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Japanese Gardens: Peacemaking Through Culture, Art and Nature – A conversation with Steve Bloom, CEO of Portland Japan Garden

October 25 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


*Hybrid Event

When we are in nature, our pace slows, a feeling of comfort comes over us, and our bodies relax. Japanese gardens are designed to capture natural elements in their ideal form, creating spaces for empathy and connection in our modern world.

On October 25th, the Japan Society of Northern California will be hosting a special program featuring Steve Bloom, CEO of Portland Japanese Garden and Japan Institute, to explore the evolving role of public spaces as a platform for cultural diplomacy, meaningful dialogue, and community engagement. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, attracting nearly half a million visitors a year from all around the globe. Founded as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II, Portland Japanese Garden is often referred to as a case study of how a public garden could make a transformational impact on society through cultural diplomacy. Bloom, is a recipient of multiple accolades for his contributions that transcend borders, including the Foreign Ministers’ Commendation from the Foreign Ministry of Japan. His vision for excellence, inclusion, and collaboration has not only brought world-class design to Oregon and North America, but has inspired dialogue between peoples and across cultures about the importance of culture, art, and nature in bringing lasting harmony and peace to ourselves and each other.

Date & Time:
Wednesday, October 25th, 2023, 4PM PST
Registration for in-person participants starts at 3:30pm.

Werqwise SF | 149 New Montgomery Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105


*Zoom link for online participants provided upon registration.

Admission: FREE, but advance registration is required (Registration dead line : 8/29/2023)





Stephen D. Bloom | CEO, Portland Japanese Garden

Steve Bloom has been CEO of Portland Japanese Garden and Japan Institute since 2005. Beginning early in his tenure, Bloom led the formation of a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan, which has been transformational in its scope and impact. Bloom oversaw the completion of a $37 million expansion of the Garden and its facilities, created a curatorial department, expanded and improved programs in culture, art, and education, established an International Japanese Garden Training Center, formed an International Advisory Board, oversaw the launch of Japan Institute in 2022, and has dramatically increased national and international recognition for both Portland Japanese Garden and Japan Institute. To learn more about Bloom, see here.







October 25
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


149 New Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
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