Becky Young LaBarre has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Renfrew Museum and Park. LaBarre is a seasoned historic preservation professional with over fifteen years’ experience. She most recently served as the Director of Planning and Historic Preservation for the Borough of Gettysburg, a position she has held for two and a half years. Prior to that, LaBarre served as the assistant curator for the Glessner House and Clarke House Museums in Chicago, Illinois between 2010-2015. During her tenure at the museums she managed collections, guest programming, docent education, program development and interpretation of the Clarke House Museum, the oldest building remaining in the original Chicago city limits. She served as the assistant director of the Glessner House Museum from 2015-2016 where she oversaw the administration, educational programming, interpretation, collections management, fundraising, and community engagement for Glessner House (1887), Henry Hobson Richardson’s architectural masterpiece in Chicago’s Prairie Avenue Historic District. LaBarre was also a Master Historic Presenter at The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI.
In 2008, she co-founded the Petticoat Society, an independent living history organization based in the Chicago area which interprets domestic life and material culture to the public through authentic living history interpretation. She regularly cultivated partnerships with other living history groups, museums, and historic sites. She researched, developed, and implemented mission-specific interpretive content based on the needs of the host site.
LaBarre is “looking forward to taking an active role in the long legacy of architectural, cultural, and environmental stewardship as well as the strong sense of community embodied by Renfrew Museum and Park. It’s a very significant historic site that has been lovingly cared for over the centuries both by its former owners and more recent generations of caretakers and visitors that have adopted it as their own. To step into this continuum as Renfrew’s next Executive Director is both exciting and humbling. The hard work and tender care by those who came before has positioned Renfrew to achieve its mission and engage audiences in meaningful and impactful ways. I’m looking forward to growing the institution’s capacity to share, teach, delight, preserve, and progress as we move forward together into Renfrew Museum and Park’s next chapter.” She has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design from Adrian College. She and her husband, Steve, reside in Fairfield Historic District in Pennsylvania.
Greg White, President of the Renfrew Committee Inc. board of directors stated, ““We were excited to attract such a strong and diverse field of candidates. With Becky, we feel we’ve hired a skill-set that will allow Renfrew Museum and Park to build upon the solid foundation that was established during Dade Royer’s tenure. Becky’s experience in Museums, dealing with State and local governments, and her passion for the authentic interpretation of history will be extremely valuable as we move Renfrew forward. She is a proven leader with a great vision for what Renfrew can be.”