Since our founding in 1968, CSMA has grown to be the region's largest non-profit provider of arts education programs, reaching 40,000+ people of all ages, skill levels and economic means every year. In 2004, CSMA opened its first permanent home at Finn Center, an award-winning facility providing lessons, classes, camps and workshops in music, visual and new media arts, as well as free concerts, exhibitions and special cultural events. In the community, CSMA provides arts-in-the-schools programs to 7,500+ children at close to 30 schools throughout the region. CSMA is among the top 10 schools of its kind in the nation.
Highlights Over the Years
Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) founded in 1968 with $150 in capital, 10 volunteer music teachers, and 28 students by Natalie Werbner and Joan Van Stone. The school was granted non-profit status in 1969.
In 1981, CSMA’s arts in the schools program, Arts in Action, began in partnership with the Mountain View School district. The following year the program expanded to the Whisman School District, and CSMA added a music component -- Music in Action.
CSMA received its first grant in 1984 -- $1500 from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
In 1987, CSMA became one of the 200+ schools accredited by the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (now the National Guild for Community Arts Education). The Merit Scholarship Program and the Faculty Concert Series were established in 1990.
The Summer Arts Camp program was established in 1992, and continues to inspire campers in Grades K-8 to the present day. The 1990’s saw some significant grant awards: $180K in 1993 from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund to establish an endowment for financial aid, and CSMA’s first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2001, CSMA began the capital campaign to build its first permanent home, culminating in the 2004 opening of the state-of-the-art Finn Center.
CSMA began partnerships with Abilities United, providing classes and volunteer opportunities at Finn Center to developmentally disabled adults; and also began the Artistic Intelligence program which provides music and art classes for autistic students. Artistic Intelligence is a partnership with Morgan Autism Center, Pacific Autism Center for Education (P.A.C.E.), and AchieveKids.
Honors & Awards
- Mountain View Mayor’s Award for Service to the Community – 1969, 1988, 1993, 1995
- Arts in Action named an exemplary “Artists in Residence Multi-Residency” program by the California Arts Council – 1994
- Arts in Action and Music in Action named Mentor Programs by the National Guild of Community School of the Arts – 1994
- CSMA receives “Exemplary Arts Education Programs” award from the California Arts Council (CAC), CAC’s highest-ranking award – 1995