there we were placed into orchestra and band (elementary school music education is very rare, but so important!), and we all continued with our chosen instruments through middle school. All of my friends were in the band, and the culture of music-making in ICSD is one of the things that stands out most from my time there. My siblings and I were always in the musicals, the bands, and the choirs- and it was never a pain or a task to do those things. What ISCD fostered for me and so many of my friends was a love of music and a deep appreciation for its ability to bring people together. I'm not sure where I would be today without that incredible foundation.
My residency with ICSD was an incredibly memorable week. I was fortunate enough to be able to teach at Boynton and Dewitt Middle School and Ithaca High School, and the students at every level were engaged and engaging! The band programs at all three schools seem to be thriving more than ever, thanks to their wonderful and hard-working directors. It was so incredible to return to the place where everything started and to reconnect with Michael Allen at Boynton, the man who used to drive a tuba all the way to my house in the snow on weekends just to get me to practice.
What do you feel is most important in music education today?
Every child should have access to music education that is driven by enjoyment. Music can give children an outlet to find a voice and to put their heart into cultivating a skill which can give back for a life-time, but sometimes teachers put unreasonable, task-driven, expectations on young musicians which can cause long-term distortion of their relationship with music. I have friends who are so weighed down by the rigor of the instruction they received at a young age that are ridden with mental baggage and tension when they play. If we are able to teach music with incredible passion alongside the necessary rigor, I believe that our students will become better people, and their relationship with their instruments will serve them no matter what field they choose to work in.
Trip Scholarship Grant
Intermittent annual grant to the ICSD Fine and Performing Arts Director who provides support to fine arts activities that students can't support themselves.
In addition, one of the IPEI Endowed Funds which FABG helped get started gives an annual trip scholarship grant for secondary instrumental groups.