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Blue Earth Alliance

Milenko Matanovic at Collaborations for Cause (Part 1)

In part one of this interview, Founder of the Pomegranate Center and self-described "recovering artist" Milenko Matanovic sits down with PhotoWings to share musings and ideas on the intersections of creating images and nuturing communities.

Collaborations for Cause, hosted May 4th & 5th 2012 by the Blue Earth Alliance, was a retreat for communications professionals who want and need to use emerging new media outlets to build strong, lasting bridges among creative multimedia storytellers, non-profits, socially responsible corporations and supporting communities.

PhotoWings' mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved.


Milenko is a self-described recovering artist who founded Pomegranate Center in 1986 believing that magic happens when art, creative thinking, and community join forces.

Since then, he has been lucky to work with hundreds of communities across the country and abroad; collaborate with communities to build more than 50 gathering places; speak at more universities, community gatherings and conferences than he can remember; and train remarkable community leaders in the Pomegranate Center model of community building. He has been honored with the Home Shelter Award, the Legacy Leadership Award from the Center for Ethical Leadership and an honorary professorship at the University of Vladivostok, Russia (it's a long story).

Connecting art with community building and everyday life is just one of the ways Milenko uses his creativity to prepare communities for the future. By combining his talents as a thinker, educator and artist, Milenko hopes to create a world where neither nature nor human talents are wasted. He lives to help communities become wiser by working together to find new and creative ways to push good ideas into action.

As a young man, Milenko left a successful art career as a member of celebrated group OHO in his native Slovenia. (OHO exhibited internationally, including at New York's Museum of Modern Art.) He turned his creative energies toward communities - each community becoming a new kind of "studio" where art, collaboration and community building converge. He has been working with cities and towns in the U.S. and abroad ever since, because he believes this is the most efficient, broad-based way to improve society. Through this work he has learned how to listen to others' ideas so that shared solutions are possible. He believes that when it comes to community, together we always know more.

Right now, Milenko is excited about teaching and speaking about Pomegranate Center's unique community building model so that more people can collaborate better and be inspired to take action. Milenko is a talented public speaker: contact him at to learn how to bring him to your next event.

(bio from Blue Earth Alliance)

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