Study Codifies Positive Impact of Pomegranate Center’s Art-based Community Building Methodology
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Issaquah, WA — September 30, 2014 — An 11-month independent evaluative study of Issaquah-based Pomegranate Center’s gathering place methodology shows increased community safety, more neighborhood involvement, and stronger sense of ownership among residents. Pomegranate Center is a non-profit organization that uses creative placemaking as a way to build community strength and capacity.
The chief findings of this study are that community members involved in designing and building a Pomegranate Center-facilitated project are much more engaged, participatory, and optimistic about their neighborhoods. In particular, those involved say that their communities have a strengthened sense of community identity and individuals report a renewed belief in their neighborhood’s resourcefulness.
Highlights of the study include:
- 80% of participants agree that the neighborhood has a “stronger sense of ownership”
- 77% participants agree “the community is safer”
- 69% of participants are more likely to discuss community issues as a result of participating in the project
- 62% of the participants are more involved in their neighborhood
Every Pomegranate Center project addresses a wide range of goals, including improving local character, contributing to a sense of place, and above all, stimulating community connections to build social capital and healthier neighborhoods. Pomegranate Center does this through a unique combination of community input, community design, community building, and community maintenance, creating connections and collaboration at every step of the way.
In 2012, Pomegranate Center partnered with other nonprofit organizations in San Diego to launch the multi-year San Diego Gathering Place Initiative, which included intensive training of the Pomegranate model and subsequent construction of two gathering places. Organizations involved expressed positive outcomes similar to the community participants including coming away with tactics useful for their own work, expanded networks and strategies for community engagement, a willingness to participate in civic discourse, and skills in volunteer coordination.
The report determined that Pomegranate Center’s model can be successfully learned and applied by teams of local organizations and creative leaders.
For 28 years, Pomegranate Center has empowered neighbors to come together to design and build gathering spaces. Pomegranate Center’s unique style of community building combines a creative approach with effective community planning, broad public participation, hands-on learning and leadership development. Recognized for success in transforming and connecting communities, Pomegranate Center now shares this work with as many communities as possible.
Contact: Liz St. Andre, Communications Manager, Pomegranate Center Liz@pomegranate.org
1400 NW Maple St, Issaquah WA 98027
(425) 557-6412 ###