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. 

Milley Awards winners at the 20th Anniversary Celebration in 2014. Courtesy image.

While every year for the Milley Awards is a momentous occasion, the 2018 edition looks to be a particularly decisive moment, as organizers celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first-ever Mill Valley Award for Creative Achievement – the precursor of the Milleys – and its founders have announced their plans to pass the baton to others.

Organizers of the 2018 Milley Awards for Creative Achievement are now 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 21. Nomination Forms are available online at the Milley Awards website and at City Hall, the Mill Valley Library, the Community Center, the Mill Valley Chamber, the Depot Bookstore, All Wrapped Up, O’Hanlon Center for the Arts and Seager Gray Gallery. The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 16 at 5pm.

Milley Awards founders Abby Wasserman and Trubee Schock have announced their plans to retire as the driving forces of the event, saying that they hope others will step up to join the remaining Milleys board members to carry on the event.

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. This year is the 24th consecutive year of the gala Milley Awards and dinner, and the 30th year of Wasserman and Schock’s involvement.

“Mill Valley has a tradition for creativity and community dating back to the town’s founding in 1890,” notes Schock, who heads the committee of 12 who plan and create the annual gala event that is also a celebration of home town brilliance. “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.”

“Mill Valley continues to be a center of creativity,” adds Wasserman. “Trubee and I, supported by a tremendous network of board members and volunteers, have created a template for how the Milley Awards can move forward. We encourage others to take up the mission of recognizing not only the creative people we have honored, but as the community and society evolve, other kinds of creativity. For example, creative achievements in medicine, information technology and science might be considered for the 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, people submitting nominations must provide supporting documentation such as letters of recommendation and news articles. Need help or advice about submitting a nomination or revising one? Call Wasserman at 415-381-3561 or email her by clicking here, or call Joe Angiulo at 415-388-8137 or email him by clicking here.

In May, a panel of judges will decide winners, who will be announced in July. The annual Milleys dinner  and gala is set for October 21 at the Mill Valley Community Center. 

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