Reginald F. Lewis Museum

(Director of Marketing and PR) 2009 to 2011


Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s mission statement is to be the premier experience and best resource for information and inspiration about the lives of African American Marylanders. The museum collects, preserves, interprets, documents and exhibits the rich contributions of African American Marylanders from the state’s earliest history to the present and the future.


Hired as the first Director of Marketing and PR at the museum, Woods’ primary goal was to establish a department responsive to the challenging economic times. Her immediate objectives were to improve the quality and reduce the cost of the Journeys members’ magazine; create a short-term option for improving the museum website; increase media coverage of museum exhibitions and events; and hire and supervise a Communications Specialist and Graphic Designer. Ongoing duties included, develop exhibition communications campaigns and programs and events campaigns; media relations; manage vendors; oversee design, writing, editing, print production and distribution of all marketing collateral; serve as media spokesperson; serve as editor of Journeys: develop strategic partnerships; and manage the museum’s Institute of Museums and Library Sciences grant for a new website and market research project.


In the first five months, Woods focused on conducting an inventory of the museum’s publications and marketing collateral with the primary focus on the Journeys members’ magazine which highlighted the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and staff. She extended its focus to include programs and events and new member/donor recruitment. In addition she improved the timeliness of the magazine’s mailing schedule. Woods also met with each department head to determine their needs and identify challenges as well as hired both a Graphic Designer and a Communications Specialist.


  • Led the development and/or redesign of all marketing collateral including: map guide, rack card, teacher’s guide, quarterly calendar, member’s magazine, postcards, sponsor packages, membership application, program brochures, promotional items, way finding signage, etc.  
  • Launched the first Facebook page
  • Increased media coverage of exhibition and programs by 75%
  • Redesigned the Journeys members magazine to a 5 ½  by 8 ½ glossy -- reduced design/production costs by $14,000 (2009)
  • Strengthened the museum’s relationship/membership with Visit Baltimore (sat on the Cultural Tourism Advisory Committee)
  • Secured partnerships with Amtrak and Education-Based Latino Organization
  • Negotiated cross promotions with Everyman Theatre, Broadway Across America, and Baltimore Clayworks
  • Obtained thousands of dollars in sponsorship dollars for programs
  • Created “Thursdays at the Lewis” live music program to attract the 35-49 year old demographic Negotiated over $100,000 in media sponsorships
  • Played a key role in booking the Ford Motor Company sponsored Freedom’s Sisters exhibition (this exhibition came with an educational programming budget)
  • Served as project team leader for building the new website page (funded by an IMLS grant)
  • Increased overall museum attendance by 10% — the first year-over-year increase in the Museum’s history (FY2011)

“Cherrie Woods was a great asset to the museum during her tenure from 2009 to 2011. She developed the museum’s first Marketing and PR department and positively impacted the museum’s visibility and communication with the general public, media and other organizationsin both Baltimore and the surrounding area within the first six months of her arrival – an exceptional feat as she was new to the Baltimore area. Ms. Woods developed a portfolio of museum marketing collateral, improved our website, launched the first Facebook page, obtained sponsorships (media and monetary) and more. That much of this occurred without huge outlays of cash was largely due to her fiscal nimbleness and vendor negotiation skills. The museum was fortunate to have her on the senior management team.” – Dr. David T. Terry, former Executive Director, Reginald F. Lewis Museum

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