|USDA, National China Garden Foundation Announce Appointment of Executive Director for Proposed Classical Chinese Garden in U.S. National Arboretum|
WASHINGTON, - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National China Garden Foundation (NCGF) today announced the appointment of Sandra L. Gibson as the first Executive Director for a proposed classical Chinese Garden in the U.S. National Arboretum. The USDA has worked in close partnership with NCGF to bring the 12 acre garden and future site of Chinese cultural programs to the National Arboretum.
Gibson, a native of Painesville, Ohio and internationally recognized cultural leader, previously served for eleven years as the president and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. She was also appointed to the U.S. Commission for UNESCO for four years and served on the Commission's Cultural Committee. Gibson currently serves as a senior artistic advisor to the China International Performing Arts Fair and Festival in Guangzhou, China.
Plans for a proposed garden are based on an original design developed by a team of designers from China. Current design plans include three main components including a small pond and traditional Chinese buildings with Ming- and Ching-style hardwood furniture, calligraphy and painting scrolls on the walls, and will feature a traditional boathouse adjacent to a 1.3-acre lake. The second component will be an enclosed are of the garden with a two-story teahouse and exhibit hall for paintings, calligraphy and other Chinese artwork. The third component will comprise a Peony Pavilion overlooking the garden; a Fragrance Pavilion, which will also house authentic Chinese goldfish; and a Whispering Pavilion, which will include a Chinese white pagoda.
Funding for the China Garden's original plans, design, art, plantings and labor have been generously donated by the People's Republic of China. The primary function of the NCFF and USDA partnership will be in the fundraising for and management of site preparation, maintenance endowment, cultural programs and celebrations, such as Chinese New Year and the Lunar Moon Festival. The National China Garden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in early 2011 to lead the fundraising, construction and cultural programming for the National China Garden.
The U.S. National Arboretum covers 446 acres in northeast Washington, D.C. It was established by an act of Congress in 1927 to conduct research, provide education and conserve and display trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to enhance the environment. It is operated by the Agricultural Research Service, USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.
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