Did you know that Philadelphia has one of the best Japanese gardens in North America? Shofuso Japanese House and Garden sits in Philadelphia's West Fairmount Park, which has had a continuous Japanese presence since the 1876 Centennial Exposition, when the first Japanese garden in North America was installed behind a small Japanese bazaar. Designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura, Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials. It was shipped to New York and exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art in New York before moving to its current location in 1958. The traditional and modern features of Shofuso and its collection were recently featured in the documentary Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia and an article in Nikkei Asia magazine.
Join the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia for a special lecture on this Pennsylvania gem by JASGP Executive Director Kim Andrews. Shofuso re-opens to visitors on March 20, and Ohanami events begin April 10. Philadelphia’s cherry trees generally bloom at the end of March through the end of April.
Kim Andrews is the executive director of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP). She negotiated and executed the merger of JASGP and Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (Shofuso) to form a $1+ million budget organization in 2016. JASGP administers Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, oversees the annual Philadelphia Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, leads the US-Japan Business & Public Policy series, and directs JASGP’s additional Japanese arts, business, and cultural educational programs. Kim holds a B.A. in Art History and French from Temple University, an M.A. in Preventive Conservation from Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.
A lifelong Philadelphian who was previously a preservation consultant to over fifty cultural heritage organizations, Kim is a founding board member and former president of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). She currently serves on the board of the Business Association of West Parkside.
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