VIP: Rosemary Baker-Monaghan of Liberty Restoration in Astoria

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
{safe_alt_text} Photo by Leah Nash

ViP

Rosemary Baker-Monaghan, Executive director, Liberty Restoration

In the early 1990s, when Astoria’s Liberty Theater had sunk to its lowest level of decrepitude, Rosemary Baker-Monaghan was finding her way from the forest, where she’d spent much of her life working for the timber industry, to the political arena in the city of Seaside, 15 miles south of the historic venue.

While the Yakima, Wash., native didn’t know it at the time, her life in politics — first on Seaside’s planning commission, then its city council and, finally, as mayor from 1999 to 2003 — were all a lead up to overseeing the $9.5 million resurrection of what’s becoming Astoria’s nascent cultural arts center.

Built as a silent-film and vaudeville palace in the 1920s, the theater had declined over the decades into a decaying movie house where — as local stories claim — homeless people lived in the rafters and bathed in the bathroom sinks.

In 2005, after losing both a re-election bid for mayor and a primary race for state representative, the 51-year-old Baker-Monaghan was thinking a lot about the excitement she once found in helping shape the future through public service. That’s when the nonprofit that runs the Liberty (she had had a seat on its board since 2000) offered her the job of executive director.

Educating kids in the arts, economic development, restoration: It’s the fulfilling facets of her job that Baker-Monaghan thinks about when the theater is empty and she sits in her favorite seat three rows from the stage, surrounded by the meticulously restored elegance.

But she’s also listening to the quiet echoes of a thousand voices, songs and things to come.

— Abraham Hyatt


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president, plus an abridged Powerlist for the best commercial real estate firms.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS