The Mattatuck Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephanie Coakley, as Director of Education.
“This is an important role at the Museum. Our educational programs expand and amplify the visitor’s experience in the galleries through innovative programming, lectures with scholars and artists, and special offerings for school children, college students, artists, educators, and adult learners,” said Bob Burns, Museum Director. “Stephanie is everything we were looking for and I am pleased that we have been able to recruit and hire someone with such a significant track record in art and museum education who clearly values working closely with the communities served by our museum.”
In her new position Coakley will be responsible for creating a vision for the Museum’s public programs for families, students and adults, ensuring the highest quality for all education experiences.
“I am so excited to step into this new role at the Mattatuck Museum and become part of a distinguished institution dedicated to creating compelling experiences for all visitors,” says Coakley. “I have wanted to return to Connecticut and work in the museum field for some time now and couldn’t be happier to serve in this capacity in Waterbury. I am very much looking forward to continuing the Mattatuck’s strong partnership with the Waterbury School District as well as introducing additional art and history programs and expand the museum’s initiatives and relationships throughout the Naugatuck Valley and beyond.”
For the last 14 years Coakley has worked as an art educator, artist representative, curator, event planner, fundraiser, grant writer, nonprofit administrator and volunteer manager; usually all at the same time.
Most recently Coakley served as the Director of Development and later as the Executive Director for Redux Contemporary Art Center (Redux) in Charleston, South Carolina, where she managed a variety of contemporary art exhibitions and installations with visual artists from all over the U.S. and Canada as well as studio art classes for all ages. Her responsibilities included marketing and public relations and fundraising initiatives, encompassing art auctions, events and performances, donor cultivation, community partnerships and securing financial support from local businesses. She also expanded Board participation and spearheaded long term strategic plans for the organization.
Prior to joining Redux, Coakley served as the Director of Education and Community Partnerships with the Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona for seven years. In Tucson, while developing innovative multidisciplinary programs in conjunction with up to 18 exhibitions each year, she also co-founded the Museum School for the Visual Arts, a unique public high school located on the grounds of the art museum for artistically talented teens disaffected with traditional education.
Coakley graduated from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) earning a B.A. in Art History and English. During her last semester at UCONN she volunteered as an intern with the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington where she conducted original research on the provenance of two watercolors in the collection by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, an artist from Charleston, South Carolina. Soon after graduation, that research led her to relocate to Charleston where she worked in the education department of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association for nearly five years.
“We are confident that Stephanie will continue to strengthen our existing programs while creating a vision for the future to help the Museum deliver its important mission in our community,” said Burns.
Visit www.MattatuckMuseum.org or call (203) 753-0381 for more information on all of the museum’s adult and children’s programs, events and exhibits. The Mattatuck Museum is operated with support from the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, CT Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, a group of 16 world-class museums and historic sites (www.arttrail.org). Located at 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Free parking is located behind the building on Park Place.