As we all know, when COVID-19 hit, everything began to whirl. In response, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) established the philosophy of Cope  → Adapt → Innovate for how it works in community and each of its initiatives. As schools became virtual classrooms, EdExplorations and Patriot Plaza tours at Sarasota National Cemetery ceased. Using imagination combined with a possibility mindset, TPF partnered with The Collaboratory at Ringling College of Art and Design to create a virtual tour of Patriot Plaza to ensure the public could still experience this lasting tribute.


Vividly illustrating its commissioned artwork and significance, those taking the Patriot Plaza Virtual Tour will come away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for America’s veterans and military families. Additionally, participants can request a live, virtual Q&A session with Patriot Plaza Guides through the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, which coordinates all guided tours. The inaugural launch of this unique opportunity recently took place. Military veterans/guides Frank Quinn and Bob Arnet inspired Pine View School students taking seventh-grade Civics and eleventh-grade U.S. History. Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County Communications Director, Samantha Wuerful, effectively turned the Alliance conference room into a recording studio, complete with lighting and a beautiful photo of Patriot Plaza as the guides’ Zoom background.

Special thanks to Pine View School's Mrs. Carol LaValle who was so impressed by the new virtual tour that she quickly signed up. Her classes, a hybrid of in-person and virtual students, logged onto Zoom to watch the Patriot Plaza Virtual Tour with the guides. After the video, students asked them questions about their military service experience and Patriot Plaza. The result was an exciting and heartwarming experience for everyone involved.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County looks forward to hosting many more live Zoom Q&A sessions with Patriot Plaza Guides, even after in-person tours resume. The new opportunity to connect and share is only the beginning. Please click here to request a live Zoom Q&A with Patriot Plaza Guides.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.