LEAF Community Arts (LEAF), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, is comprised of LEAF Festival, LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International. In 2013, we archived the name Lake Eden Arts Festival, honoring our history and recognizing that the heart of the work with cultural arts education programs extended well beyond the LEAF Festival. LEAF connects cultures & creates community through music & arts. Since 2004, LEAF has served more than 42,000 youth in the Asheville-Buncombe area and 10 countries, globally.
We’re often asked, ‘what is LEAF?’ Here it is:
LEAF Schools & Streets cultural arts programs use the arts to bridge cultures and create life-affirming, community building experiences – empowering our youth to become global citizens, leaders and agents of positive change.
LEAF International is dedicated to cultural preservation, exchange, and fostering global citizenship. LEAF collaborate with communities to support Culture Keepers who teach local youth their traditional arts.
LEAF Festival is LEAF’s founding event. For over 20 years, an inter-generational community gathers at Lake Eden for a dynamic experience of music, art and culture for around the globe. #1 Nonprofit Serving the Arts, #1 Festival for Kids, #1 Music Festival & #1 Festival for Camping in Western NC.
LEAF Downtown celebrates creativity, diversity and families in the heart of Asheville, NC. This signature and inclusive community event encourages interpersonal exchange, cultural awareness, artistic excellence and welcoming spaces for all walks of life.
LEAF Celebrates 25 Years & Invites Asheville to Explore the World at New Global Arts Center
December 20, 2019 | Asheville, NC —
LEAF Community Arts is celebrating 25 years of global music and connecting cultures. “Since 1995, LEAF’s intention was to create experiences that connect people to global cultures and enrich lives. Thanks to wonderful supporters, partners, teaching artists and friends, that intention continues to be realized.” –Jennifer Pickering, LEAF Founder & Executive Director.
What began as an immersive biannual festival experience has since evolved into a full-spectrum global arts non-profit organization providing cultural arts education to over 12,000 youth each year in WNC while supporting the preservation of timeless traditions in 10 countries worldwide.
“The quintessential importance of LEAF is bringing people together… And the shortest distance between two people is a story, a song or a dance”. ~Masankho Banda of Malawi, 18 yr LEAFer
It is with 25 years of Gratitude, that LEAF is thrilled to announce LEAF Global Arts in Downtown Asheville to open February 14, 2020. LEAF Global Arts invites you to explore the world through immersive music & art experiences and cultural connections, fostering global citizenship and opening pathways of understanding… For ALL.
The 3,300 ft2 space will bring the different elements of LEAF under one roof and feature an interactive world map where visitors can explore a wide range of cultural art forms, an international immersion room and virtual reality mini theater that will transport visitors across the globe through a sensory experience, a global sound underground to encourage experimentation with unique musical instruments from around the world, an intimate performance stage and interactive artist workstations.
Located in the historic Club Del Cardo building on “The Block”, which has been brought to new life by its owner Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation in partnership with Mountain Housing Opportunities, LEAF Global Arts has committed to honoring the rich history of the area by dedicating a space for elders to share stories and the local community to cultivate connections. It is LEAF’s hope that anyone experiencing LEAF Global Arts leaves feeling more connected to the world, their community and themselves.
To solidify this new chapter, LEAF is evolving the name from LEAF Community Arts to LEAF Global Arts. The name change marks the organizational growth from a local music festival to a Global non-profit organization with partners, programs and impact across the world. LEAF Global Arts is a natural, yet transformative step for LEAF, one that we are building with the intention of connecting communities to the larger world.
Community and Visitor Support Makes LEAF Global Arts Possible
LEAF is proud to have community members, new and old, coming together to help make LEAF Global Arts a reality. With a pivotal grant of $705,000 from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF), which comes from a portion of the occupancy tax paid by people who stay overnight in commercial lodging facilities in Buncombe County, LEAF is also committed to being a touchstone for regional, national and international tourist markets seeking a multi-generational culturally rich experience, and a synergistic complement to life-enriching experiences already offered in Asheville.
“The Buncombe County TDA is proud to have played a key role in helping to bring the LEAF Global Arts center to fruition, which will serve as a cornerstone in the continued rebirth of the city’s historical African-American business district known as The Block. This project will elevate and greatly diversify Asheville’s already rich arts and cultural traditions,” said BCTDA Chair Gary Froeba. “We congratulate LEAF for this milestone and thank this energetic, vibrant group for allowing us to partner with them.”
