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Manzanita Gathering Place

Every Gathering Place is special but the Manzanita Gathering Place will go down in history as our first ever project led by individuals trained in our methodology rather than led by us. With our mentorship, Pomegranate Center Fellows Graduates and ARTS (a partner organization located in the San Diego area and deeply trained in our methods) successfully transformed a neglected street end at the edge of a canyon into a beautiful space where community members can enjoy views of the sunset, meet informally, and organize neighborhood gatherings.

This is important because we now know that we can successfully teach others in our methods when we work alongside local organizations providing intensive trainings for individuals through realized projects that benefits the community.

Thanks to a generous 5-year grant from Paul Eichen and his ORCA Fund, we now have seed funding to initiate a similar three-fold approach of community-building work across the nation.

This three-fold approach will:

  • Transfer knowledge into the hands of local organizations (Pomegranate Center affiliate organizations) that adopt Pomegranate Center’s approach locally for the benefit of their community
  • Train interested individuals in the Pomegranate Center Process of community engagement with the goal in mind that they will become leaders of future community projects
  • Create significant gathering places and projects that typically take many years (and many tears) in 4-5 joyful months and with less bureaucratic red tape and less funds (a recent project had a budget of $110K, but was valued at $250K)

If your neighborhood or your city is ready for this type of work and can provide local funds to match please contact us.

If you would like to participate in our intensive Fellows Training Program or know of someone who would benefit from this experience, learn more here.

Recognizing the importance of collaboration and our ability to train others in this work, funder Paul Eichen explains his reasoning for providing Pomegranate Center with this generous 5-year grant:

We want to help you create a Pomegranate Center movement. Your arts-based method of collaborative community building is the best model we have ever encountered. It has become clear that what you have to teach can benefit communities all over the country. This grant will help you create a network of community builders versed in your methods and able to support each other in building communities for many years to come.

– Paul Eichen of the Rokenbok Foundation