The Patterson Foundation
Awards Gift to Embracing Our Differences
Embracing Our Differences provided transportation for more than 3,000 area students to experience a screening of “We the People,” one of the highlights of the Veterans Legacy Film Festival, which was part of The Patterson Foundation’s November 2014 Veterans Legacy Summit.
(Sarasota, FL) The Patterson Foundation bestowed a one-time gift of $20,000 to Embracing Our Differences for the organization’s help in providing transportation to more than 3,000 area school students to attend a screening of “We the People,” one of the highlights of the Veterans Legacy Film Festival. The festival was part of The Patterson Foundation’s 2014 Veterans Legacy Summit held in Sarasota in November. The multi-day event was the conclusion to years of The Patterson Foundation’s efforts on behalf of veterans and military families through its Military Initiative.
“The generous transportation support from Embracing Our Differences ensured thousands of students throughout our region experienced these important themes of diversity and inclusion featured in ‘We the People,'” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “In appreciation of their willingness to help area youth continue to challenge assumptions, we’re honoring Embracing Our Differences with this gift.”
Narrated by the iconic voices of Morgan Freeman and Kenny Rogers, “We the People” engages and inspires its audience to learn more about and participate in our democracy. “It’s one thing to read dry facts about the struggle for democracy in history books, and another to see the faces and hear the voices of the people who wrote, shaped and tested America’s founding documents,” says Michael Shelton, EOD’s executive director. “For more than a decade, Embracing Our Differences has provided unique opportunities for area students to experience regional arts and cultural events. This experience was clearly a highlight and we’re deeply grateful to The Patterson Foundation for making it possible.”
Since 2004, downtown Sarasota’s Island Park has been the backdrop for Embracing Our Differences’ colorful, larger-than-life canvases integrating powerful imagery and thought-provoking messages celebrating diversity. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow since its inception. In 2013, the organization marked its tenth anniversary with an expansion of the exhibit to Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton. The 2015 exhibition is set for March 29-May 31, in Sarasota’s Island Park and Bradenton’s Riverwalk. For more information about Embracing Our Differences, call 941-404-5710 or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
Embracing Our Differences’ other programs include:
- The “Make-a-Day-of-It!” program, providing free bus transportation for area students and teachers to the outdoor exhibit and to other cultural venues, including Florida Studio Theatre, Mote Marine Aquarium and Ringling Museum.
- An annual teacher workshop designed to provide teachers with a well-planned curriculum for use before, during and after their students’ visit to the annual exhibit.
- An art teacher retreat presented in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design, designed to reinvigorate teaching practices while inspiring teachers’ art and art integration skills.
About Embracing Our Differences
Embracing Our Differences is a project of Coexistence, Inc., a local non-profit that began in 2004. The project showcases a community-based outdoor exhibit promoting positive, inspirational artistic and verbal expressions of inclusion, acceptance and respect. The mission of Embracing Our Differences is to use the transformational power of the arts to educate and inspire to create a better world. For more information, visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.