Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary
Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary
Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary
Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary
Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary

January 2010 – 2024

Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary

The Purpose

Our nation's national cemeteries are the final resting places for men and women who served our country with unmatched valor. Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida, features commissioned art that honors veterans, inspires patriotism, and embraces freedom. The space is a place of peace and reflection and exists for our community to honor veterans through ceremonies and events for generations to come. Patriot Plaza was dedicated and donated to the National Cemetery Administration on June 28, 2014, in front of more than 3,000 community members and dignitaries.

Strengthening the Impact

The Patterson Foundation worked closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration on the design and construction of Patriot Plaza — the first time private philanthropy collaborated with the agency to complete an enhancement of this complexity. Fully funded by The Patterson Foundation, the $12 million Patriot Plaza is a model for other communities with national cemeteries and promotes the National Cemetery Administration’s burial services for eligible veterans and family members. Less than 20 percent of those eligible use the burial benefits — whether they pass away in service or decades later.


PATRIOT PLAZA’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

The Patterson Foundation will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Patriot Plaza's 2014 dedication with a free special event. For a decade, the Plaza has been a cornerstone in The Patterson Foundation's legacy initiatives, attracting visitors with its grand architecture, symbolic artwork, and compelling documentary photography. This landmark continues to be a beacon of The Patterson Foundation's early and generous support.

The artwork invites visitors to observe, through various mediums of commissioned art—bronze, mosaic, and photography—our nation’s struggles and victories dating from the 1860s American Civil War through Desert Storm.

The Plaza’s amphitheater provides shade and a respectful, peaceful space to reflect on the artwork and think quietly about the service and sacrifice of protecting our nation’s freedom. Register here to join The Patterson Foundation in celebrating Patriot Plaza’s 10th Anniversary on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Sarasota National Cemetery. The Prelude begins at 10:30. The Celebration is from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Volunteers and directional signs will guide guests to parking spaces. Grass parking is prohibited at Sarasota National Cemetery. Please plan to arrive early and carpool if convenient.

FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why does The Patterson Foundation support the Patriot Plaza initiative?

The Patterson Foundation’s investment in Patriot Plaza honors the Patterson family’s history of military service as well as the service and sacrifice of all our nation’s veterans and their families. The donation serves to strengthen the way our region honors people who served in our nation’s armed forces.

When was the dedication of Patriot Plaza?

On June 28, 2014, Patriot Plaza was dedicated and generously donated to the National Cemetery Administration. The ceremony drew over 3,000 community members and dignitaries, creating a memorable occasion.

When is Patriot Plaza's 10th Anniversary Celebration?

The Patterson Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of Patriot Plaza will be held at the Sarasota National Cemetery on Saturday, March 2, 2024, from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
This free celebration will feature:
  • The Ditchfield Family Singers and patriotic sing-a-longs
  • Keynote thoughts from COL Linda Gould, US Army (Retired)
  • Impact quotes shared by Maverick Johnson, CTQ host of Maverick and Lulu in the Morning
  • The Mighty Sarasota Military Academy Drumline

This celebration is open to our community. RSVP here.

Parking volunteers and directional signs will guide guests to parking spaces. Grass parking is prohibited at Sarasota National Cemetery. Please plan to arrive early and carpool if convenient.

How was the National Cemetery Administration involved in the Patriot Plaza initiative?

The Patterson Foundation worked closely with National Cemetery Administration officials to help Patriot Plaza become a reality. This engagement was the first time a private foundation partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to work on an enhancement of this complexity at a national cemetery. The collaborative model is being shared with communities and with national cemeteries that may be interested in exploring how they can develop their own partnerships with the National Cemetery Administration.

What is the impact of The Patterson Foundation’s donation of Patriot Plaza?

