Portland Japanese Garden - Past, Present, & Future
Speaker: Steve Bloom
Steve Bloom, Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Japanese Garden, will speak about the Garden’s 54-year history and its recently-completed Cultural Crossing expansion project. He will talk about the timeless relevance and continuity of design between the five original gardens by P. Takuma Tono and the new buildings designed by internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma and the new gardens designed by the Garden’s Curator, Sadafumi Uchiyama.
Steve Bloom has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005. Beginning early in his tenure, Bloom led the formation of a comprehensive ten-year strategic plan which was completed in December of 2016 and that has been transformational in its scope and impact on the Garden.
Under Bloom’s leadership, the Garden has seen strong organizational growth and increased financial stability. He oversaw the completion of a $33.5 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, and has dramatically increased national and international visibility and recognition.
In 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was awarding the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in Honor of the 70th anniversary of the End of World War II. The award was given to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the United States. Steve Bloom was awarded this prestigious recognition along with only 27 other individuals.
Bloom was a 2008-09 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, and concurrently served as Visiting Scholar at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Following his fellowship in Japan, Bloom led an effort to create the North American Japanese Garden Initiative and Association (NAJGA) of which he served as its Founding Board President.
Presented by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Bloom is the recent recipient of the “2017 Portland Award” recognizing greatest overall contribution to the promotion of Portland’s visitor industry.