Greg Garrett hired as museum experience educator at Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend

Garrett shares his passion for telling history's stories

VICTORIA, Texas – Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend hired Greg Garrett as the new museum experience educator. Garrett shares his passion for telling history’s stories and can trace his fascination with history to the times when he would join his father on metal-detecting trips.

“I’d hear some of the stories of other metal detectorists’ finds,” Garrett said. “That really rubbed off on me and, eventually, it turned into a career.”

Garrett worked in the restaurant industry for 17 years before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in history from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He moved on to work at the Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio, while earning his master’s degree at UTSA. Garrett started working as the museum experience educator at Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend in January

“The great thing about working at the Museum of the Coastal Bend is that I get to focus on one region,” Garrett said. “At the ITC, we had to know a little bit about everything Texas.”

Garrett grew up in Lockhart and relocated to Austin after graduating from high school. That’s when he began his career in the restaurant industry running kitchens.

“It’s hard work. You have to trust and have each other’s backs,” Garrett said. “I loved every minute of it, and I thought it was going be my career. Then my dad passed away in 2004, and I slowly began to realize that I kind of needed to solidify things a little bit.”

Garrett studied at Austin Community College on and off. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 2010, he began working at the ITC as a volunteer. ITC Director of Research and Education Lupita Barrera noticed his enthusiasm for Texas history and offered him a part-time, paid position.

“She saw me talking to people smiling, being really passionate about what I was doing,” Garrett said. “And she brought me on finally for 19 hours a week, and I jumped on that.”

After Garrett obtained his master’s degree, he became a full-time employee at the ITC and led the outreach and oral history programs for the ITC’s Back 40. This program was a section of the museum designated for educating visitors on life in the Texas frontier.

So far, Garrett has shared his enjoyment of telling peoples’ stories in print by coauthoring three books in a series chronicling the history of Mexican American baseball in Texas. He was also one of the main researchers for a Negro League Baseball exhibit at the San Antonio International Airport.

“I’ve always thought that it’s tough to not like someone when you’ve heard their story,” Garrett said. “I feel we often don’t take time to listen to a person’s story. I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on politically, religiously, socially – you have a story. I have tried to draw on that principle during my professional career.”

David Cummings, Garrett’s ancestor, was one of the “Gonzales 32” to fight at the Alamo. Garrett is now excited to tell the stories of the Coastal Bend.

“I want to create an interactive classroom with hands-on objects and immersive learning opportunities,” Garrett said. “We want children to step into the classroom and realize that it is an area of exploration and discovery.”

Some of Garrett’s duties include actively recruiting volunteer staff, re-establishing the museum’s outreach programming and establishing the museum as the premiere destination for educational and interactive field trips in the Coastal Bend region.

“I feel strongly about the responsibility that we in the public history sector have as a platform for all the voices and stories in our community,” Garrett said. “The only way that these stories are revealed is by building relationships in the community. It is my goal to help the Coastal Bend region and its people tell their stories through the medium we provide as public historians.”

VC’s Executive Director of Cultural Affairs Sue Prudhomme, said Garrett brings an ability to connect with audiences of all ages.

“Greg has the knowledge to create innovative programs, such as our recent Spring Break History-on-the-Go activities, and the enthusiasm to implement engaging lessons that bring history to life,” Prudhomme said. “With Greg on board, we’re looking forward to growing audiences and support for the Museum of the Coastal Bend.”

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on Victoria College’s Main Campus at 2200 E. Red River Street. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the museum is pay-what-you-want.

Due to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety recommendations, all guests of Victoria College facilities are required to wear facial coverings, have their temperatures taken and pass a health screening. Social distancing is required, as well.