  • Ceremonial Amphitheater — Patriot Plaza is a tangible outcome for our community that has never before had a space dedicated to ceremonies and events honoring veterans and their families. It is a place for the community to take pride in and use for generations to come.
  • Partnership Model — The Patterson Foundation is sharing its public-private partnership model with other communities nationwide. The lessons learned from this project will hopefully help others navigate similar philanthropic partnerships.
  • Economic Impact — Labor and materials associated with Patriot Plaza had more than a $3 million economic impact on our region.
  • Commissioned Art — More than $2 million in art installations at Patriot Plaza provide our region with ways to experience the challenges and sacrifices of military service. In addition, The Patterson Foundation led the development of a program to train Patriot Plaza Guides to give tours in partnership with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.
  • Education — Patriot Plaza is among the explorations listed on EdExploreSRQ.com, an online tool tying community experiential learning opportunities with state and national education standards. The Patterson Foundation created EdExploreSRQ in partnership with Sarasota County Schools.
  • Tourist Attraction — Patriot Plaza is one of Sarasota’s must-see destinations.

Learn more about Patriot Plaza’s impact through the latest report by The Patterson Foundation.

Who can I contact about the Patriot Plaza initiative?

For inquiries, contact initiative consultant Victoria Finley: VFinleyTPF@gmail.com.

Additional FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about the Patriot Plaza amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida...

How do I schedule an event at Patriot Plaza?

The first step in planning any event at Patriot Plaza is to contact the Director of Sarasota National Cemetery, 941-922-7200, after you have reviewed the Patriot Plaza Event Hosting Guidelines. Expenses related to hosting events at Patriot Plaza are the responsibility of the event sponsors.

How do I tour Patriot Plaza?

Patriot Plaza is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. Weekly tours of Patriot Plaza take place on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. except for federal holidays. Participants should meet at the east entrance of Patriot Plaza near the bronze sculpture “Home,“ which depicts nesting eagles.

To schedule a group or school tour, please contact the Patriot Plaza Tour Coordinator at the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County: patriotplaza@sarasotaarts.org or call 941-365-5118 x305.

Teachers and Home-Schoolers can learn more about school trips, including curricular materials and lesson plans by visiting the Patriot Plaza EdExplorations listed on EdExploreSRQ.com. These field trips are focused on Grades 4-12. The Patterson Foundation funds transportation to Patriot Plaza for all schools in Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

What are the features of Patriot Plaza?

Patriot Plaza provides a place to conduct ceremonies honoring veterans and their families. The amphitheater includes an 80-foot-tall stainless steel flagpole, a rostrum that is large enough to accommodate a 55-piece orchestra, and a covered seating area for up to 2,800 people. Learn about Patriot Plaza’s 10 key features and see their locations shown on a map of the facility.

Who was on the team that designed, constructed, and donated Patriot Plaza?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with The Patterson Foundation, its volunteer construction and art advisory groups, and paid architecture, design, art, and legal professionals poured over countless hours of concepts and details to ensure Patriot Plaza’s excellence. The Patterson Foundation donated the facility to the National Cemetery Administration and has endowed its upkeep for future generations.

The Patterson Foundation Construction Team

Volunteer Advisors

  • Construction Advisory Group of industry experts
    • Billy Springer
    • Cliff Truitt
    • John Peshkin
    • Shawn McIntyre
  • Art Advisory Group of industry experts
    • Kenny Irby
    • Robin Nigh
    • Mark Ormond

What artwork is featured at Patriot Plaza?

The art installations at Patriot Plaza are some of the space's most inspiring and touching features:
  • “Testimonies” by Larry Kirkland
  • “Witness to Mission” by Larry Kirkland and Kenny Irby
  • “Home” by Ann Hirsch
  • “Guardian Eagles” by Pablo Eduardo
  • “Night to Day, Here and Away” by Ellen Driscoll
  • “Star Map” fabricated by Creative Edge Master Shop

See photos and learn about these six art installations and the artists.

With a goal to preserve memory through art, the installations honor the men and women who serve and their families, while communicating their stories to future generations.

Who can I contact about the Patriot Plaza amphitheater?

For national inquiries, contact senior consultant Michael Corley: mcorley@thepattersonfoundation.org.

For local inquiries, contact Patriot Plaza initiative lead Linda Gould: llgouldsrq@gmail.com.

Watch the Patriot Plaza Community Dedication held on June 28, 2014.
(total time: 1 hour 28 minutes)


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