New Faculty Offer MSA Students New Tools

Students in both MSA Creative Writing and Digital Arts and Photography not only have new teachers in their respective programs—both Laura Caldwell and Howard Gersh are bringing with them exciting new ideas and tools to their classes.

Laura Caldwell: Passionate about Creative Writing

As an English teacher, Ms. Caldwell wanted to expand creative writing in her classes but wasn’t able to offer those opportunities— until now. MSA’s Creative Writing teacher immediately purchased Chrome Books, thanks to MSA Family Giving contributions. Now students can write and blog their work more easily, and may even start a newsletter if desired.  Read more…

Howard Gersh: Digital Arts & Photography

Mr. Gersh brings an extensive background as a digital artist and animator on major film projects. He has taught and designed curricula for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and is working to build a new animation program with his students using cutting edge technology.

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Divine Wine and Food Extravaganza

Thanks to Harbor Point Charitable Foundation and our event sponsors and supportive community, the 6th Annual Divine Wine and Food Extravaganza at Unity in Marin in May was a tremendous success.

Proceeds from the live auction (right), silent auction, fund-a-need and ticket sales at the event raised a record amount of funding to support MSA student programs this year. Harbor Point Charitable Trust Chair Ray Kaliski will present the final donation to MSA in September.


Fall Performance Season Underway

Students took over the Performing Arts Center stage for the first MSA Soirée September 8. The student run events happen through out the school year.  Next up, MSA’s Jazz Band 1 opens for Greg Johnson’s Contemporary Big Band on September 17 at the Sausalito Seahorse.


MSA Soiree on the Road, at Book Passage with students from all programs performing or exhibiting their work on four “stages” through out the Book Passage area. FREE EVENT!


Don’t miss the Big Band Dance on October 22, a family-friendly affair featuring all MSA and San Jose Middle School Jazz Bands, with MSA Dance performances.



Adv. Jazz Choir Class

To find out more about MSA Admissions and programs we recommend that students sign up for an MSA Shadow Day, where they will be paired with an existing student for the day. Parents also get to tour all MSA program classes.


MSAF Family givingFind out more about the parent volunteer group that helps MSA programs thrive! The MSA Foundation raises over $350,000 to bridge the gap in necessary funding that the Novato Unified School District is unable to provide.

Top Scores for MSA Programs

Theatre students and faculty celebrate at Ohlone

Theatre students and faculty celebrate at the Ohlone High School Theatre Festival

Theatre, Jazz and Choirs at Festivals

Over 150 Marin School of the Arts students fanned out across Northern California March 18-19, 2016 sharing their talents and representing Novato High School in two major festivals. Forty-seven students, won nine major awards at Ohlone College’s 22nd Annual High School Theatre Festival, including five 1st place and the Judges Sweepstakes Trophy.

Across the state, MSA Jazz Bands, Choirs and Combos earned top scores at the Annual Santa Cruz Jazz Festival with the Jazz Choirs and Advanced Jazz Band earning command performances. It was the first time for two jazz choirs representing one school attained simultaneous command performance status. 
Other bands and combos also earned high marks.


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About The School

The Marin School of the Arts (MSA) is an award-winning arts academy within a public high school setting.

MSA offers talented and motivated students the opportunity for professional arts instruction and practice while fulfilling all requirements in math, science, language arts, physical education and other elective programs at Novato High School.

Marin School of the Arts is a regional magnet to which students can apply for admission from any school in the Bay Area, as well as from within the Novato Unified School District.

The affordable and cost-effective setting of the program in a public high school encourages a greater socio-economic and geographic diversity of talented young artists, attracting students across Novato, Marin County and the wider Bay Area.

MSA Theatre performs The Mikado in one act, Spring 2016.

Student Spotlight

MSA Student Illustrates Book Cover

MSA-student-drawingMSA student artist Gabriella Borges had no idea she was being observed while she was drawing on her tablet during a long flight to Hawaii in 2013. While she was completely absorbed, her artwork had caught a fellow passenger’s attention.

“She was in her own world. She would create this really beautiful image and then she would erase it and I thought ‘Oh my God, how can you erase something so beautiful,’” Armando Arias, a professor, recalls of the flight he and his wife were taking on their way to vacation. “We went through the plane ride, going in and out of sleep, and poking each other to see what she was creating,” he recalls.

Finally, Dr. Arias couldn’t sit idly by watching anymore. He struck up a conversation with Borges. A professor of social psychology at the University of California, Monterey Bay, with keen interest in how people interact with and relate to art, Arias decided then and there to ask Borges if she would like to provide illustrations an upcoming class project. Read more…

Academic Programs




Musical Theatre


Creative Writing


Vocal Music


Digital Art


Theatre Arts


Fine Arts

Marin School of the Arts Dance



Cinematic Arts

Marin School of the Arts Instrumental Music

Instrumental Music

MSA Jazz Choir at Next Generaion Monterey Jazz Festival

Support Marin School of the Arts

We Need Your Help

Marin School of the Arts relies on the support of our dedicated community of parents, alumni and others. If you are interested in supporting MSA, please consider volunteering your time or making a donation by clicking the links below.

Thank you for your support and consideration, and we look forward to seeing you at upcoming events and social gatherings.