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Sideshow at AVAM: The Museum Store. Come shopping. Leave smiling!

Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, AVAM Founder and Director

Rebecca Alban Hoffberger pictured with artist DeVon Smith's Robot Family.

Rebecca Alban Hoffberger is the founder, director and principal curator of the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). A life-long devotee of the power of intuition and fresh thought, Hoffberger was accepted into college at age 15, choosing instead mime Marcel Marceau's personal invitation to become his first American apprentice in Paris. By 19, she had co-founded her own ballet company and by 21, was a sought after consultant to a broad spectrum of non-profits, including research and development scientific companies. At 25, Hoffberger was awarded the title of 'Dame' for her work to establish medical field hospitals in Nigeria. She studied alternative and folk medicine in Mexico. Returning to the states, Hoffberger served on the Board of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center in Virginia and worked as Development Director at the Sinai Hospital Department of Psychiatry for People Encouraging People, Inc. where she first conceived her unique national visionary museum/education center.

In recognition of distinguished achievement in the museum field, Hoffberger was awarded the 2011 Katherine Coffey Award by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums. Hoffberger has received Honorary Doctorates from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Stevenson University, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, and McDaniel College, as well as awarded Loyola College's Andrew White Award, The College of Notre Dame Sarah's Circle Award, and selected as Franklin & Marshall College's Conrad Nelson Lecturer. She is an inductee of The Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, a winner of the Urban Land Institute's National Award for Excellence, Israel Bonds' Golda Meir Award, and the first recipient of the Sir Arthur C. Clarke Vision and Imagination Award. Among many honors in recognition of her human rights activism, Hoffberger has won the On Our Own mental health national anti-stigma Visionary Award, the Urban League's Whitney M. Young, Jr. Honoree for Outstanding Community Involvement & Support for Equal Opportunity, Maryland YWCA President's Award, and was principal curator celebrating playwright's Eve Ensler's BIG LOVE New Orleans 10th Anniversary of 'Vagina Monologues' raising $50 million to help global women anti-violence programs. Hoffberger's Seven Education Goals provided the founding mission for the young activist organization, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, New York City. She has been an international keynote conference speaker at The Tate Modern and at India's Rock Garden.

The titles to Rebecca's exhibitions sum up beautifully both her personal philosophy and passion: "ALL FAITHS BEAUTIFUL: From Atheism to Zoroastrianism, Respect for Diversity of Belief," "The Marriage of Art, Science & Philosophy," and "Race, Class & Gender: Three things that contribute '0' to CHARACTER, because being a schmuck is an equal opportunity for everyone!"