The School is dedicated to making the arts accessible to all. At CSMA we are proud that each and every program is designed to provide the opportunity for meaningful engagement in the arts to those who would otherwise have no access.
CSMA celebrates over 50 years of service to the arts in Northern California and is one of the largest community arts schools in the country. The School reaches nearly 30,000 students annually.
To inspire excellence through art and music education for people of all ages and abilities.
To be our region’s preeminent art and music education center where people of all ages and abilities can discover, develop and nurture their creativity.
The Community School of Music and Arts was founded in 1968 by two music educators, Natalie Werbner and Joan Van Stone. With start-up capital of $150, they secured an old house located on Bailey Avenue owned by the City of Mountain View. The School was launched with 10 volunteer music teachers and 28 students. Their mission was to provide access to music lessons for young students in the community.
Over the next thirty years, the School’s mission and programs expanded significantly. In the early 1980s, Arts in the Schools was added through a partnership with the City of Mountain View and the Mountain View Whisman School District. In 1984 CSMA received its first grant of $1,500 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and began a free monthly Family Concert Series at the Mountain View Recreation Center. With further expansion in the 1990s came awards, recognition and the creation of the financial aid and merit programs.
With no permanent home, the School occupied a number of Mountain View locations as programs grew, including 1560 California Street, Klein School at 405 Ortega Avenue, and Huff School at 253 Martens Avenue. At long last, in 1998, the Mountain View City Council voted to provide City-owned land at San Antonio Circle for CSMA campus, and fundraising efforts began.
The award-winning Finn Center designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates opened its doors in 2004 at a cost of $12 million.
With support from the Rogers family, the School also purchased the adjacent property at 250 San Antonio Road, which provided additional program space and parking when the Roy and Ruth Rogers Wing opened in 2021.
The School has been fortunate to have extensive community support, capable leadership and a devoted board of directors over the years. Today CSMA serves nearly 30,000 community members annually and offers art and music programs in over 50 schools during the school day. It is one of the largest community arts schools in the country and stands ready with innovative programs, an outstanding faculty, devoted staff and a highly committed board of directors to offer access to the arts for all.
Our Generous Supporters
We rely on donations from foundations, corporations, government agencies and individuals to fund our financial aid and community programs. We are grateful to our many generous donors, including our corporate, foundation and government supporters: