Local standouts will be honored for their talents and achievements in the arts community for their work and contributions at 21st Annual gala dinner on October 18 at the Mill Valley Community Center.


The Milley Awards, Mill Valley’s annual celebration of its community’s vast amount of creative achievement and distinguished accomplishments in the arts, unveiled the 2015 winners this week. As usual, it’s a celebrated group from a wide array of fields, all providing yet another reminder of the vitality of the local arts and entertainment scene.
The Milley’s 21st annual gala is set for October 18 at the Community Center.
At the event, which will be emceed Mill Valley resident and former KPIX-TV personality Jan Yanehiro, the following standouts will be honored:

Tom Corwin – Achievement in the Musical Arts
A multi-talented music producer, musician and author, Corwin has been played an assortment of role in the music business for more than two decades. Working with dozens of recording artists at his home studio in Blithedale Canyon, Corwin produced the Mostly Dylan album with fellow resident Tim Hockenberry, serving as the musical director of a Mill Valley Film Festival show in 2007 after the premiere of Todd Haynes’ Dylan biopic film I’m Not There. Corwin has also worked extensively with multi-Grammy Award recipient Bonnie Raitt, has played bass and sung with John Hammond and Booker T, and has worked on projects with musical genius Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox and Ivan Neville.

Joanne Hively – Creative Contributions to the Community
A member of the Friends of the Mill Valley Board of Directors, Hively is being honored this year for her extraordinary work as a volunteer at the Mill Valley Library. The creator of the library 14-year-old Monday Night at the Movies series, Hively has been the head of the Friends’ book sales for 20 years, leading a spike in book sales revenue from $15,000 per year to the current $60,000 a year. Hively was named Library Trustee of the Year for the State of California in 1993, Hively helped raise money for the library through the organization of book sales, and was  instrumental in bringing videos into the collection in 1989 (during a time there was a great deal of opposition to the idea). In 2001 she organized the library’s Monday Night at the Movies program, now in its 14th year.

John Korty – Achievement in the Performing Arts
With an Academy Award and an Emmy Award on his shelves – and an 1970s peer of then-fellow North Bay filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Philip KaufmanKorty’s career has few rivals among Marin filmmakers. His first feature, Crazy Quilt, was a critical success, and his Who are the Debolts? (and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?) (1978) garnered the aforementioned awards. Korty became widely known as a director of TV movies like Go Ask AliceThe Road to Manzanar and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman. He also directed the George Lucas-produced, made-for-TV Star Wars-spinoff Ewok Adventure in 1984.

Michael Painter – Achievement in the Visual Arts
Mill Valley residents commuting to San Francisco get a chance to see the work of landscape architect Painter – in action and in progress – every day. As the designer of the new Presidio Parkway, a transformation of Doyle Drive from a clunky and dangerous artifact into a graceful entryway to San Francisco, Painter has left such a mark that his peers have called for the roadway to be named after him.
His work includes the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Strawberry, the John F. Kennedy Gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, the Genentech South San Francisco campus, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and Belvedere’s San Rafael Avenue Linear Park, as well as the reconstruction of the Great Highway and Ocean Beach.

Eve Pell – Achievement in the Literary Arts
Best known locally as the winner of the Dipsea Race in 1989 and a longtime competitor in a America’s oldest cross-country foot race, Pell is a longtime investigative journalist and the author of two autobiographical books, We Used to Own the Bronx and Love Again: The Wisdom of Unexpected Romance, the latter of which was called a “heart-warming, eye-opening, life-affirming journey to the final frontier of romance” by Katie Couric, a fellow widow who married again last year at 57. Love Again grew out of a her 2013 first-person essay for the Modern Love column in The New York Times, “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap,” about her romance and marriage to the late Sam Hirabayashi.

Sali Lieberman Award – Paul Smith
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Smith appeared with the Marin Symphony in 1977 performing the Ravel G Major piano concerto. While maintaining a career as a concert pianist he also began directing musicals at the College of Marin and throughout the Bay Area. He joined the Mountain Play in 1980, serving as their musical director until 2006.  A faculty member at the College of Marin since 1982, Smith currently heads the Piano Department and the Opera Program. In 1980, he joined the Mountain Play, serving as its musical director until 2006. Along with past Milley recipient James Dunn, Smith has been instrumental in the recognition of  the Mountain Play from a community-based theatrical production to a professional and well recognized regional theatrical organization respected around the country.
The Sali Lieberman Award honors lifetime achievements of those individuals who embody Marin Theatre Company founder Lieberman’s inspiration, courage and determination and who, like him, have contributed significantly to the cultural life of Mill Valley.

Vera Schultz Award – Mill Valley Chamber Music Society
The volunteer-run Mill Valley Chamber Music Society was founded in 1973 with the goal of presenting truly exceptional artists but retaining its small town feeling and keeping ticket prices as low as possible. In addition to their five concerts each year, the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society is dedicated to promoting classical music through outreach programs to Marin County school children, thus educating the next generation to the exquisite pleasures of chamber music. Joe Angiulo, a former Milley awardee who retired after more than 30 years teaching music in Mill Valley schools, heads the Society’s outreach program.
The Milley board created the Vera Schultz Award win 2002 to honor the achievements of organizations which embody the late Marin County Supervisor’s activism, leadership, courage and vision, and like Schultz, have made lasting contributions to the cultural life of our community.

The Milley Award is a bronze statuette created by John Libberton of Sausalito. The annual gala event is produced by a volunteer board of directors, under the auspices of the Mill Valley Art Commission. Tickets for the 2015 Milley Awards are $75, which includes a reception, dinner, and the awards program. They will go on sale in early September. More details and complete bios of the honorees.

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