About MSA

Committed to individual and artistic exploration, Marin School of the Arts is an inclusive and supportive specialized arts program within Novato High School. We promote and respect self-expression, artistic risk-taking, a wide range of ideas, and diversity in all its forms.


In a time of isolation, competition, and standardization, it’s our mission to engage, inspire, and empower through the arts.


We connect and collaborate across disciplines and communities so that our students use their passion and creativity to impact one another, other students at Novato High School, and the wider community around them.

Inside MSA

See our students shine in this short video from Showcase, our flagship benefit, last spring—bringing to life our programs and the work of our students and teachers.


MSA Students


Teachers + Teaching Artists


College-Level  Programs


Average GPA


Increase In Enrollment


Cities Represented


Students Benefitting


Scholarships Awarded

clara speckhart

“MSA has provided me with so many amazing opportunities. Without the peers, teachers, and faculty, I wouldn’t be prepared to enter arts school. MSA hasn’t just impacted my future, it has made my future possible. There aren’t words that can describe how grateful I am for that.”

Photography 2019
Academy of Art University
Awarded Full Scholarship

Founder Mark Peabody's legacy

When MSA was founded at Novato High School in 2003, Founder Mark Peabody thought students in the fledgling program needed a symbol to rally behind. With the help of founding parent and MSA Office Manager Annie Hartje, the top contender became the little-known serval—a small member of the cat family, the serval is a cross between a lynx and a house cat. When asked, “Uh, why the serval, Mark?” he explained, “The serval is graceful, like our dancers; beautiful with its bold markings, like our artists; stealthy and quick to charge in, like our performers. And, the serval is largely unknown, but intriguing, like MSA itself.”

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