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Goodbye and Hello

A Special Announcement From Pomegranate Center

In conjunction with celebrating our 30th anniversary, Pomegranate Center is excited to announce a key organizational transition and a new addition to our programs.

This week, Founder and Executive Director Milenko Matanovic moves out of his current role and into the role of Director Emeritus. Going forward, he will focus his time and energy on writing and speaking engagements, while continuing to conduct trainings and be involved in special consulting projects as needed.

Eric Higbee, Pomegranate Center’s Design Director, is stepping into the role of Executive Director after four years with the organization. He brings with him a decade’s worth of experience in landscape architecture and a passion for grassroots community organizing.

As a part of Milenko’s new role, he will also head up our newly founded Institute for Everyday Democracy. The institute is a place to exchange ideas, participate in discussions, and generate a body of thought about how we participate in our democracy. It is a natural extension of Milenko’s thirty years teaching communities how to work more collaboratively.

Reflecting on his nonprofit, its legacy, and its future, Milenko says, “Pomegranate Center is a small miracle, and I hope to encourage others to jump into small miracles of their own making.”


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The Institute for Everyday Democracy


As part of his transition into Executive Director Emeritus, Milenko Matanovic will lead the Institute for Everyday Democracy, housed within Pomegranate Center’s programs.The institute is a place to exchange ideas, participate in discussions, and generate a body of thought about how we participate in our democracy.

Check back soon for a complete webpage and more information.

A Note From Our Executive Director: Looking Back on 2016

Pomegranate Center’s expertise is to link places with constructive engagement of their users. Our placemaking focus is on outdoor social spaces, parks designed around community ideas and realized in a “barn-raising” spirit with many hands. We’ve completed over 50 such gathering places, each a classroom where we learned new lessons. Now, these teaching have coalesced into our well-tested Pomegranate Method that we are offering to new partners.

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Year-end Highlight: Highland Park Elementary

“I think that playgrounds should be renamed ‘research environments.’ This is what the children are doing so vigorously. They are not playing. They are finding out how the universe works.” – Buckminster Fuller, architect


In 2016, the Friends of Highland Park Elementary in West Seattle tasked Pomegranate Center to reimagine their asphalt playground into a place of nature, wonder, and exploration. More importantly, we were asked to convene a design process that involved the school’s community and students, recently ranked the second most diverse school of any age level in Washington State.

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Year-end Highlight: New Zealand Trainings

by Shalema Wanden-Hannay, Beacon Pathway Inc., and Kait Heacock

This year’s trainings work took Milenko down the West Coast–from Seattle to Ashland, OR to National City, CA–and all the way to Auckland, New Zealand, where he introduced our method for effective and joyful collaboration and welcomed a new group of trainees into our network of engaged, global citizens.

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