Our Story

Festival beginnings circa 1958.

History

For over 60 years, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival has been the soul of our town. From the earliest days (1957) when a small group of artists exhibited their works in downtown store windows, through the years that the Festival was held in Lytton Square until we moved to our glorious redwood grove in Old Mill Park, the Festival has always been an annual moment we share - it marks the years in our lives, it brings us together.

In 1962 the Festival committed to a long term vision, became a nonprofit organization and moved to its present site at historic Old Mill Park.

The Spirit of Mill Valley

MVFAF reflects the spirit of Mill Valley and our heritage of volunteerism. Scores of volunteers staff every part of the Festival during this two-day event. They help build the Festival, staff the gates, sell merchandise, aid the musicians, spell our artists when they need a break and do just about anything that needs doing.

Local businesses support the Festival with in-kind services and donations including our food and beverage providers who partner with local nonprofits. Entertainment is by beloved Bay Area performers at the main and children's stages. Children's arts activities are supported by the Festival Board, Friends of the Festival, local high school students and youth organizations.

Our Mission and Passion

The Staff, Board and Committee work all year to produce an annual event where everyone can discover local and national fine arts and crafts amid the natural beauty of Mill Valley in the safe, magical setting of Old Mill Park. The Bay Area Community comes to view and purchase world-class art, hear and see first rate musical and theatrical performances and enjoy delicious food.

We strive to continue our tradition of:

  • Presenting a high quality family friendly event.
  • Providing a showcase for new and emerging artists.
  • Encouraging and fostering education in the awareness and appreciation of fine arts and crafts.
  • Providing an open and continuing dialogue between established artists and the public.
  • Creating a platform upon which local service organizations are able to raise a large portion of their operating budgets.
  • Celebrating the beauty, majesty and peacefulness of our special redwood grove.