A Year of Being On the Scene in Marin: Local Events That You’ll Wish You Attended

2023 was a great year for Marin — new nonprofits were started, new centers were opened, milestones were celebrated and millions were raised at various galas and event.

Were you out on the scene? If so, and we missed your event, please let us know! Here’s a breakdown of how you and neighbors helped support our amazing county. 


Rebecca Eleanor Laura
Photo: Jewels of the Playa at the Sausalito Center for the Arts.

The Sausalito Center for the Arts was abuzz with alternative art aficionados on January 14, who were there to preview Jewels of the Playa: The Photography, Art and Fashion of Burning Man. The two-week exhibit, which featured photographs from Burning Man documentarian Eleanor Preger, art from multiple Burning Man Honorarium recipient Laura Kimpton, and festival couture from local designer Rebecca Bruce, also served to raise additional funds for the new art center in downtown Sausalito.  

Supporters and staffers of Marin Magazine gathered at Floodwater in Mill Valley on January 18 — and Perry’s in Larkspur on February 8 — to commemorate the first two issues of 2023,  both of which featured new cover art and a refreshed design. 


Photo: Side by Side’s Marin Valentine’s Ball 2023. Credit: Katie Johnson for Drew Altizer Photography.

On February 11, Marin County represented well, as in many from the area drove up to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn to take part in its Secret Love Affair soiree. The event featured Michelin Three Star Chef Alvin Leung and Emmy award winner Patti Austin, with guests enjoying the pairing of a multi-course meal with Patti’s vocals, including her touching tribute to her longtime friend, Burt Bacharat.

February 11 also ushered in the county’s hottest annual Valentine’s celebration, the Marin Valentine’s Ball, attracting more than 400 cupid fans ready to boogie to the music of Wonder Bread 5. The heart studded event raised $320,000 to support the impactful work of three Marin charities — North Bay Children’s Center, The Godmothers of Catholic Charities St. Vincent’s School for Boys and Side by Side — all of which provide critical safety-net services to help ensure Marin children and youth have the chance to thrive, regardless of their circumstances in life. The evening honored Natu Tuatagaloa with the Hal Brown Memorial Philanthropy Award for his support of Marin County’s youth fitness and education. 

The newly formed Sausalito Center For The Arts officially opened February 16 with a ribbon cutting ceremony presented by Sausalito Mayor Melissa Blaustein. The event was attended by community leaders, artists and the public at large to celebrate the achievement of creating a non-profit, multi-use artistic venue in the heart of downtown Sausalito with county-wide appeal. 


The Local Getaways Team
Photo: 270 Media staff at Local Getaways spring issue launch.

Sausalito’s Bridge the Gap hosted its Vines & Vision 2023 Gala on March 9 to support its work on educational justice. The premier wine tasting event, held at the Osher Marin JCC, brought together 270 supporters. By the end of the evening, it had raised $560,000 towards the nonprofit’s mission to provide educational, social, and emotional resources to underserved students in Marin City and Southern Marin. 

Taking a respite from the rain and with visions of sunshine and spring travel in mind, nearly 100 guests gathered at the Beacon Grand Hotel on March 15 to celebrate the Spring issue of Local Getaways. The event also recognized the recipients of its annual Gettie awards, with guests toasting the winners with wines from Rodney Strong and libations from Salt Point

On March 16, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County Auxiliary Board hosted its second annual Ladies’ Boutique, Luncheon & Fashion Show featuring Trina Turk. The sold-out event at the Meadow Club drew in more than 225 supporters and raised more than $100,000 to help end senior homelessness in Marin. Sue Hall, host of Bay Area Cares, was the event’s mistress of ceremonies.

The Marin American Indian Alliance hosted the county’s First Annual Marin Powwow on March 19 at Miller Creek Middle School, bringing together 1,000 individuals to celebrate the cultural diversity of several indigenous peoples. The festivities included three drum groups: Northern Drums All Nations and The Braves and one Southern Drum, Red Buffalo; a number of indigenous arts and crafts vendors, and performances by traditional Native American dancers, Pomo/Miwok dancers, Aztec dancers and Hawaiian dancers. 

On March 23, Club Evexia and The Hivery, in partnership with Marin Magazine, hosted a fundraiser for local nonprofit Play Marin — an organization providing opportunities for kids of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in Southern Marin to learn and grow together through play. Supporters packed Club Evexia’s event center to hear Paul Austin, the nonprofit’s CEO and founder, share his vision for its future. By the end of the evening, Play Marin had secured $20,000 in total pledge commitments. 

