Teacher’s legacy to live on in artists’ fund
Updated: March 8, 2013 7:10AM
EVANSTON — The legacy of retiring Band Director Dave Fodor has inspired parents to create a fund intended to bring artists in residence to Evanston Township High School.
A target goal of $100,000 is expected to generate enough investment interest annually to pay an artist to spend a week each year with one of four rotating programs in the music department.
As of Tuesday, the fund had more than $77,000 – simply by word of mouth, said Emily Nidenberg, co-chairman of the fund steering committee. With a mass mailing planned for Feb. 15, the fund likely will reach its goal, she said.
The fund was created shortly after parents learned of Fodor’s retirement, she said. It was inspired at least in part by the fundraising program utilized by students under Fodor’s watch.
“Each music director has a fundraiser throughout the year,” Nidenberg explained. “Whatever each student raises goes directly to that student. For example, this year the chorus went to the White House.”
The fundraising is not required, but teaches students to become self-sufficient.
“They don’t have to participate, but if they do, whatever they raise goes into their own personal account, so money does not become an obstacle, if the student wants to go on a trip,” Nidenberg said.
With that in mind, parents created the “Fodor Fund” with the goal of never having to raise additional money after the first $100,000.
The District 202 Educational Foundation will manage the funds and invest them in Evanston Community Trust, which has generated annual returns between 5 and 7 percent, even in recent years, Nidenberg said.
“If the return is more robust, spectacular,” she said. “The goal is not to use the principal, so this goes on long past its creation without the fund being depleted and without requiring ongoing fundraising.”
The artist in resident program is expected to cost no more than $1,000 a day for five days. The funds will be rotated each year among the band, orchestra, chorus and jazz programs, Nidenberg said.
Parents organized the fund with input from Fodor, she said. Fodor asked that the money enhance student experiences during high school, not in college as a memorial scholarship, Nidenberg said.
“He wanted whatever we do to impact students during their four years at ETHS and to impact the music program — not just the band program — because we are a team,” she said.