Patriot Plaza: An Inspirational Walk

October 29 Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County & The Patterson Foundation
Inspirational Walk • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM • Patriot Plaza

Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery
9810 State Road 72 (Clark Road), Sarasota, FL 34241

OPEN HOUSE at Patriot Plaza  An Inspirational Walk: Patriotism Through Art and Architecture  will showcase the outdoor art museum including the amphitheater and five large public artworks by four nationally known artists. Each attendee’s Inspirational Walk will focus on the meaning of the artworks. Individual musicians and speakers will perform short meaningful patriotic music and speeches to enhance the ambience at various intervals. Veterans, families, educators, students, and all community members are welcomed to attend!

Sarasota National Cemetery is one of nine national cemeteries currently in Florida. The 295-acre site in the Sarasota will serve veterans’ needs for the next 50 years. The first burials at Sarasota National Cemetery were in January 2009. The Community Dedication of Patriot Plaza took place in June 2014 and tours began shortly after.

Sarasota National Cemetery is designed to serve as a place of peace and reflection for veterans’ families. The Patterson Foundation partnered with the Veterans Affairs – National Cemetery Administration to create the ceremonial amphitheater and art installations. Patriot Plaza honors veterans, inspires patriotism and embraces freedom with seating for 2,800 and art installations illustrating the service and sacrifice of America’s heroes and military families.

Patriot Plaza is a place for the living to honor and celebrate. The art installations tell stories. It showcases the military experience which is consistent through time and yet changing. Four artists were commissioned to create the art that honors and celebrates veterans and their families. This art collection is unique to national cemeteries – it introduces documentary photography for the first time. The words and images of veterans and their families will speak to future generations through this art in perpetuity.

Patriot Plaza’s design was honored in June 2016 at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gulf Coast Design Awards Gala. Patriot Plaza won the Juried and People’s Choice Spirit of Sarasota architecture awards in this local-level competition. Additionally, it was voted in July 2016 as one of the top three winning buildings recognized in the Florida Association of the AIA People’s Choice Competition, a state-level competition. Gary Hoyt, of Hoyt Architects in Sarasota, is the design architect.

The Patterson Foundation (TPF) is a $200 million private foundation launched in 2010. Much of the foundation’s work involves creating platforms of collaboration where they facilitate ways that entities can work better by working together. TPF embraces the following values:

  • Partner with others to amplify their impact
  • Believe meaningful change requires commitment and persistence
  • Integrate thrivability into everything they do

The partnership to create Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery is part of TPF’s Legacy Initiatives, which honor the Patterson family. TPF took on this first-of-a-kind partnership with the National Cemetery Administration because it provided an opportunity to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom, building a legacy for generations to come.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County was asked to partner with TPF to create the tours and train the tour guides for Patriot Plaza in 2014. In two years tours have been created for the public, civic groups, veterans groups, and students in grades 4-12.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance is a member-powered organization that serves as the face and voice for arts and culture in Sarasota county. The Alliance works to ensure arts and culture remain essential to the continuing development of a vibrant, creative community. This is achieved through arts advocacy, education and community outreach.

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