The City of Mill Valley is currently developing a 2040 Plan that will establish the city’s vision, policies and priorities for the coming decades.
Mill Valley’s arts sector—which was omitted from prior planning efforts—is a defining resource that can help preserve the city’s unique character and ensure its economic vitality. That is why we have formed the Community Arts Coalition, an association of over 200 local artists, arts organizations and businesses, and their supporters to call on the city to include a strong arts and culture element in the 2040 Plan.
In the past century, Mill Valley has spawned and supported a wide array of exceptional arts organizations, facilities and events that have cemented the city’s reputation as an arts destination (e.g., Mountain Play, Fall Arts Festival, Marin Theatre Company, O’Hanlon Center, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Outdoor Art Club, Mill Valley Philharmonic, Mill Valley Film Festival and Sweetwater).
We enjoy extraordinary arts education in our public schools thanks to our community’s commitment and support for organizations like Kiddo!, THUMB, PATH, CTE and AIM. Mill Valley is rich with art galleries, visual and performing arts schools and providers, individual artists, writers, architects, designers, production companies and more who contribute to our vibrant creative environment.
The city’s arts sector is a vital engine of the Mill Valley economy. It supports hundreds of local jobs, contributes millions of dollars in direct expenditures to our economy, and provides a vital share of the city’s tax base. The arts sector draws thousands of local residents and visitors into town each year to patronize Mill Valley stores and restaurants.
Mill Valley’s reputation for excellence in the arts and its natural beauty work hand-in-hand to increase our property values. Continued economic development through the arts will further enhance Mill Valley’s authentic, connected and unique sense of place and quality of life.
The members of our community provide crucial assistance for the arts, culture and arts education by contributing their talent, skills and financial resources. But such independent efforts do not supplant the need for coordinated civic recognition and support for our emblematic community assets.
The city of Mill Valley has an important role to play in ensuring the continued success and growth of its often-struggling arts sector by, among other things:
- recognizing and promoting the city’s artistic identity
- encouraging cultural development and arts-related commerce and tourism
- fostering and facilitating the activities of arts providers
- building positive community involvement with and support for the arts and
- directly supporting city-sponsored arts activities and facilities
The Community Arts Coalition lobbied for, and has worked closely with, an Arts Subcommittee in the 2040 planning process to develop arts goal and policy recommendations for Mill Valley (attached at right)
The arts provisions have, thus far, been universally praised and supported by process participants. But they must still survive review by the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), the Planning Commission and the City Council before they can be adopted and implemented.
The GPAC meet on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at City Hall to consider the arts provisions, along with other recommendations from the four 2040 Plan Working groups. Please join us in urging GPAC, and other city leaders, to support the adoption of these important arts and culture goals and policies.
To become a member of the Community Arts Coalition, email us at info@142ThrockmortonTheatre.org.
Lucy Mercer, Executive Director
Tammy Edmonson, Board President
142 Throckmorton Theatre
Coordinating Contacts for the Community Arts Coalition