Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)

(Sr. Communications Specialist) 2000 – 2006


The DIA has been a beacon of culture for the Detroit area for well over a century and houses a collection that is among the top six in the U.S. The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory. 


In 2002, Senior Communications Specialist, Cherrie Woods along with several DIA staff began the process to fulfill one of the museum’s objectives —create the DIA Community Outreach Committee.


Woods participated in the formation of a Community Outreach Committee that included museum staff along with selected relevant community members from each of the targeted communities to ensure best practices in the committee’s outreach initiatives. In addition, Woods was appointed chair for the African American sub- committee.


  • Woods and the founding group established three sub-committees to address the most significant “minority” committees in the Detroit region: African American, Arab American and Chaldean and Hispanic/Latino American who were under-represented at the museum in terms of visitors, volunteers, employees and members
  • The African American subcommittee, led by Woods co-created MeDIA, a 13-week immersion program/curriculum for 13 middle school students with the community-based CAMP Detroit (Cultural Art Membership Program).  The curriculum included visual language, art and immersion in several museum departments through a series of guided gallery visits, museum studio sessions and hands-on experiences.
  • Created a model for future community outreach initiatives.
  • Obtained a full page MeDIA feature story in the Detroit Free Press

"I worked with Cherrie Woods for several years at the Detroit Institute of Arts, first as a member of the museum's Communications and Marketing Department and then as one of the founding members of our Community Outreach Committee. In both instances, Cherrie demonstrated deep commitment to sharing the museum, its programs and collections with the metropolitan Detroit community. Cherrie always viewed community development and audience development as an integral part of her job." – Annmarie Erickson, Executive V. P. / Chief Operating Officer, Detroit Institute of Arts (former Director, Communications and Marketing Department)

"Ms. Woods can be depended on to provide consistent and productive effort while remaining focused on the human concerns of the communities involved." – Njia Kai, Former Program Director - CAMP Detroit After-School/SummerYouth Program

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