Portland Japanese Garden, a nonprofit cultural organization established more than a half century ago in the heart of southwest Portland – is humbled and overjoyed to announce it is a chosen recipient of $20,000 from The Oregon Heritage Grant Program. This gift will directly help Portland Japanese Garden improve and administer an authentic, world-class Japanese garden by adding educational and informational elements to enhance the visitor experience.
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Since the 2017 completion of the Cultural Crossing at Portland Japanese Garden, the Garden’s number one goal has been to provide a diverse audience with the highest quality immersive experience possible.
“Research collected since the expansion tells us that visitors want us to help them learn the many and varied lessons the garden has to teach. Visitors are less familiar with the culture and history of a Japanese garden and are now, more than ever – seeking background information,” said Cynthia Haruyama, Deputy Director of Portland Japanese Garden, “So an educational project was identified to directly improve the visitor experience based on an extensive study.”
This project will give the Garden’s increased visitors the opportunity to see the depth of information, culture, tradition, and craft within the Garden. The project elements, which will be directly funded by the Oregon Heritage Grant Program – includes the purchase of personal headset touring devices, a user-friendly map, interactive online content, creation of pictograms, and the design of interpretive signs utilizing traditional Japanese formats.
“Our visitors come to experience the beauty, the history, and the lessons of Portland Japanese Garden. And while the gardens themselves are beautiful, the information around them has been fairly scarce,” said Haruyama. “This transformational grant from Oregon Heritage Foundation allows us to unlock the potential of a more robust visitor experience to directly improve each person’s visit here. We are very grateful.”
Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. It has become a global destination for Japanese art, nature, and peace in Portland, Oregon. It is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.
By creating exposure to centuries-old practices that continue in Japan today, Portland Japanese Garden encourages all who visit to consider how our society is enriched by exposure to other cultures.
Oregon Heritage Grant funds support projects for the conservation, development and interpretation of Oregon’s cultural heritage. Priority is given to projects that preserve, develop or interpret threatened heritage resources and/or heritage resources of statewide significance. Grants are submitted through the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Grants program.