This fall, Jack Sustic retires from the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum after many years of service. In honor of the Museum’s 40th anniversary and in celebration of Jack’s retirement, friends, colleagues and other admirers are invited to make a special contribution to the National Bonsai Foundation (NBF) as a tribute to Jack’s legacy.
“Like me, you have undoubtedly been touched over the years by Jack Sustic’s devotion to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum and to the larger bonsai community,” said NBF President Felix Laughlin. “Since the day I met Jack 20 years ago, I have marveled at his commitment to caring for the trees in the national collection and to spreading John Naka’s and Saburo Kato’s message of peace throughout the U.S. and around the world.”
Contributions in Jack’s honor will enable NBF to address the Museum’s educational needs including interpretative signage for the collections and other important projects as the Museum heads into its next 40 years.
To kick off the initiative, NBF Director Marybel Balendonck has pledged an inaugural gift of $4,000. As a longtime friend and admirer, Marybel understands Jack’s long history and leadership in the bonsai community.
That history began when Jack arrived at the National Museum & Penjing Museum in 1996 as an intern sponsored by NBF. He was later appointed Gardener and then Assistant Curator of the Museum before being named Supervisory Curator in 2002. (He left in 2005 to spend time with family, before returning in 2008).
Under his leadership, the Museum:
· Hosted the 5th World Bonsai Convention.
· Worked with NBF to launch the First Curator’s Apprenticeship intern program to train the next generation of bonsai curators.
· Helped to make World Bonsai Day a traditional event within the bonsai community of the United States, so that it is now celebrated across the country.
· Organized diverse exhibitions displaying the Museum’s storied trees and exceptional stones.
· Hosted countless dignitaries from around the world including the Yamaki family who donated to the Museum a nearly 400-year-old tree that survived Hiroshima.
· Organized a Network of Bonsai Curators across the country.
· Created the Museum’s annual National Bonsai Hall of Fame Award to honor individuals who have contributed to the advancement of bonsai in the United States.
· Completed the reconstruction of the Museum’s Japanese Pavilion, scheduled to open next year.
Most importantly, Jack, his staff and volunteers have ensured the health and well being of the more than 150 trees in the Museum’s permanent collection.
To participate in honoring Jack’s legacy, please contact Johann Klodzen at 202-396-3510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.