The Milley Awards Board of Directors currently consists of 12 citizens of Mill Valley, who are connected to the arts in a variety of ways. The Board is an adjunct of the Mill Valley Arts Commission. The all-volunteer Board primarily consists of former art commissioners and those who are supportive of the arts.
Board of Directors and initial year of membership:
In 1987, Abby Wasserman, a Mill Valley Arts Commissioner and native of Mill Valley, suggested that the Commission start an award recognizing lifetime achievement in the arts. The Commission agreed, and in 1988 Ann O'Hanlon , founder of Sight & Insight Art Center (now the O'Hanlon Center for the Arts), was given the first Creative Achievement Award.
The next year, as Abby was serving as Commission Chair, Bob Greenwood, longtime conductor and music teacher at Tamalpais High School, was the recipient. After this the Arts Commission recognized one outstanding person in the arts once a year: Leah Schwartz, Don Carpenter, Mark Fishkin. The award was always a hand-calligraphed certificate presented by the City Council at a council meeting; and often the audience and recipient had to wait for their moment for a break in council proceedings.
By 1994, it became apparent that Mill Valley had too many talented people to limit the selection to just one person per year. Trubee Schock, who had served on the Arts Commission with Abby, and who had experience organizing other large awards annual dinners, invited Abby and several present and former arts commissioners, including Bob Greenwood, to join her in creating a broader and more elegant way to honor the truly creative and talented people in our community. The group, meeting at former Mayor Alison Ruedy's house, was enthusiastic, and a second meeting was called to revise the concept.
Over the next 16 months, they refined the concept and planned the first Milley Awards. Among those who brainstormed around Ruedy's dining room table were Val Binns, Bob Greenwood, Connie Kroeck, Anne Neely, Queenie Taylor, and Trubee and Abby. The name for the award, "The Milley," was Greenwood's idea.
In the course of those months, the concept of the Creative Achievement Award was reconceived to become a larger and grander event, with more public involvement. The committee decided to honor up to five people per year in different disciplines, with certain criteria being established, including alternating judges and nominating guidelines. The revamped award, The Milley Award for Creative Achievement, was launched in 1995 at an awards dinner at the Outdoor Art Club. From that first year, every "Milleys" was sold out. Each year the initial Creative Achievement Awardee has joined four to five new Milley Awardees during the Ceremonial Dinner.
The award is a bronze statuette by John Libberton, Sausalito sculptor, on an engraved pedestal. The award has come a long way from a certificate in City Hall!
As the years passed, two more awards were added as a way to recognize others who were outside of the "regular" Milley criteria. The Board of Directors selects the recipients for these awards.
In 2000 the Sali Lieberman Award, named for the initial founder of the Marin Theater Company, was created by the Milley Committee to honor lifetime achievements of those who embody Sališs inspiration, courage and determination; and who, like Sali, make a lasting contribution to the cultural life of our community.
In 2002 the Vera Schultz Award was created to honor achievements of organizations which embody her activism, leadership, courage and vision, and which, like Vera, have made lasting contributions to the cultural life of our community.
In October 2004, the Milley Awards commemorated its tenth year with a special Tenth Anniversary Celebration at the awards ceremony.
|© 2004-2015 The Mill Valley Arts Commission and The Milley Awards Board of Directors.
Thanks to Phyllis Evans of the Milley Awards Board of Directors for her contributions to this site.