Marin Ballet held a full weekend of activities to commemorate its 60th Anniversary, beginning with a fundraising gala at its ballet school on March 24, raising $60,000 to benefit Marin Ballet’s scholarship program. Guests were treated to a luscious dinner by Insalata’s, and president Nancy Rehkopf made a tribute to dance instructor Laurie Klein for her 50 years of teaching at the school. On March 26, the company presented two performances at the Marin School of the Arts, including world premier works by Julia Adam, Catherine Hader, Corinne Jonas, Amy London and Charlie Martin. 

WildCare‘s annual Family Nature Day on March 25 at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Tiburon drew in more than 300 animal lovers of all ages. Along with fostering a love and appreciation of nature and wildlife. Kids took part in “Mrs. T Nature Scavenger Hunt,” to learn more about birds and how they fly, plus came face to face with WildCare’s live Wildlife Ambassador animals, including Milo the opossum and Mohave the desert tortoise. Event partners included Marin County Open Space, Marin Humane, the Marine Mammal Center, One Tam and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. 

More than 200 shoe-lovers showed up in their finest footwear at Wine Women and Shoes, a fundraising event on March 30 at the Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel. Funds raised from the evening’s silent auction, live auction marketplace, and raffle with prizes worth over $10,000 went towards conservation programs at the Aquarium of the Bay. The winner of the Best in Shoe contest walked away with bragging rights, while all guests enjoyed a fun wine wall and performances by Broadway stars Claybourne Elders and Natalie Joy Johnson. 


MarinHealth Foundation Gala
Photo: MarinHealth Gala 2023. Credit: Katie Ravas for Drew Altizer Photography.

For many, Sausalito is ground-zero for candy-filled egg treasure hunters — and this year was no exception as kids of all ages snapped up thousands of treats in mere minutes at Sausalito’s annual Easter egg hunt on April 8. Even grownups could get in on the action during the first 21-and-over adult egg hunt, with more than $3000 in prizes from local businesses and restaurants to be found. The Easter Bunny made his appearance during the town’s traditional Easter Parade, which wound down Caledonia Street to Dunphy Park. 

An extensive range of artwork created by budding artists from Marin’s public, private and alternative high schools is the centerpiece of Youth in Arts’ annual Rising Stars show, which opened at the YIA Gallery in downtown San Rafael. The show consists of drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures, mixed media and digital artwork, all of which will be on display and available to see at no cost until April 14. 

On April 20, Beyond Differences, an Marin-based organization fostering social acceptance and a culture of belonging amongst middle schoolers, held its annual benefit at the Sweetwater Music Hall, raising $675,000 to support its inclusivity programs in schools across the country. In addition to signature cocktails such as The Meet and Greet, guests were treated to rockin’ music by Petty Theft. The event honored recently retired Marin County School Superintendent Mary Jane Burke, who was instrumental in bringing the nonprofit’s programs to Marin County schools. 

On April 22, the community supporting MarinHealth Foundation gathered in black tie attire to celebrate with heart at Peacock Gap Golf Club. The ’60s themed event, “Signed Sealed Delivered,” brought ardent proponents of the hospital together to dine and dance the night away. By the evening’s conclusion, donors had contributed more than $1 million to MarinHealth’s Haynes Cardiovascular Institute Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Program

More than a dozen young singers welcomed spring by performing classic love songs as well as musical selections from James Bond films during the annual Spring Fling concert at the Throckmorton Theatre on April 22. The youth are part of the Narada Michael Walden Foundation Academy, an immersive, educational, and inclusive real-world experience in the art of music and production. Under the guidance of Narada Michael Walden himself, all performing youth put together the show in an accelerated production experience over 8 weeks. 

130 kids and their parents took advantage of the sunny weather on April 23 to take part in the fifth annual Children for Change Challenge. Starting in downtown San Anselmo, the group hiked to the top of Bald Hill in a show of solidarity for Marin’s kids to make the world a better place through participating in advocacy and volunteer activities. Afterwards, all hikers celebrated at a block party with food, music and advocacy activities hosted by partner organizations Multicultural Center of Marin, Homeward Bound, Cedars and others. 

Marin youth were able to flex their mental muscles at the county’s Youth Town Hall on April 23. The inspiring afternoon drew in civic-minded teens and young adults from around the county, who posed questions to a panel of 10 of Marin’s leaders including mayors, vice-mayors and council members and mingled with elected officials afterwards. It was part of the Marin County Student Elections Ambassador Program, designed to encourage more youth civic activity and voter participation.

