Through a partnership between journalism and philanthropy, Aspirations Journalism is an initiative to share information and engage communities through stories that encourage people to be part of the solution and take action. While examining relevant social issues, Aspirations Journalism focuses on motivating, innovating and collaborating through the lenses of The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives: Age-Friendly Sarasota, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition and its work with the National Council on Aging.
The Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life initiative explores the realities of this phenomenon by connecting with experts and efforts underway to understand its effects. As it learns from their research and experience, The Patterson Foundation aspires to share its findings in various ways, including the creation of a repository of science-based, easily accessible data on rising water levels in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.
In 2014, through a first-of-its-kind partnership, The Patterson Foundation donated Patriot Plaza — a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida — to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Patterson Foundation connects the community, including schools in Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, with Patriot Plaza by working with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, which facilitates Patriot Plaza Tours and EdExploreSRQ EdExplorations. The Patterson Foundation realized that the primary concern for educators when selecting any EdExploration is transportation funding. As a result, The Patterson Foundation began funding these field trips to Patriot Plaza for any school in the four-county area.
Fifty-three acres of bayfront in Sarasota, Florida, are designated for legacy development. The Patterson Foundation initially supported the work of this multi-sector community strengthening effort by providing expertise to the team of volunteers who developed the framework to create the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization. Following the positive response from Sarasota City Commissioners in 2016, The Patterson Foundation expanded its support by providing catalytic funding and consulting support benefiting the planning organization’s formation and work. With its continuing interest in helping the community achieve its aspirations through The Bay, the foundation has engaged a consultant to provide strategic expertise to the master-planning process.