The Village Connectors Project

Anna D’Aste makes and teaches ceramic art on 12th Street in the “”Village of the Arts” in Bradenton, FL. She  was part of the original group of artists who moved into the neighborhood 13 years ago to start the Village.

When Anna moved in, she dreamed of living in a real community—where people know and care about each other and do things together. She hoped to have strong relationships not just with other Village artists but with other neighbors as well.

Since then, Anna had seen a lot of great connection and activities happen among the artists in the Village, but not as much as she’d hoped between artists and the rest of the neighborhood.  She was almost ready to give up on her dream for the Village when April came by her home a few months ago and told her about an effort to connect the community in just the way she had always envisioned.  Anna began meeting with a group of other neighbors who shared her dream for the Village and, in their own way, had all been making efforts as “Connectors” in the neighborhood.

Read the full story . . .

About the Lead Author

April Doner
April Doner
April Doner lives and works as a Roving Illustrator, telling stories of community thriving, abundance, and people-powered change through writing, photography and art. Originally from the wave-kissed east coast of Florida, April has found her way to Indianapolis, IN to join community-based innovators De'Amon Harges and Anne Mitchell at Tesserae Learning. April is especially passionate about revealing and engaging the strengths of people, groups and neighborhoods who have been marginalized by labels of deficiency, and in working to redirect channels of faith and funding from deficiency-based approaches and into the lives of the "positive deviants"--the unseen and under-celebrated organizers, story-tellers, healers, artists and others who are actively making changes in their communities and neighborhoods. Through Tesserae and Aprilart Studios, she offers services to strengthen community including documentation, facilitation, trainings, workshops and consulting in Asset-Based-Community Development, Theory U and other practices, as well as a full range of artistic services. April is a Fellow with the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and a Steward of ABCD in Action.

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