Steve Bajor, a multi-talented, larger-than-life figure in Mill Valley for decades, announced this week that he is resigning as Executive Director of the annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival after more than 16 years at the helm of the prodigious arts & culture event. Born and raised in Mill Valley, with deep connections and relationships, Bajor has produced the festival and led a talented support team that makes the event successful year after year. For 65 years, the festival has had a Board of Directors, a Committee comprised of numerous positions who handle the production, and an Executive Director who provides overall supervision and support.
Bajor has organized the festival and put together a talented team under his guidance and direction that make the event happen year after year. “Sometimes we are lucky and have opportunities that help define us and bring out the best in our skills and character,” Bajor says. “Their challenges and complexity help us grow in many wonderful ways. My time with the festival has been one of those magical gifts and I feel blessed and honored to have been part of it, both professionally and personally.”
“A number of years back, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival was at a turning point,” adds Susan Nelson, a long-time MVFAF Board Member, and a past board President. “Traditionally run by volunteers, the board needed an experienced and skilled event producer to transition the Festival into the new century while preserving our very special spirit and heritage. Through absolute serendipity, Steve stepped up and has been an invaluable executive director ever since. Steve helped professionalize and improve the quality of our beloved local Festival. In so doing, he also honored his father – a festival founder 65 years ago. He will be missed.”
“I am so sorry, the festival will not be the same without you if it can even stagger on,” says Tom Killion, MVFAF Committee Member, and Marin Artist. “You were a wonderful organizer and worked so well with the committee of artists and volunteers, as well as the City of Mill Valley and all those complicated moving parts that made the MVFAF such a joy for the artists and for the attendees”
Bajor has received the Milley Award for his “contribution to the creative life of Mill Valley” and the Mill Valley Laura Schultz Award for the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. As founder of Team Pro Event, Bajor has founded and/or produced over a thousand diverse local, regional and national events including (partial list) the Sausalito Art Festival, Whole Earth Festival, North Beach Festival, SPCA Animal Wingding, The San Francisco Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary, San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration, Celebration of Craftswomen, San Francisco Street Food Festival, Union Street Festival, Novato’s Art, Wine & Music Festival, Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, San Francisco Street Food Festival, Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival, Menlo Park SummerFest, Mill Valley Winterfest, SUNSET Magazine’s Celebration Weekend, San Rafael’s Whistlestock, Marin Art Festival, Production Sonoma Concours d’Elegance, San Francisco’s Fabulous Food Festival, and the Marin Home & Garden Expo.