For Immediate Release
January 4, 2019
Media Contact
LaDawn Black
(443) 263-1812

Wanda Draper Ends Her Successful Run
As Executive Director of the Lewis Museum

Baltimore, Maryland – January 4, 2019 – It is with mixed emotions that the Maryland African American Museum Corporation (MAAMC) Board of Directors announces the retirement of Wanda Draper as the Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Lewis Museum), effective February 12, 2019.

During her tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Draper assembled a management team focused on a culture of excellence. The museum increased annual revenue four-fold, increased membership and visitation, and presented a number of successful exhibitions including: Maryland Collects: Jacob Lawrence, Reflections of Baltimore, Baltimore’s Arabbers: Calls from a City Street, Remnants of Hatred: Slavery Artifacts Today, Hateful Things, and Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist.

As Executive Director, Ms. Draper transformed the Lewis Museum into a gathering space for important conversations, lectures, and presentations on topics of importance and relevance to the citizens of Baltimore and the larger statewide community.  Program highlights include: Talks and Thoughts: Statues and Monuments Really Do Matter, Black Girls Rock, and Unpacking Hateful Things and Racial Biases. Ms. Draper also established several successful corporate and educational partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, Whiting Turner, T. Rowe Price, Johns Hopkins University, and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Wanda Draper has put Maryland’s premier African American Museum on a trajectory of success, but in her words, “it is time to pass the torch which is burning brightly.”

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jackie Copeland, the Museum’s Director of Education and Visitor Services, has agreed to serve as Interim Director. Ms. Copeland has more than 30 years of experience managing museum operations around the nation including serving as Deputy Director of Audience Engagement at the Walters Art Museum.


The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture is the authentic source for history and culture from the African American perspective. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum engages visitors through its permanent and special exhibitions, resource center, as well as programs such as its film series, live music performances, and family programming. For more information visit and follow us on IG/ Twitter @lewismuseum.