Lisa Cookston, a native of Greenwood, was named Executive Director of the Museum of the Mississippi Delta this past January. Cookston spent her youth visiting the museum, formally called the Cottonlandia Musuem, and was proud to take the leadership reins. Cookston is a graduate of Pillow Academy and the University of Ole Miss where she obtained an English Literature degree. Upon graduation she worked in public relations and fundraising so the position with the museum was a perfect fit.
“After graduation from Ole Miss, I went to Jackson and worked for the March of Dimes and the Nature Conservancy,” says Cookston.
It was there she met her lawyer husband, Steven—a Monroe, Louisiana native. The Cookston’s moved to Las Vegas where Lisa worked with events planning, but they came back to the South to raise their impending family. Opportunities presented themselves and the couple settled in Greenwood in 1998.
Cookston’s career has included working as Lifestyles Editor for the Greenwood Commonwealth, Public Relations Director for Staplcotn, Greenwood Main Street Director, and she has served on the Greenwood City Council since 2009.
“I also taught at MDCC as an adjunct teaching beginning English Comp for seven years on both the Greenwood and Moorhead campuses,” says Cookston. “I’ve done a lot of different things, but when this position opened at the museum, I was eager to put my name in the running. I’ve always loved the museum. I’ve always worked on the membership/fundraising side, but there’s so much more to it I’m learning and its fascinating.”
Since Cookston arrived on board in January, she has been busy looking for grants to make the museum “more interactive and more immersive” as well as physically growing the space and seeking more Delta related exhibits and educational opportunities to tell the unique stories of the Mississippi Delta and Greenwood.
“Right now, I’m working summer discovery having children come for learning art and other learning experiences. I’m working on the next exhibit that will be announced soon and also a fundraiser. This is a museum for everyone in the area, and we want it to reflect the people that live here.”
Cookston says her free time used to be spent working out and reading, but these days she and her family enjoy traveling and learning more about Indian artifacts.