The 2018 Milley Awards recipients are, from left, Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Vera Schultz Award for lasting contributions to the cultural life of Mill Valley (represented by Steve Bajor and Lisa Palter); Dr. Warren Farrell for Literary Arts; Dart Cherk for Visual Arts and Design; Annie Rosenthal Parr for Performing Arts and Film; Larry “The Hat” Lautzker for Community Contributions and Jennifer Balin Edwards and Susan Joy Balin, daughter and wife of Marty Balin, who was honored for his contributions in the Musical Arts.
The Milley Awards, Mill Valley’s annual celebration of the community’s vast amount of creative achievement and distinguished accomplishments in the arts, is always a blockbuster celebration. But this year’s gala, held at the Mill Valley Community Center on Oct. 21, evolved into a multi-faceted gathering evoking a wide range of emotions.
The 2018 class of honorees, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Dr. Warren Farrell, Dart Cherk, Annie Rosenthal Parr, Larry “The Hat” Lautzker and Marty Balin, were front and center as usual. But the event also marked the retirement of Milleys co-founders Trubee Schock and Abby Wasserman, who were widely hailed by Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters and others for their work in spearheading one of Mill Valley’s hallmark traditions for three decades.
The event also marked an opportunity mourn the loss of Marty Balin, the founder and lead singer of the iconic Bay Area rock band Jefferson Airplane, which was among the pioneers of the San Francisco Sound. Balin passed away on September 27, not long after he learned he was receiving a Milley Award. Standout local musicians Lorin Rowan, Jimmy Dillon, Reed Fromer and former Jefferson Starship vocalist Darby Gould led a musical tribute to Balin, whose daughter and wife attended the gala.