10,000 Degrees, a Marin-based nonprofit instrumental in setting up students from low-income backgrounds for college success, welcomed more than 500 guests to the Marin Civic Center for its annual One Amazing Community fundraising gala on April 29. The event raised more than $1 million for the organization’s programs and scholarships. A highlight of the evening was a heartfelt tribute to Judy Edgar, the nonprofit’s founder who received a Lifetime Legacy Honor, and the presentation of the One Degree of Change Award to 10,000 Degrees alum Graham Brandt. California Senator Mike McGuire served as guest auctioneer. 

On April 29th, local nonprofit Play Marin in partnership with Marin Magazine kicked off the first annual Player’s Night in Sausalito. Supporters enjoyed mechanical bull riding with a backdrop of Mt. Tam, music by DJ West Coast Good Times, vintage arcade games, and food and drinks by Dee’s Organic Catering, Salt Point and Baldacci Vineyards. Highlights included Paul Austin, Play Marin’s founder, handing out Play Marin basketballs to everyone who joined the sustainer’s club.

On April 30 at the Marin Art and Garden Center, National Charity League’s Southern Marin Chapter honored its graduating class of 21 Marin high school students, who were recognized for six years of community service. Together with their mothers, these Marin students have volunteered with a number of nonprofits since 7th grade — including feeding the homeless, supporting senior citizens and disabled individuals and tutoring low-income youth for college success. Collectively, the mother-daughter teams collectively served more than 5,700 volunteer hours. 


Photo: Marin Magazine Celebrating Women. Credit: Stephen Gregory

On May 4, the luxurious Alexandrite Suite atop the Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa was abuzz during Marin Magazine’s popular Celebrating Women event. The annual gathering, which also commemorates the magazine’s May issue, brought together more than 100 accomplished women from all walks of life, all of whom enjoyed lively conversation, cocktails provided by Abana Wines and Hanson Vodka and tasty bites by Poggio Trattoria. Premier sponsor Whittier Trust sent each guest home with a gift bag stuffed with items for much-needed rejuvenation.  

On May 6, more than 200 guests congregated at a private classic car museum in San Rafael to raise funds for Vivalon, a nonprofit that advances the independence, health, and quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities in Marin County. The Soirée d’Élégance fundraiser raised $375,000 to benefit Vivalon’s home-delivered meal programs as well as other comprehensive, integrated healthy aging services.

More than 900 animal lovers and their four-legged friends partied down at Marin Humane’s extensive grounds on May 7 at Woofstock, a beloved music event that benefits the shelter’s animals. Guests enjoyed food, beer and wine, animal-themed vendors, a wide array of  raffle items and the main attraction, local favorite band Petty Theft. More than $65,000 was raised at the event for Marin’s only animal shelter. 

The annual Mill Valley Music Festival returned to the stage on May 13 and 14, attracting more than 10,000 music lovers from across the Bay Area. Hosted by the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, fans of all ages were treated to more than 20 acts on two stages, including headliners Michael Franti & Spearhead as well as Sacramento-born Cake. Beyond the music, festival-goers were offered a true taste of the good life in Mill Valley with access to a large and curated assortment of the region’s best artisans, food vendors and philanthropic organizations, plus family-friendly activities like a roller skating rink and arcade, immersive art installations, local craft beer and hidden speakeasies. Photos: Jon Bauer, William Wayland 

Local residents, advocates, and elected officials gathered on Friday, May 19 in San Rafael for Step Up Marin!, an event to raise funds for Community Action Marin’s anti-poverty movement to help put people on a path of stability and greater hope while transforming systems toward justice. John Lam, a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet who went to preschool at the agency’s Canal Children’s Center gave an inspiring talk on his life path, while Lynette Stewart, who formerly lived in her car with her young son, received the 2023 Community Courage Award. 

Supporters of Ritter Center in San Rafael gave up their warm beds for a night on May 20 as part of the organization’s annual Under the Stars Sleepout to End Homelessness. Designed to raise awareness of the complexity of homelessness, the sleepout also generated $95,000 in funds for Ritter’s vital programs. Early in the evening, guests gathered at the San Rafael Elks Club Lodge for barbecue, games and a silent auction; and later returned home to sleep in their chosen area such as in a backyard or car, on the floor of their home, or in any safe, uncomfortable place. 


