The power of a kaleidoscope is its ability to shed light on individual, familiar shapes and transform them into a creative, unexpected, and vibrant whole.
In our experience, the most successful community development works like a kaleidoscope. Communities illuminate what already exists – the people, their knowledge, their networks and other resources. They shift perspectives to show how these individual parts all contribute to create powerful new solutions.
Our work reflects our appreciation for the diversity, creativity, and power inherent in every community and our commitment to supporting people's collective approaches to achieving well-being.
Mary Fifield, Principal
Mary Fifield is a community development practitioner, writer, trainer, and facilitator. She has more than 20 years of experience in communications and 15 years of program design and organizational leadership in the U.S. and international non-profit sector.
As executive director for two grassroots organizations, she has guided strategic programming, fundraising and budgeting, communications, and board development.With Ecuadorian and North American colleagues, she founded Amazon Partnerships Foundation in Ecuador and designed a grassroots grant-making model to support Indigenous communities’ projects to confront climate disruption and their advocacy for sustainable development. She co-produced the award-winning documentary Life and Breath: Kichwa People Confront Climate Change in the Amazon and created tools to support community-driven development on the ground.
Now based in Portland, Oregon, she works with clients all over the world and is an active contributor to the field of community philanthropy and community-driven development. Her recent publications include a chapter in Smart Risks: How Small Grants Are Helping to Solve Some of the World's Biggest Problems and articles in the Foundation Review and Alliance Magazine. She holds an M.F.A in creative writing from San Diego State University and is fluent in spoken and written Spanish. Her blog and literary publications are found at Earth In Here.
"This has been truly helpful and so appreciated. . .this feels like the most important tool in our toolbox."
– Training participant, Confluence Environmental Center