Milenko founded Pomegranate Center in 1986 believing that magic happens when art, creative thinking, and community join forces. Since then, he has worked with hundreds of communities across the country and abroad; collaborated with communities to build more than 50 gathering places; spoken at more universities, community gatherings and conferences than he can remember; and trained hundreds of remarkable individuals in the Pomegranate Center approach to community building.
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 and where collaboration becomes the norm. He lives to help communities become wiser by working together to find new and creative ways to push good ideas into action.
“I’ve heard many fine keynote speeches, but none better than Milenko’s. His combination of thoughtfulness, experience, wit and grace captivated his audience, and kept them coming back throughout the conference. He took time to get to know his audience, so he could meet us on our ground, and then help us view that ground in a new light.”
Daniel Kemmis, author of Community and the Politics of Place and The Good City and the Good Life
“We’ve been talking about collaboration forever and it hasn’t gotten us far. Milenko has been doing it for decades and has achieved amazing, tangible results.”
Conference participant’s feedback
Jennifer Longshore has been teaching courses in Art History in the Department of Creative Arts at Southern Oregon University since 2000. While she teaches a wide range of courses, she considers “Art Theory and Critical Issues”, “Activist Artists and Work in the Community ” and “Globalization and Contemporary Art” to be among her favorites. She particularly enjoys overseeing students as they develop activist art projects in collaboration with local community agencies. She is currently developing a new course titled “Art and Sustainability.”
Longshore serves as a member of the Gender Sexuality and Women Studies Council at SOU. Along with serving as a member of the Ashland High School Site Council, she also serves as a volunteer lecturer for the Ashland School District. She served as a commissioner on the Public Arts Commission for the city of Ashland, Oregon from 2004-2008. When she is not working, she enjoys salsa dancing with her husband and archery
Lipper spent much of the early part of his career traveling and exploring. Several painting trips to Italy and other parts of Europe inspired paintings of decaying cityscapes and aging fishermen. “The beauty I discovered while traveling still overwhelms me. “I’ve always been a bit of a voyeur. Hopefully, by observing the surface, I’m able to glean a bit of understanding as to what’s going on inside.”
The people in Gabriel’s paintings vary wildly. Bull riders, a woman lost in her thoughts, vacant hipsters, a seasoned magnate, are all painted with the same love and respect. Lipper’s love of art, and respect for the muse are the driving forces behind what he chooses to paint.