Milenko Matanovic, Executive Director
Milenko is a community builder and a visual artist with a professional career and international reputation spanning 40 years. As founding director of Pomegranate Center, he has created an arena in which art, public participation and community betterment converge.
Milenko facilitates the conception and construction of open-air gathering places. He involves community members in all phases of these projects, from generation of initial concept, through construction and stewardship. He has also collaborated with artist James Hubbell in leading architecture students from four countries in creating parks in China, Russia, Mexico and the United States.
Milenko is a skilled facilitator helping people of divergent views solve common problems. He has designed and facilitated strategic planning sessions, leadership summits, and design workshops for dozens of communities regionally, nationally and internationally. His work at Pomegranate Center has brought people and communities together to create and identify cultural, environmental and social priorities in community development. His services have been used by the US Department of Energy, Washington State government agencies, municipal governments in USA and Canada, neighborhood groups and non-profits.
Milenko is a popular public speaker and has made presentations at numerous events and conferences throughout the USA and Canada, including keynotes for Downtown Revitalization Training Institute, Association of Washington Cities Annual Conference, Livable Communities Coalition, Conference on Leadership and Innovation for Urban Sustainability, University of Wisconsin, WI, University of Washington, Urban Land Institute, and the American Institute of Architects. He is an author of three books. The most recent, Multiple Victories: Pomegranate Center’s Art of Creating Community-Built Gathering Places, describes his philosophy and working methods.
Milenko is an honorary professor of the Vladivostok Polytechnic University. In 2009 he was honored with the Bill Grace Leadership Legacy Award from the Center for Ethical Leadership. In 2005 he was given the national Home Magazine Shelter Award for his caring and imaginative works to bolster the social well-being of neighborhoods nationwide. He received the 1997 Leadership Award from the Evergreen State Society in Washington State and, in 1981, was selected as one of the 50 future leaders of Wisconsin.