How is LEAF Able to Offer FREE/Low-Cost Cultural Arts Education Programs?

LEAF Schools & Streets is so thankful for our members, sponsors, partners and grants that together support cultural arts education on a local level!

LEAF Membership

LEAF Membership directly supports both LEAF International and LEAF Schools & Streets cultural arts education programs.  Therefore, when you become a member you are directly supporting the continuity of arts education for groups that may not otherwise have access to the arts AND supporting cultural preservation work around the globe. Join today!


French Broad Food Coop (FBFC) is a community-owned co-operative, dedicated to serving the owners and the WNC community by providing high quality natural foods and personal care products through a mutually beneficial exchange. This generous sponsorship supports LEAF Schools & Streets programs in Asheville City Schools, including In Real Life, a program of the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Harmony Motors of Asheville, NC is not only concerned with the needs of the car dealership customers, but also the needs of the Western North Carolina community. Harmony Motors prides itself on rising to the occasion when challenges are presented. This is a business that is dedicated to excellence! This generous sponsorship supports LEAF Schools & Streets’ Easel Rider program, which is a mobile art lab cruising throughout Asheville and providing visual arts activities to youth in public housing communities, at community centers and beyond!


Asheville City Schools Foundation/ IRL

In Real Life (IRL), a program of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, is a network of after-school programs designed to provide high-quality learning opportunities to all Asheville City Schools middle school students. IRL actively works to address barriers to participation in after-school programs. LEAF Schools & Streets currently provides four IRL classes.

Buncombe County Schools

The purpose of Buncombe County Schools is to prepare students for their tomorrow. BCS is North Carolina’s 13th largest school system and the largest in Western North Carolina. BCS employs almost 4,000 people and nearly 25,000 students, making BCS the county’s second largest employer. More than 55 different languages are spoken in its 44 schools. Buncombe County Schools is divided into six school districts: Enka (West), Erwin (Northwest), North Buncombe, Owen (East), Reynolds (South East), and Roberson (South).

Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff

Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, a family-owned and operated business founded in Boone, NC, is passionate about fine art supplies and artist materials. Any budding or professional artist that still recalls the smell of a newly opened box of crayons, or the feeling he/she had when making their first pencil or brush strokes, knows the sort of happiness art and art materials can bring…Together, LEAF Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab, and partner Cheap Joe’s are using visual arts as a tool to build community & transform lives.

Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County

The mission of Children First/CIS is to improve the lives of children, youth and their families through community collaboration, advocacy and programs. LEAF Schools & Streets has partnered with Children First in the Deaverview, Pisgah View & Woodridge Learning Centers to provide arts classes in the afterschool programs since 2004.

Kennedy Center – Partners in Education

Since 2018, LEAF Community Arts as a team with Buncombe County Schools (BCS) are John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Partners in Education Program. This national recognition is only the 3rd cohort in NC! The SHARED purpose of LEAF and BCS as Kennedy CenterPartners in Education is to support teaching and learning by modeling the value of the arts integration and global awareness in all areas of education for lifelong, continued, and relevant learning. 

After a decade-long career in Major League Baseball, Asheville-native, Cam Maybin still wakes up every day with one mission – to use his platform and his successes to create positive change for others. By providing support systems, positive play, educational and cultural opportunities to inner city youth, THE MAYBIN MISSION inspires children to chase after their biggest dreams and overcome obstacles with hard work and dedication. LEAF Schools & Streets is proud to partner with Maybin Mission on LEAF Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab programs!

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Buncombe County

The mission of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Buncombe County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. LEAF Schools & Streets has partnered with Boys & Girls Club since 2017 with African drumming, and a breakdance/hip hop class as well as LEAF Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab at special events. 

Ultimate Ice Cream

Ultimate Ice Cream makes hand crafted, locally churned ice cream from local, high quality dairy and vegan products. It’s a MUST to visit their tasting locations to experience the best ice cream in Asheville, North Carolina. Each October, LEAF Schools & Streets is selected as the Flavor of the Month (Choco-Latte, YYYUUMM!), raising funds to support local cultural arts education programs.


