Mission Statement

In 2004 I began drawing from the inspiration of my surroundings to reach out in a personal way for a more empathetic and compassionate world. I created The Patton Stiftung Sustainable Trust as a natural progression of the enduring peace which my grandfather George S. Patton Jr. helped restore to Europe in 1945.

Our aim is to nurture constructive, sustainable culture: Providing contexts where difficulties can be worked out and dissonance celebrated. The region of Europe I live in and work from, right on the border between France and Germany, has witnessed a renaissance of intercultural cooperation between former enemies providing the very thing that will ensure that this time the marriage can last.
When I landed in Saarland in 1995, I felt as though I was in no man’s land. It gradually began to sink in that I was actually living in what my grandfather had referred to the "Mud and Blood of the Saar," where so much brutal fighting had taken place it seems miraculous that it now provides example to the world that peace is possible. Today I see the Saar-Lor-Lux region as "Everyman’s land". Can it serve as a model elsewhere? Yes, I believe it can. For with each shared project comes a lessening of the borders of the mind. Tolerance is a pressure cooker; a "ceasefire." Peace must be where we feel at home.

To quote an Israeli student who was part of a mixed group we brought together from Gaza to deal with the conflict artistically: "It will be hard to kill someone you have written a song with."

The Patton Stiftung: Sustainable Trust supports diverse projects from visual arts and crossover performance events to innovative workshops and seminars whose topics range from the arts and humanities to holistic healing.

In my native USA, The extended Patton family provides respite to veterans and active duty soldiers and running a family archive on the grounds of my famous grandfather's estate, which my late father had the presence of mind to transform into a highly successful organic farm. Now overseen by my mother Joanne Holbrook Patton and her fantastic team of agriculturalists and historians, Green Meadows Farm provides a tremendous centering to the community literally "turning swords into ploughshares."

The aim of any work I do is to seek non-violent solutions to inevitable conflict. "We can’t relate to someone fully until we accept them fully, and we cannot expect acceptance unless we invest in the relationship. So we acknowledge counterpoint, provide context, allow conflict, and ultimately reveal complementarity.

"How can my enemy be my friend?"

Helen Patton, Founder