County of Marin - News Releases - Cultural Treasure Award

For Immediate Release
December 05, 2017

Suzie Pollak to be Honored as ‘Cultural Treasure’

Longtime arts patron and nonprofit leader recognized by Marin Center

San Rafael, CA – Suzie Pollak, who for more than 30 years has been one of Marin County’s most esteemed arts patrons and nonprofit leaders, is the recipient of the 2018 Marin Cultural Treasure Award.

Suzie PollakSuzie Pollak is being honored by the Marin County Cultural Services Commission.
The annual award bestowed by Marin Center recognizes an individual or individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to cultural life in Marin County through outstanding service and support of Marin Center cultural programs and services. The honoree is selected by the Cultural Services Commission and is recognized by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The recipients receive a Resolution of Appreciation from the Board of Supervisors and are recognized on a plaque in the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium Green Room.

Marin County Cultural Commission Chair Marge Bartolini said Pollak deserved to be recognized for her decades of giving and contributing to local nonprofits and being willing to serve in leadership positions.

“She has devoted thousands of volunteer hours, and her contributions to these organizations has been amazing,” Bartolini said. “Her love of the arts community in Marin is passionate and ongoing. Her energy, ideas, and involvement on the Marin County Cultural Commission have been priceless. She has enriched all of us in the county and is truly now and forever a Cultural Treasure.”

Pollak served as an officer, founding board member and even executive director for more than a dozen nonprofits in Marin. Separately she led the Marin Council of Agencies and the Volunteer Center of Marin, which merged to become the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership. She developed the Nonprofit Resource Center and led the Marin Council of Agencies during litigation over the Buck Trust and the subsequent formation of the Marin Community Foundation.

The San Rafael resident was appointed to the Marin County Cultural Commission in 2006 and served several terms as Vice Chair. She was an active and dedicated commissioner for more than 10 years and instrumental in the vision and development of the Marin Center activities.

Pollak serves on the board of Sunny Hills Children’s Services, was a founding board member and officer of Marin Villages, currently serving on its advisory council. She was part of the initial steering committee of the County’s Renaissance Project and is serving on the founding board of the relatively new nonprofit, the Marin Cultural Association. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Marin County Poet Laureate program. She is assisting in the organization of a special exhibit for the Bartolini Gallery titled 80 /over 80 that features works by Marin artists over the age of 80. It will be displayed from April 18 through June 1, 2018.

Pollak said she is constantly nourished by the quantity and quality of opportunities she enjoys in Marin such as exhibit openings at the Seager Gray and Bartolini galleries, films at the Lark and Rafael theaters, performances and lectures at the Showcase and Marin Theatre Company venues, and holiday Marin Symphony concerts.

“I am grateful to the Marin County Cultural Commission for this recognition,” Pollak said. “The arts are a gift to me as well. My work with the newly formed Marin Cultural Association provides an opportunity to assure that Marin Center continues as a venue and gathering place for the arts and a resource for generations to come.”

Past winners of the Marin Cultural Treasure Award have included artist Tom Killion; arts and culture columnist Paul Liberatore; cartoonist Phil Frank; philanthropist Henry Moody; Jeanne Bogardus, Marin Arts Council leader; Phyllis Thelen, artist and long-time cultural leader; West Marin photographer Art Rogers; cultural leader Joann Dunn; community leader Felecia Gaston of Performing Stars of Marin, fine art painters Kathleen Lipinski and Steve Emery; and Director of the Italian Film Festival Lido Cantarutti.


Gabriella C. Calicchio
Department of Cultural Services

Marin Center
10 Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6400
Email: Gabriella C. Calicchio
Cultural Services Website