ITHACA, NY – New Roots Charter School is thrilled to extend a warm invitation to the Tompkins County arts community for a special event, the “Winter Art & Music Celebration,” taking place during Downtown Ithaca’s First Friday Gallery Night on December 1st.

From 5PM to 7PM, the doors of New Roots Charter School will be open to all, offering an evening of artistic and musical creativity. Guests can indulge in food and drinks while immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of offerings that New Roots has to share.

The highlight of the evening is the featured showcase of local artist and New Roots teacher, Ben Bookout in the historic Elevate Gallery—an iconic space housed within “Ithaca’s Original Elevator,” one of only two of its kind still in existence in the US.

Ben shared the following statement about the show: “I am honored to be the exhibiting artist for the month of December in the Elevate Gallery. When I was asked to participate I began to look at the elevator as an opportunity for an installation that engaged students. Many iterations came and went. One thing that stayed constant was the grid pattern of the walls of the elevator. I wanted to reflect this pattern in what would become the final design. New Roots is such a unique school. Teachers connect with students on many different levels and we all recognize each other in many different ways. The strength of the school is its size and those small moments of recognition. The focal point of those moments are the eyes. I set to photograph as many “new eyes” as I could to populate the grid pattern of the elevator and capture eyes in motion for an interactive piece for students.” 

Adjacent to the elevator, the school lobby will come alive with an exhibition of Student Artwork, showcasing the diverse talents of local students. Meanwhile, the historic Mural Lounge, now the home of the New Roots Music Program, will resonate with Musical Performances. The lounge boasts a mural dating back to the 1940s, adding a touch of historical charm to the evening’s festivities.

In a neighboring classroom, the Science Club will host a captivating Science Fair, presenting the most intriguing projects from the first quarter of the school year. Additionally, students from the youth entrepreneurship program, YEM (Youth Entrepreneurship Market), will be on hand to showcase and vend their innovative creations.

For those curious about New Roots, the “Winter Art & Music Celebration” provides an excellent opportunity to meet their dedicated team, explore their campus, and learn more about their distinctive program.

If you or someone you know is considering transferring for the current school year, their rolling admissions process remains open for 9th and 10th-grade students.

Everyone is invited on December 1st for an unforgettable evening of creativity, talent, and community engagement. Discover the inspiring world of New Roots Charter School!

RSVP: Winter Art, Music & Science Celebration (12/1) 5-7PM

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New Roots Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school serving grades 9-12 that is open to any young person who is eligible to attend high school in New York State. Offering a private school education at a public school price, students prepare for lives of passion and purpose as they prepare to create and embrace new 21st-century life opportunities through career and college preparation.

For more information, contact Michael Mazza, Director of Community Engagement at New Roots Charter School, at