Photo: Sausalito Pride.

Saturday, June 3 marked the one-year anniversary of Club Evexia in Mill Valley — the luxury wellness community hub celebrated the occasion with a day of free yoga, dance and exercise classes, wellness chat sessions, giveaways from partners and dance tunes provided by West Coast Good Times. During a lively set by Michael LaMacchia’s Bumpin band, Club Evexia’s own Scott Raymond made a guest appearance on the drums. 

Bridge the Gap, which has a 28-year history of supporting underserved students in Marin City and Southern Marin on their paths to high school graduation and college completion, was recently selected as a California Nonprofit of the Year. Nominated for the honor by Assemblymember Damon Connolly, the organization was recognized on June 7 for its outstanding contributions at a luncheon held on the capitol grounds in Sacramento. 

Sausalito, which has long been considered a gay friendly community, just wrapped its inaugural, month long Pride Celebration. The festivities started on June 9 with an opening night event at Sausalito Center for the Arts and preview of new photography exhibit Homosocial, followed by a mid-June book signing with author Bill W. Jones (Bachelor Father: The First Single Man to Legally Adopt a Child in America) at Sausalito Books by the Bay and Pride Night at Jazz and Blues by the Bay. The celebration culminated with a drag-themed fundraiser hosted on July 1 by Sausalito Pride Ambassadors Wayne Kaleck and Michael Rose at Gene Hiller Menswear. All events were spearheaded by a diverse team of volunteers in partnership with The Spahr Center, Marin County’s only LGBTQ+ nonprofit. 

Felecia Gaston of the Marin City Historical & Preservation Society joined forces with the Marin Community Foundation on June 15 for a special private reception and showing of Marin City: Our Legacy is Here to Stay 1942–1960. The exhibit was filled with photos of Black citizens from the era, along with other memorabilia and historical artifacts from the time period. 

Side by Side’s 2023 annual golf tournament was held at the Meadow Club in Fairfax on June 26. The day included 18 holes of golf on the stunning course, at-hole games of chance, a barbeque lunch and hosted cocktail reception and dinner. Attendees heard from Side by Side’s Dr. Christine Garcia and Bank of Marin’s CEO, Tim Myers. Rich Walcoff, former San Francisco 49ers sportscaster, served as emcee. A live auction, and fund-a-need paddle raise provided financial support for Side by Side’s behavioral and mental health services throughout the Bay Area. 

Marin Community Clinics, which provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to Marin’s underserved population, hosted its annual Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21st at Inn Marin and Suites. Elected officials, community health ambassadors, and hundreds of engaged supporters of equitable health care in Marin joined together to recognize honorees Grace Hughes and Shirin Vakharia plus raise $185,000 to benefit the organization’s mission. 

Vivalon teamed up with the Multicultural Center of Marin to host an intergenerational outing to China Camp State Park on June 30 — which included a guided nature walk led in Spanish by Marco Berger from the Multicultural Center of Marin, followed by a picnic lunch overlooking San Pablo Bay. The China Camp  outing is part of a series aimed at bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together to enjoy the beauty of Marin’s parks.


Photo: Aldersly. Credit: Hiromi Yoshida

The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF) presented its gala benefit concert, Help Is on the Way XXVII: Broadway & Beyond, on July 16, followed by a VIP afterparty at the Beacon Grand. The star-studded main affair at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre featured most of the touring cast of the Tony Award-winning show Les Miserablés, plus other Broadway and notable performers including Lisa Vroman, David Burnham, Leanne Borghesi, Marta Sanders and Ava Nicole Francis. Recording artist Debby Holiday’s tribute to the late Tina Turner topping off the evening, which raised $50,000 to benefit Project Open Hand and REAF’s Small Emergency Grants Program. 

Aldersly, a San Rafael-based nonprofit for seniors, commemorated an official groundbreaking of its Marselisborg residence expansion on July 19. The expansion project will add 35 new residences for older adults in San Rafael. Shannon Brown, Aldersly’s executive director, welcomed attendees including current resident and former San Rafael mayor, Al Boro.

On July 25, Marin Magazine’s own Dine editor Christina Mueller led a talk with London-based pastry chef and author Claire Ptak in front of a packed house at the Mill Valley Public Library. Ptak, a Chez Panisse alum who grew up in Point Reyes, took the world stage when she was tapped by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to create their now-famous lemon elderflower wedding cake. She shared stories as well as insights from her latest book, Love is a Pink Cake


BOC drone shot
Photo: Marin Magazine Best of the County.