Grant Support

Asheville City Schools Foundation | TAPAS  | A coalition comprised of ACSF, LEAF Schools & Streets and UNCA Craft Studies program members developed a “Teaching Artist Training” called TAPAS (Teaching Artists Presenting in Asheville Schools) and identified local talent eager to work in our schools. The TAPAS program is committed to having 90 days of artists-in-residence during 2014-2015 school year in Asheville City Schools. 

Asheville City Schools

Art in the Park Grant | The Easel Rider Asheville Global Citizens project is funded in part by the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Asheville Art in the Park Arts & Community Grant.  For 10 Wednesdays in Pritchard Park this summer, June 1 – August 3, LEAF’s teaching artists will engage in interactive dance showcases. Audience members of all ages will be able to participate and learn from our wonderful artists. The Easel Rider will also host creative art activities to complement the performances.

AAAC_Logo_2017 Asheville Art in the Park

Black Mountain Swannanoa-Valley Endowment Fund | Support for Visiting Teaching Artists, Las Cafeteras and Jonathan Santos comes from the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund to fuel resources into the Owen District 2014 academic year.


Dan Lucas Memorial Fund | During the 2012-2013 school year, the LEAF Jazz Band at Delta House program, led by Resident Teaching Artist Gary Bradley, was funded in part by a grant from the Dan Lucas Memorial Fund, through the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The grant was made in honor of Dan Lucas, a UNC-Asheville alum who died in 2008 while earning an advanced degree at UC-Berkeley. Lucas, a first-year candidate for a doctorate in Chemistry, was an Asheville resident for seven years and a talented musician and jazz enthusiast in the community.

The Dan Lucas Memorial Fund

Grassroots Arts Program | This grant funds a portion of artists contract fees for the LEAF Delta Jazz Band. LEAF Schools & Streets partners with Delta House Life Development to inspire & engage local youth through the world of Jazz. Classes meet 3 times a week at Asheville Middle School.

NC Arts Council

John W. and Anna H. Hanes Foundation | The LEAF Delta Jazz Program at Delta House was supported by the John W. and Anna H. Hanes Foundation for the 2013-2014 school year, enabling LEAF Schools & Streets to continue developing the skills of aspiring young jazz musicians. 


National Endowment for the Arts | For May 2015, LEAF received its Fifth direct grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to present R. Carlos Nakai at the LEAF Festival, and perform a 3-day residency in a local school. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.




Program Support Grant | In October 2014, the performances of Dom Flemons Trio, Bill Myers & The Monitors, and Shirlette Ammons were funded by the NC Arts Council for their festival performances and community events. This project was supported by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

South Arts | The Middle Grounds residency with Erwin Middle School in October 2014 was funded in part by a grant from South Arts, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. 

South Arts

 We wish to thank all of our collaborating partners, sponsors, donors and friends for their support over the years.

We believe we are stronger together.

If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact the LEAF Education Director at

AmeriCorps, Appalachian State University – Office of International Education & Development, Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville City Schools Foundation, Asheville Community Theatre, Acoustic Corner, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Burton St. Center/City of Asheville, Catalyst POETIX, City of Asheville – Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department, El Centro Comunitario Of The Latino Advocacy Coalition, HandMade in America, Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, I Have A Dream, Klondyke Housing Community, Lake Tomahawk, Latino Information Network, Hendersonville, NC, Latino Learning Center, Latino Steering Committee – Asheville, NC Catholic Social Services, Mediation Center, Montford Center/City of Asheville, Mountain Roots Management, Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Swanannoa Valley Youth Development Center, Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women, W.C. Reid Center for Creative Arts/City of Asheville, Warren Wilson College, Western Youth Network, YMCA of WNC, YMI Cultural Center, Youth at Jazz, & the YWCA of Asheville