In the Loop
Alumni News : Nov 15, 2017

From art educator to special events coordinator

Q&A with SAAH alumna Lydel Matthews

By Rachel Rockwell

Lydel Matthews (B.A. Art Education ‘09) took a break from serving as Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History’s special events coordinator to visit her alma mater. Here, Matthews talks about where she’s been and what she’s done since graduating.

What have you been up to since graduating from UF?

I taught a few years at an art museum in Alabama, then I got a little restless and I went to Yellowstone for a seasonal employment position there. Then I ended up in Oregon, where I did my master’s in arts administration, and now I’m in Jacksonville, and I’m a special events coordinator at a science and history museum.

What does your position as a special events coordinator at a museum entail?

I bring in revenue for our nonprofit through rentals, so we do weddings, we have people that host their own parties, but I also get to do public programming and help bring in some different community partners. It’s nice because it’s my field of interest, but the position isn’t education based, but I get to pull a lot from what I learned in my program.

Did you plan to end up working in a museum?

I definitely saw myself in an alternative teaching environment—I didn't know what that was going to be—and I even got to do a workshop recently in the education department. They invited me to do a workshop with some middle school students, so that was really fun to kind of get back in the saddle for that.

How would you say your time at UF prepared you for your career?

I had an amazing experience here. It was a really small group when I was here, and we got a lot of individual attention. Just the community here, and the support that I got, was definitely influential for everything else I’ve done.