Well-wishers gathered in downtown San Anselmo on August 4 along with San Anselmo mayor Steve Burdo for the unveiling of the town’s newest beautification gift — a large-scale mosaic installation with the theme “Choose Kindness.” As a collaboration between Cedars artists, local artists and the San Anselmo Arts Commission, the colorful installation is composed of 32 panels and  features the town’s icon, Sugarfoot the deer. 

Over 300 attendees, including many Marin residents and business owners, came together at Sausalito’s Marina Plaza for Marin Magazine’s sold out Best of the County party on August 4. Guests enjoyed delectable offerings from Stacy Scott Catering, fine wines provided by Anaba Wines, Domaine Carneros Winery, J Vineyards & Winery, Louis M. Martini Winery, as well as canned cocktails and beer from Salt Point and East Brother Beer Company. B12 Love administered signature shots, Nice Gals Delivery doled out swag bags, Navier introduced its electric hydrofoiling boat and West Coast Good Times had the perfect soundtrack for it all. The Documattarian, SnapFiesta and Steven Gregory Photography captured the evening, including the elegant decor by 38north Design Co. A portion of the proceeds went to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

On August 9, 170 Marin schoolkids received backpacks filled with essential school supplies along with a $100 gift card for new school apparel courtesy of Ritter Center, which assists with homelessness and people living in poverty in Marin County. Families expressed gratitude for the gifts, given the rising cost of school supplies along with skyrocketing rent and food prices. 

The house was rocking on August 13 at Sweetwater Music Hall, as high school bands from across Marin county joined forces to raise funds for Bridge the Gap, a nonprofit supporting underserved students in Marin City and Southern Marin. Spearheaded by two local high school musicians, the Band Together Marin benefit gathered musicians from Branson, Archie Williams, Marin Academy, Marin School of the Arts, Tam High and others. More than $20,000 was raised during the course of the evening. 


Photo: Opening of the Marin City’s Health and Wellness Center. Credit: Herman Privette

Opening night at the San Francisco Symphony is always a highlight of the fall season, and this year — marking the orchestral organization’s 112th season — kept with tradition with a red-carpet welcome with sparkling wine and light bites for all concert-goers. Later, attendees moved into the hall to experience what music director Esa-Pekken Salonen arranged for the evening: Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, and Anders Hillborg’s Rap Notes

WildCare’s 2023 Gala marked the nonprofit’s most successful to date, raising $500,000 to help provide care for injured and orphaned wild animals, and educate and advocate to protect wildlife. Held on September 9, 2023 in the Hoytt Theater at the Marin Osher JCC, it featured a vegan gourmet dinner by McCall’s and plenty of mingling with WildCare’s delightful Wildlife Ambassador animals. 

Youth in Arts hosted its community-focused AGlow fundraiser on September 21, raising nearly $40,000 to bolster creativity for more than 5,000 students in its arts education programs throughout Marin. The evening began with an electrifying Brazilian drumming performance by Youth in Arts Teaching Artists at the YIA Gallery in downtown San Rafael and ended with a captivating concert by Youth in Arts’ teen a cappella troupe, `Til Dawn, and local favorite, Kid Galaga.

Community leaders and involved citizens celebrated the opening of Marin City’s Health and Wellness Center’s brand new, nearly 24,000 square foot, $3.8 million building on September 21 with a ribbon cutting and tours. The facility, which will offer comprehensive medical, dental and behavioral health services, has a mission of African American health equity and is expected to serve 8,000 patients annually. 

Nearly 300 animal lovers gathered on September 23 for Tails by Twilight, Marin Humane‘s annual gala. Held on its Novato campus, guests enjoyed cocktails and a gourmet vegan meal while raising critical donations for the organization’s many programs through silent and live auctions. More than $600,000 was raised during the course of the evening, with more than half of that going toward the fund-a-need for youth programs. 

There’s nothing like a chili cook-off to bring out fiercely competitive spirits, all of whom showed up pot-in-hand to Dunphy Park on September 23 for Sausalito’s 44th Annual Chili Cook-Off. Event goers were able to sample the goods and watch a few extra brave souls participate in a hot pepper eating contest. The day’s top prize winners included the Double J Chili Team (Judges’ Choice) and Unsinkable Chili (People’s Choice). Captain Smokey & the Chili Pillagers won the best booth prize. 

