Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative
Fellows Training Program

A Reason to Survive (ARTS) & The Pomegranate Center Collaboration

ARTS is partnering with National City, the Pomegranate Center and a host of public and private agencies to implement Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods.  This Initiative will result in the creation of 30 signature projects over 3 years, training 60 artists in the Pomegranate Center methodology, employing 100+ high school youth apprentices, and engaging over 2,000 middle and elementary school students.

In an 8-session, hands-on training intensive, you will learn the techniques that will empower you to fully engage your community in a productive, creative process, while creating broad ownership of the projects you lead. ARTS invites you, like-minded individuals who value collaboration and have a passion for community building through place-making. By completing the Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative (CVNI) Fellows Training, you will be qualified to be a paid lead artist for an ARTS CVNI project .


  • You believe connected, strong communities are essential to our future
  • You think our communities (and our nation) could do a lot better job collaborating
  • You’re tired of group efforts failing because they are slow, unwieldy, and bogged-down by process
  • You are a professional artist, have experience working with youth, and are a community organizer


Milenko Matanovic, founder and director of Pomegranate Center, along with A Reason to Survive, Landscape Architect Ilisa Goldman and special guests, will take your Project Management skills to the next level with:

  • Leadership methods that encourage maximum participation
  • Techniques to develop a powerful sense of community ownership
  • Practical advice for handling difficult personalities that threaten the collaborative process


The training schedule takes place from 9am-4pm at the ARTS Center, 200 E. 12th Street, National City, CA on the following Fridays from 9-4pm & Saturdays from 9-4pm:
March 4-5
April 1-2
May 6-7

This series culminates with a hands-on community project in National City June 2-5th.

** Please check back for more information regarding enrollment to our Fall program. Dates and details will be announced in May.