Mission & History


CSMA is our region’s preeminent art and music education center where people of all ages and abilities can discover, develop and nurture their creativity.


CSMA inspires excellence through art and music education for people of all ages and abilities.

About CSMA

The Community School of Music and Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit center for arts education, serving Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto and over 20 other Bay Area communities. CSMA is Northern California’s largest nonprofit provider of arts education programs. With a $6 million budget and 160-member staff and faculty, we are one of the ten largest community schools in the United States.

Founded in 1968, CSMA is dedicated to making the arts and arts education accessible to all, regardless of age, skill level, background or financial means. We are proud that each and every one of our programs are designed to provide the opportunity for meaningful engagement in the arts to those who would otherwise have no access.

Headquartered in Finn Center in Mountain View, CSMA directly serves over 28,000 people through on-site and off-site programs each year. Financial aid, scholarships and program subsidies are available for all CSMA programs.

CSMA programs include:

  • Art4Schools and Music4Schools provide art and music classes to over 24,000 students in more than 500 classrooms in 58 schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
  • The Music School provides on-site private lessons, classes and workshops in over 20 instruments.
  • The Art School offers a professional quality art studio environment for students of all skill levels and interests.
  • Preschool Programs (both on-site and off-site) provide art and music curriculum to children ages 18 months-5 years.
  • The Special Needs Program delivers art, music and dance classes for teens with autism and developmentally disabled adults.
  • The Community Concert Series brings free, world-class music to the general public every month.
  • Free art exhibitions showcase emerging and established visual artists with artist talks, receptions and workshops.

Every day we see the power of the arts to inspire people to discover their passions and become fully engaged in the world around them.

Thank you for believing in the power of the arts!