Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuk
Cultural Resources Manager, Five Oaks Museum
Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuk (she/hers) is the Cultural Resources Manager at Five Oaks Museum, where she cares for the museum’s collection and archive of approximately 100,000 cultural heritage items. She was primarily brought into this role to oversee the museum’s decolonization work, as it transitions from a pioneer museum into a culturally responsive organization that uplifts underrepresented perspectives. She also oversees the newly launched Guest Curator program, which decentralizes the museum's authority in favor of community members to assure that the stories of the region are told authentically and equitably. Previously, she served as Associate Curator at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, where she oversaw temporary and permanent exhibitions about Latinx history, art, and culture. While there, she curated the community collecting and exhibition project "afroLAtinidad: mi casa, my city" (opened in February 2020). While earning her M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco, Mariah focused on the impact culturally specific museums have on the communities they serve. The research culminated in an educational program that provides eighth graders with age-appropriate methods of activism. As a museum professional, Mariah seeks ways to incorporate more social justice and social practice into her work, as well as methods to make museums as inclusive and accessible as possible. A key belief in her work is the power of art, history, and community to effect lasting social transformation. Originally from Tucson, Arizona (Bear Down!), Mariah now resides in Portland, Oregon with her partner Theo and their rescue dog Macy. Before moving to Portland, Mariah was active with her temple, IKAR, and volunteered as the Justice team leader for the temple’s young adult group. She is a baking enthusiast who also enjoys thrifting, video chatting with her nieces and nephew, and exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.