Curator of Religion and Community History
Experience: Chicago History Museum, Curator of Religion and Community History, 2022–present. Religion, Art, Technology Lab, Contributing Curator, 2021–22. Plymouth History Museum, Historical Society Manager, 2020–22. Hamline University, Co-lecturer and Co-curator of Student Exhibition (Islamic Art and Architecture, spring term 2020 & 2021). Landmarks Illinois, Skyline Member, 2022–present. Preserve Minneapolis, Board Member, 2020–23. Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums, Board Member, 2021–22.
Education: MA, Historical and Sustainable Architecture, New York University at NYU London. BA, Art History (Distinction in Religion and Minor in Spanish), Hamline University.
As Curator of Religion and Community History, Rebekah Coffman explores the central role of religion in shaping Chicago’s history and culture.
In her work, Rebekah explores connections between religious identity and our historic landscape. She has written and presented on how belief and spirituality remain a fundamental framework for understanding our world today. Rebekah has a wealth of knowledge in collections acquisition and research and has curated exhibitions, including the Religion, Art and Technology Lab’s digital series Tangible/Intangible. In her role at the Plymouth History Museum, she developed museum administration and programming skills. As Ehlers Curatorial Fellow, she researched for and worked on exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, including their 2014 groundbreaking exhibition Sacred. Her graduate research centered on the adaptive reuse of religious buildings with an emphasis on their use as multicultural, interfaith spaces. She is a passionate believer in and advocate for the preservation and interpretation of local heritage through community-centered approaches.
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