Sandy LeFeber, a former IYB theater instructor, made a donation in memory of Ruth Davis, the founder of what was formally known as The Center for Expressive Arts IYB. The donation will expand opportunities for local youth to explore the expressive arts.
LeFeber and Davis worked together at the Youth Bureau’s Expressive Arts Center for more than 10 years in the 1970s and 1980s.
The donation – named the Ruth Davis Expressive Arts Program – will support reduced fees for theatre programs; provide supplies, tools and equipment for students to explore costume and prop making; purchase a sound system with microphones; and sponsor performing arts shows for children and families in the community.
“For more than 40 years, Ruth was my friend, mentor and colleague,” LaFeber said. “Her life’s work was devoted to making all aspects of the performing arts—improvisation, prop and costume building, voice training, movement, and acting—accessible and inclusive for children of all ages.
“Ruth’s approach to teaching emphasized process over performance, so that kids developed the various skills needed to build a production from the ground up,” she said. “Ruth taught her students that there was so much more to learn and experience about theater beyond playing a role on the stage. I hope that by helping to support a diverse offering of expressive arts programming at the Ithaca Youth Bureau, I can help honor Ruth’s legacy and continue her vision of providing all children the encouragement and direction needed to realize their artistic and creative potential.”
Youth Bureau Director Liz Klohmann said the IYB is excited to receive this generous donation. Klohmann remembers Ruth Davis and her passion for youth theatre and arts.
“I met Ruth when I worked at the Youth Bureau as a volunteer and student in the early 1980s,” Klohmann said. “She loved teaching children and getting them involved in the theatre experience. After she retired, she often checked in on us with a visit or to attend a Youtheatre production. We are excited to carry her vision of Youtheatre and Expressive Arts forward at the Youth Bureau.”
Additional donations to Ruth Davis Expressive Arts Programs may be made through the non-profit Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau at www.friendsiyb.org/donate.