The Boeing Company announced today that it contributed a leadership gift of $1.5 million to build Xi Hua Yuan, the Seattle Chinese Garden at South Seattle Community College. The Boeing gift brings the total funds raised for the garden to $3.3 million of the $6.3 million needed for the Phase I capital campaign.
"The Seattle Chinese Garden acknowledges the importance of Asia and its people to our Northwest region and demonstrates our community's long-term ties in trade and culture," said John Warner, Boeing senior vice president and chief administrative officer, in announcing the contribution. "The garden also strengthens the Asian studies programs at colleges and schools, and is an opportunity for all Northwest citizens to learn more about Asian culture. We believe this cultural center deserves a broad base of business and community support."
In acknowledgement of this gift, the Seattle Chinese Garden Society's President, Jim Dawson thanked John Warner. "We greatly appreciate this extraordinary gift from The Boeing Company. It represents a significant commitment to Chinese-Americans and to Chinese culture, and secures the future of the Seattle Chinese Garden," he said.
Dawson added that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which helped dedicate the Song Mei Pavilion earlier this fall, supports the garden. "The wife of Ambassador Zhaoxing Li described the garden site as the most beautiful she has seen in North America," he said. "Our location in West Seattle takes advantage of spectacular views of downtown Seattle and the Cascade Mountains."
When it is completed, the six-acre classical Chinese garden will be both a garden and a cultural center that can help educate the public about China. Pavilions and halls located throughout will provide indoor and outdoor gathering places for the celebration of life and the enjoyment of Chinese culture and the arts of music, dance and painting.
Phase I construction plans call for grading and installation of the water system, a formal gate, courtyards and an elegant hall suitable for hosting visiting trade delegations and community celebrations. Garden plans for the campaign's second phase include a series of garden pavilions - ranging in size from small and rustic to a majestic three-story cloud pavilion - all true to the classical styles found in Chongqing, Seattle's Sister City, and in Sichuan Province.
The Seattle Chinese Garden Society was incorporated as a non-profit in 1989. Its mission is to increase understanding of Chinese art and culture, educate students about China and Asia, and create a place of beauty in Seattle where visitors can find peace and rejuvenation of spirit. For more information about the Society's Capital Campaign or docent tours of the Song Mei Pavilion, call the Seattle Chinese Garden Society at (206) 282-8040.