Nominations can be made in five categories: Literary Arts, Musical Arts, Performing Arts (Film, Theater and Dance), Visual Arts and Contributions to the Arts Community.

PictureScenes from the 2019 Milley Awards gala. Photos by Jim Block.

Organizers of the 2020 Milley Awards, Mill Valley’s annual celebration of the community’s vast amount of creative achievement and distinguished accomplishments in the arts, have extended the deadline to submit nominations to May 14 in keeping with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the shelter in place order that runs through at least may 4.

The Milley committee is accepting nominations in five categories: Literary Arts, Musical Arts, Performing Arts (Film, Theater and Dance), Visual Arts and Contributions to the Arts Community. The awards will be doled out on October 25. 

“As we navigate these difficult times and look forward to rebuilding a new future together, you can show your support for the artistic spirit of our community by nominating someone who has inspired with their art, is respected in their field, and left an indelible mark on the richness of Mill Valley,” says Amy Torrano, who chairs the Milley Award executive committee.

​Nomination Forms are available online at the Milley Awards website. The deadline for nominations is May 14 at 5pm.

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding achievement in creating, performing or teaching in the Arts
  • Demonstration of a significant body of work
  • Service to the Arts community

Milley Awards founders Abby Wasserman and Trubee Schock passed the baton to a group of arts community leaders in 2019. 

“Mill Valley has a tradition for creativity and community dating back to the town’s founding in 1890,” Schock said. “Beginning with the novelist Kathleen Norris in the early 1900s, Mill Valley has been home to more artists, writers, performers, musicians, environmentalists and filmmakers than any town our size. Creativity and creative thinking are the soul of Mill Valley. The Milley Awards has brought tremendous recognition to the lifetime contributions that animate and energize our community.”

Although the Milley Awards for Creative Achievement officially got their start in 1994, then-Mill Valley Arts Commission member Wasserman instigated the Mill Valley Creative Achievement Award in 1988 to recognize individual creative contributions with certificates, awarded in the setting of a City Council meeting. In 1993, Schock formed a new single-purpose committee that believed the vibrancy of Mill Valley’s creative environment supported multiple individual awards on an annual basis, presented in a celebratory ceremony dedicated to the recognition of award winners.

Along with Bob Greenwood, Alison Ruedy, Queenie Taylor, Val Binns and other former Art Commissioners, Schock and Wasserman developed the idea of a special, changing panel of judges to determine award recipients. In 1995, Sausalito sculptor John Libberton’s statuette won the competition for the presentation award. 

Go to the Milley Awards website to learn about the history of the Milleys and see a complete list of previous winners.

In addition to the Nomination Form, supporting documentation such as letters of recommendation and news articles are required. Nominators seeking assistance with submitting new or revised nominations are invited to contact Torrano at, or call 415-846-9813. Judging will be done by a panel of representatives from the Arts community in June, with winners announced in July. The annual Milleys Dinner will be held October 25th at the Mill Valley Community Center. 

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