On September 23, pickleball players held court to benefit Beyond Differences, a Marin nonprofit which inspires youth to create cultures of belonging in their schools across the country. The inaugural, sold-out pickleball event, Pickle with Purpose, featured a lively tournament plus other fun additions such as a taco and margarita bar. 

Sound Summit, the intimate annual festival staged high above San Francisco Bay, returned to Mount Tam’s historic Mountain Theater on September 9 for a perfect day of stellar music and gorgeous weather amongst a stunning backdrop. The blissful crowd was treated to performances from cosmic folk-rock storytellers Lord Huron, spellbinding Americana songstress Sierra Ferrell, captivating modern-day troubadour Kevin Morby and Marin County’s own beloved funkmasters Vinyl. High-spirited emcees included KNBR radio personalities Murph & Mac and KPFA’s “Dead to the World” host Tim Lynch. Sound Summit provided $250,000 to Mount Tam and funded the restoration of the Steep Ravine Trail earlier this year. 

Local independent bookstore Sausalito Books by the Bay has launched a new nonprofit, Literacy by the Bay, as part of a new hybrid business model which enables independent bookstores to remain sustainable and deepen their support of community literacy programs. Literacy by the Bay recently held its first fundraiser at a private estate in the Sausalito Hills, which was attended by authors Tappan Wilder and Elizabeth Shreeve, plus other supportive patrons. 

Bank of Marin celebrated the winners of its annual Spirit of Marin Award at a luncheon held on September 29 at the Marin Center. The award recognizes citizens who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to Marin County through their leadership, volunteerism and philanthropy. Brad Montague, New York Times best-selling author and creator of the hit web series Kid President, gave the keynote address. 

The culminating event for MarinMOCA’s annual benefit art auction, ArtFwd, took place on September 30. The event, which also served as the museum’s 40th anniversary celebration, enabled guests to bid on a curated selection of artworks by known artists such as Bruce Conner, Isabella Kirkland, David Maisel and Zio Ziegler — bringing in $145,000 in support. Guests were also welcomed by MarinMOCA’s new executive director, Jodi Roberts. 


Photo: Marin Foster Care Association Blues & Brews.

Marin Foster Care Association’s annual Blues & Brews extravaganza was held the weekend of October 6 and 7 at Pacheco Ranch Winery in Novato. More than 360 guests attended the sold-out fundraising event that consisted of a paella themed dinner, live music, a live auction and an inspiring program. The $375,000 raised during the weekend directly supports Marin foster youth and their caregivers.

On October 7, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin hosted its annual gala, Pennies from Heaven, at the exquisite Meadow Club. The elegant, sold-out event was attended by 215 benefactors and raised more than $600,000 for St. Vincent de Paul’s programs and services feeding the hungry and housing the homeless in Marin County. 

Maestro was the closing night film for the 46th Mill Valley Film Festival, capping off 11 days of films, panels, parties and musical performances at the annual autumn showcase which drew 30,000 attendees this year. Additionally, MVFF Education reached over 5,600 students across the U.S. with virtual programming, in-person screenings, and school visits in Marin, San Francisco and the East Bay.

The first-ever A Toast to Sausalito festival, held October 21, highlighted the fun, creative  and vibrant community that is Sausalito. More than 2,500 people showed up to peruse a quarter-mile lineup on Caledonia Street full of local artisans and vendors, plus be entertained by performers on three stages — including violinist Chris Lynch, house boat band Jack Justice, funk band Marc and the Casuals and salsa musicians Edgardo & Candela.

October 22 marked the return of the annual Milley Awards at the Mill Valley Community Center — a ceremony and dinner honoring outstanding individuals for their creative achievements in several categories: musical arts (Suzanne Ciani), performance (Tiffany Shlain), creative contributions to the community (Tim Ryan). literary arts (Tom Singer) and visual arts (Ute Goggins). The award series, established in 1994, is dedicated to those who were either born, educated, worked or have lived in the town of Mill Valley. 


Photo: Courtesy of Richard Wheeler.

350 guests filled the banquet hall at the Embassy Suites on November 3 to recognize the outstanding contributions of businesses and individuals standing behind Lifehouse, a dynamic organization serving adults with developmental disabilities for nearly 70 years. Former Marin County School Superintendent Mary Jane Burke led the recognition ceremony — a 27-year tradition for the nonprofit — that honored guests including Rob Devincenzi who won the Charles L Martin award and Sue Dizon who won Volunteer of the Year, along with key business partners Safeway and Left Bank.