Our Story
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival proceeds benefit the Emerging Artist Scholarship Fund.

The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival committee implemented this scholarship program in 2010 and continues to offer the awards every year to two seniors and one junior who excel in the arts. MVFAF Emerging Artist Scholarships are two $500 awards given to two senior Advanced Placement Studio Art students and one $250 award given to a junior in either 2D Design, Drawing or 3D portfolio. Unlike most scholarships that go directly to the institution, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival awards are given directly to the student to be be used for tuition and art supplies.

The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival began as The Arts Festival in 1957 with a group of artists exhibiting their works in downtown store windows. As participation increased, the fledgling festival was held in Lytton Square. In 1962, the festival was incorporated, became an independent nonprofit organization and officially changed its name to The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival and moved to its present site at historic Old Mill Park.

This community event reflects the spirit of Mill Valley and its purpose of supporting established independent artists and emerging student artists. Scores of Festival volunteers staff the gates and the Poster, T-Shirt and information booths during this annual two-day event. Much needed support comes from all areas of our community including: in-kind services and donations from the food and beverage providers who partner with Mill Valley nonprofit service organizations. Entertainment by fabulous Bay Area performers at the main and children's stages is included with the gate charge. Children's craft activities are supported by local high school student artists and youth organizations.

The Festival Committee works diligently to continue our tradition of:

  • Encouraging and fostering public education in the awareness and appreciation of fine arts and crafts.
  • Providing an open and continuing dialogue between the established artist and the public.
  • Creating a foundation upon which local service organizations are able to raise a large portion of their operating budgets.
  • Providing an important showcase for new and emerging artists.
  • Presenting a high quality family friendly event.

Park Improvement
Over the years, the Festival has contributed funds towards the improvement of Old Mill Park. Among its projects are the seating area around the stage, the cement ramp in the lower park, the restrooms, and the stage. The Festival is also responsible to the City of Mill Valley for the condition of the park. Debris left by exhibitors and visitors alike is cleaned up Monday morning by Festival volunteers working side by side with energetic Old Mill School students. Thank you to the City of Mill Valley for your continued support!

  Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Committee. Click to visit our photo album.

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2016 Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Emerging Artist Scholarship Awardees.

Two Tamalpias High seniors and one junior were selected for the 2015 Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Emerging Artist Scholarship for excellence in art. Congratulation to graduates Nick Smiley and Mattie Fritz as well as incoming senior Fiona Bransgrove:

Nick Smiley
Nick Smiley "I have made art my entire life, and have explored many different visual mediums. Lately I have become enamored with digital art. I modeled and rendered the first three works in the 3D modeling software Blender. I created the color low poly 2D portrait of my friend in the illustration program Affinity Designer with the intent of making a clean, futuristic image. Next year I will be going to the University of Southern California to study music industry and film production. I will continue to create art to complement my musical and cinematic works, as a solid understanding and command of visual art adds a valuable depth and layer of craft to my skills."
Mattie Fritz
Mattie Fritz: "I'm a passionate and dedicated self taught artist with the skills and drive to improve and develop my artistic abilities, and I hope to continue to explore art in college. I like to work in intaglio and etching printing, realism, and figure drawings, as is what shows up in my work. I have a particular love of ballerinas (for their movement and grace) and horses (for their knowledge and soul) and they tend to show up frequently in my work.

I've studied drawing for 12 years and have been enrolled in nearly continuous school art classes for 11 years. I've had two years experience in print making and an increased concentration in figure drawing studies for three years. To improve upon my skills, I regularly attend live figure drawing classes in and outside of school.

Art is a balancing factor in my life, and I've always enjoyed the freedom it provides as well as the different thinking it provokes. I hope to minor in art in college to continue exploring one of my many passions."
Fiona Bransgrove
Fiona Bransgrove: "My paintings are focused on the human figure and the interactions people have with each other and with themselves. I tried to create paintings that tie together stylistically, but have different color pallets and subjects. I'm really quite excited about the painting that I've been doing, and it's been a nice experience developing a style and then exploring within that style. Painting with acrylic paints is very satisfying, especially scraping paint across the canvas. I enjoy using palette knives the manipulate paint on the canvas to create the subject matter and texture. My use of palette knives equips me with the ability to layer on paint and to make sharp lines. I started to develop my style of painting at the end of last school year (2015) and I've grown quite fond and attached to it, like a friend that I can rely on when I'm feeling blocked."