Inspiring people to care for the Lowcountry

Rex Garniewicz, President and CEO of the Coastal Discovery Museum, presented an overview of the Coastal Discovery Museum at the February 2, 2023, GIC General Membership meeting. The mission of the Coastal Discovery Museum (CDM) is to inspire people to care for the Lowcountry. It is for adults, children, residents, and visitors. It is more than a museum with events, exhibitions, tours, and experiences. 92% of their 100,000 – 130,000 annual visitors are tourists to the area and the museum is trying to engage more residents. The CDM is ranked highly in SC and on Trip Advisor for exhibits, environmental conservation, culture, and history. This year a famous graffiti artist from Italy did a series of shadow boxes of birds in Hitnes, The Image Hunter: On the trail of John James Audubon, and painted 3 murals on the CDM property. From March 4- July 9, the CDM will display Binya: Faces ob de Gullah Geechee. They also host weddings and a weekly Farmers Market with a craft beer mobile trailer. Late April will be their largest annual Art Market with 102 exhibitors.

To view, download, or print his presentation, click here.

For more information about the Coastal Discovery Museum visit their website, click here.

Rex Garniewiz Bio

Rex Garniewicz is President and CEO of the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island. He is responsible for fundraising, operations, and long-range planning, manages a staff of seven full-time and three part-time employees, and has grown the organization and made the museum central to the vitality of Hilton Head Island.

Since his arrival in 2014, he added the Tom Peeples Discovery Lab, helped the museum become a Smithsonian Affiliate, incorporated the Santa Elena Foundation into the museum, and is currently renovating a new exhibition and collections storage facility in what was formerly the hay barn.

Before coming to Hilton Head, he served as Deputy Director at the San Diego Museum of Man and as Vice President at the Indiana State Museum.

In addition to a career in the museum field, he has taught a wide variety of archaeology courses at IU, Butler University, and UCSD.

Rex received his B.A. in Environmental Science and Archaeology from Wesleyan University, Middletown, and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Indiana University, Bloomington. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Stone Age Institute, a museum assessor for the American Alliance of Museums, and a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.