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T-Mobile Awards $50K to Ithaca School for Historic Building Renovation


The Community School of Music & Arts in Ithaca has been awarded a $50,000 Hometown Grant from T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s Hometown Grants Program is intended to support community projects in small towns across the United States. The grant money, awarded on June 24th, will go toward renovating and revitalizing the school’s historic downtown building on the corner of East State Street and Seneca Way.

The building – designed in 1928 – was the former site of the Fraternal Order of Eagles’ lodge, T.G. Miller’s Sons Paper Co., and a bowling alley, among others. Today, the building is buzzing with community art classes, gallery exhibits, performances, concerts, and workshops. Since acquiring the building (which once hosted performances by Billy Joel and Dizzy Gillespie, among others) in the 1990s, CSMA’s arts programming has continued to add to its artistic legacy. Office spaces on the second & fourth floors are mostly occupied with one 2,100-square-foot office space remaining vacant due to renovation needs and asbestos concerns. The $50,000 Hometown Grant will allow CSMA to renovate the second-floor office, perform asbestos abatement, and make the historic space ready to rent.

Executive Director Megan Omohundro has big plans for the space, explaining that “renovations will begin in late summer with the goal of adding a new tenant in the fall. CSMA is a landmark for the arts and entertainment in Tompkins County. I am looking forward to revitalizing the building and growing our impact.”

The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides year-round, multi-arts instruction to adults and children and presents performances
and public events in its downtown Ithaca facility. The school was founded in 1960 by Eunice and Clayton Weber on the premise that everyone, regardless of gender, race, or income, deserves
access to exceptional and equitable education.

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