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Benjamin Garza previously worked at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon.

COURTESY PHOTO - Benjamin GarzaThe Washington County Museum has a new curator.

Benjamin Garza brings more than a decade of professional experience in museums to the job. The museum said in a statement that he has significant collections care and management experience, including cataloging, archival storage fabrication and methods, light and pest management, relocation and handling, and more.

Garza's engagement has included historic and contemporary objects, institutional accreditation exhibitions, cultural education programming, historical interpretation, and exhibitions in association with communities and national historic sites.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to tell truly great stories with the peoples of the past, present and future of Washington County in a dynamic and inclusive way that speaks to the depth and breadth of cultures," said Garza.

Local communities are "engaged in the fluxes of change and adaptation toward a mutual future of prosperity and continuity throughout the county," Garza said.

"Benjamin has experience with combining contemporary and historical points of view, thus making history relevant to our audiences," said Pamela Vorachek, the museum's executive director.

Garza is returning to Oregon for this position, having spent time here previously with family who live in the area and while completing a temporary position with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge USFWS. While at Malheur, Garza researched and produced an educational resource web page documenting the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) infrastructure programs at the Refuge from 1935-1942.

"I would like each community to find a sense of ownership and deep abiding attachment to the stories told here," Garza said. "They are yours and those of your forbearers and for each subsequent generation of new arrivals."

Garza holds a certificate in museum studies from Indiana University, a bachelor's degree in museum studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and a master's degree in arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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