Longtime journalist Paul Liberatore, who has documented the Marin County entertainment scene for the past quarter century, has been honored by the Marin County Cultural Service Commission with its coveted Cultural Treasure Award.
Liberatore, a Novato resident, received his award in a ceremony after the Arlo Guthrie performance at the Marin Civic Center on April 13. Guthrie joined music legends Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Maria Muldaur and counterculture entertainer/activist Wavy Gravy in congratulating Liberatore.
Liberatore has worked at the Marin Independent Journal since 1989 and been on the pulse of local and national cultural events. In addition to writing features and columns about the arts, he is considered the foremost historian on Marin County rock ‘n’ roll and pop music history and been among the leaders of a movement to create a museum that honors Marin’s musical contributions. As a guitarist and singer, Liberatore fronted his own band, the Liberators, for many years and performed at the Marin County Fair several times.
A native of the northern Los Angeles suburbs, Liberatore is a San Diego State graduate who worked seven years at the Marin IJ in the 1970s before a 10-year stint at the San Francisco Chronicle, followed by a return to the IJ. He has won numerous awards for his reporting and was a 2004 Milley Award recipient for his cultural contributions to Mill Valley.
Liberatore is the eighth recipient of the Cultural Treasure Award. Previous honorees are: cartoonist Phil Frank; philanthropist Henry Moody; Jeanne Bogardus, Marin Arts Council leader; Phyllis Thelen, artist and long-time cultural leader; acclaimed West Marin photographer Art Rogers; cultural leader Joann Dunn; and community leader Felecia Gaston of Performing Stars of Marin.
The Cultural Treasure Award winner is honored for long-term contributions to the Marin Center and/or Marin County Fair and civic leadership through local cultural programs.