Museum Expands Staff, Sets Stage for Future Growth

Museum Hires Director of Marketing, Associate Director of Development and Assistant Curator; Rolls Out New Exhibitions, Programs and Strategic Initiatives for the Fall Season

September 20, 2013 (Baltimore) – The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture looks forward to the future as it adds to its senior leadership team and curatorial staff. The museum welcomes Helen Yuen, Director of Marketing; D’ana Downing, Associate Director of Development; and Asantewa Boakyewa, Assistant Curator. The museum is pleased to expand its staff as it launches its series of fall programs. A season highlight is its partnership with Wells Fargo to present the world renowned exhibition The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect, on view November 2, 2013 – March 2, 2014. In addition, the museum hosts a Black Memorabilia Collector’s Fair and a Breast Cancer Health Forum, both of which take place during Baltimore’s Free Fall Weekend, October 12 – 13, 2013. Starting October 1, 2013, selections from the museum’s collection will be on display at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

“We are thrilled to have these new staff members on board with us,” says Dr. Skipp Sanders, executive director. “Our institution is fortunate to be in a position to broaden our team. We look forward to strengthening our ties to the community, building relationships with our supporters, and sharing our collection more widely.”

Helen Yuen brings over 15 years of experience helping nonprofits raise their visibility and engage supporters. Her studies in visual art, music, and public policy have led her to a career in marketing and communications at the Kennedy Center, the Council on International Educational Exchange in Rome, Italy and the UNESCO Latin American & Caribbean Headquarters in Santiago, Chile. At Grameen Foundation, her role in internet marketing helped raise nearly $1 million online and retain visibility after board member Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Most recently, she was Marketing Director at the Creative Alliance. She holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

D’ana Downing was selected as Associate Director of Development. Downing brings a decade of fundraising experience that includes working with local and national nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she served as Development Manager at Playworks Maryland where she focused on annual giving, major gifts and special events. Prior to working for Playworks, she was the Special Events & Communications Coordinator for Interfaith Works, Rockville, MD; Assistant Director of Advancement at Marian House, Baltimore, MD; and Alumni Relations Assistant at Washington College of Law, Washington, DC. Downing’s career in development began at The Ellington Fund, the fundraising arm for Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. where she helped to establish the Performance of Legends benefit concerts. She holds a M.S. in Organizational Development and Nonprofit Management from Trinity University and a B.A. from the University of the District of Columbia.

Asantewa Boakyewa has worked with educational and non-profit institutions in Baltimore and Washington D.C. Prior to her role as Assistant Curator, Boakyewa was Administrator of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Africana Studies, and previously worked as a Library Specialist for their Diaspora Pathways Archival Access Project. She recently curated the exhibition Making It Work: Emerging African American Women Artists at the Banneker-Douglass Museum and served as Curatorial Assistant for the exhibition Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists, curated by Dr. Michelle Joan Wilkinson, director of collections & exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Boakyewa holds a B.A. in History, African American concentration, from Morgan State University.

About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is Baltimore’s premier facility highlighting the history and accomplishments of African Americans with a special focus on Maryland’s African American community. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum is the East Coast’s largest African American museum occupying an 82,000 square-foot facility with ample permanent and special exhibition space, interactive learning environments, auditorium, resource center, oral history recording studio, museum shop, café, classrooms, meeting rooms, outside terrace and reception areas. The museum is located near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at the corner of Pratt and President Streets. The museum is also accessible on Baltimore’s Charm City Circulator Orange and Green Routes. For more information, please call 443-263-1800 or visit www.lewismuseum.org. ###