Learning Tree: Building Capacity Their Way

In the heart of Indianapolis’ Clifton-Radar neighborhood, known most often for statistics of violent crime, poverty or need, neighbors are gathering to tell, hear and sing a different story. In this video, enjoy taking in the fruits of 17 years of “infrastructure”-building work at this house celebration of neighbors’ gifts, talents and everyday grassroots work. The friendships are real and so is the talk.

What can this teach us about building community, and the importance of the lens with which we begin?

Going Further

  • About the Learning Tree: The Learning Tree is an association of neighbors in Indianapolis, that specializes in Asset Based Community Development, learning and education that improves the quality of lives of people, communities, schools and businesses. We help gather people and listen to each other. We listen and share life stories. We dare to see the abundance of gifts and talents in “irrelevant” places where there appears to be “nothing.” This evening house concert provided an opportunity for people from the neighborhood, and funding organizations, to connect their gifts through music, food, conversation, and friendship.
  • The Neighborhood is the Center (De’Amon Harges, John McKnight and Peter Block)
  • Coming to the Stage (York)


About the Lead Author

April Doner
April Doner
April Doner is a community connector, artist, and mother who is passionate about igniting the intersection between re-weaving neighbor relationships, strengthening local economies, and healing / reconciling inequities and injustices. She is a Steward at the ABCD Institute DePaul University and, while not practicing neighboring in her own neighborhood, she trains, coaches, and consults in Asset Based Community Development. April also documents local resilience as well as group processes through various creative means including writing, photography, video, and graphic recording. Since 2020, she has curated content for AbundantCommunity.com.

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