Also helping LEAF begin this new chapter are Founding Partners: Bank of America Foundation, Dan Lucas Memorial Fund, Echo Mountain Recording Studio, the Gradison Family Foundation, Putumayo World Music, Sunnyside Trading Company, and Togar Rugs. These community members and partners are dedicated to LEAF’s mission and have committed to the growth of the organization and its impact.
From its first festival in 1995 to its 50th Festival celebration next May, LEAF has been connecting us to ourselves, each other and the world for 25 years.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
LEAF Global Arts Grand Opening: Valentines Weekend, 2020
LEAF’s 50th Festival & 25th Anniversary Celebration: May 14-17, 2020
NOTE: Festival goers can begin purchasing tickets on 01/01/20 and expect a grand 50th celebration to actualize what the festival has meant to the WNC community since 1995 by featuring a dynamic line-up and schedule of activities to usher in the next phase of what is to come.
MORE INFO: theLEAF.org/GlobalArtsCenter
Megan Ashley Crow | LEAF Creative Director | 828.686.8742
*please reach out to us for more information & press quality photos
December 20, 2019 - LEAF Global Arts Announcement Release
May 31, 2019 - 5th Annual LEAF Downtown Lineup Release
February 7, 2019 - 48th LEAF Festival Lineup Release Spring 2019
November 2, 2018 - LEAF Community Arts Awarded $705,000 Grant for New Global Arts Center
October 23, 2018 - 47th LEAF Festival Experiences Damaging High Winds
July 17, 2018 - 47th LEAF Festival Lineup Release
May 30, 2018 - 4th LEAF Downtown AVL Lineup Release
March 7, 2018 - National Distinction by Kennedy Center Awarded to LEAF Schools & Streets and Buncombe County Schools Partnership!
February 15, 2018 - LEAF Community Arts to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
February 8, 2018 - 46th LEAF Festival Lineup Press Release
July 6, 2017 - 45th LEAF Festival Lineup Press Release
June 8, 2017 - 3rd Annual LEAF Downtown Lineup Press Release
February 20, 2017 - 4th Annual LEAF Arts & Parks Camp!
Febuary 20, 2017 – 4th Annual LEAF Arts & Parks Camp Registration is Now Open!
February 16, 2017 - 4th Annual LEAF Newsong Singer-Songwriter Competition!
February 16, 2017 – 4th Annual LEAF Newsong Singer-Songwriter Competition
February 9th, 2017 – 44th LEAF Festival Official Lineup Press Release
February 9th, 2017 – 44th LEAF Festival Official Lineup Press Release
January 31, 2017 - Transforming Education Through Hip-Hop Culture
January 31st, 2017 – Transforming Education Through Hip-Hop Culture
January 19, 2017 - Spring '17 LEAF Theme Announcement!
January 19, 2017 – Ignite & Inspire at the Spring ’17 LEAF Festival with NEA Legends of Africa!
Conscious Party: Hurricane Relief - November 5, 2017
Conscious Party: Hurricane Relief – November 5, 2017 – Mountain Xpress – By Edwin Arnaudin – “An International LEAF Ambassador, Toan has organized a daylong, family-friendly music festival at Salvage Station on Saturday, Nov. 11…”
The Broadcast has its most 'intense' gig of year at LEAF, teaches youth - October 26, 2017
The Broadcast has its most ‘intense’ gig of the year at LEAF, teaches youth– October 26, 2017 – The Tribune – By Pete Zamplas – “Krisko, earthy vocalist who fronts the band along with sizzling electric guitarist Aaron Austin, was happy about the band’s second time playing at LEAF…”
Dance offerings at LEAF Festival and beyond - October 12, 2017
Dance offerings at LEAF Festival and beyond – October 12, 2017 – Mountain Xpress – By Carla Seidl – “Cruz believes dance is at the heart of the LEAF experience. “The energy is really high and deep for dancing at LEAF,”…”
Journey Through Latin America : Fundraiser For The Future - October 11, 2017
Journey Through Latin America: Fundraiser For The Future – October 11, 2017 – Asheville Grit – By Ayana Dusenberry – “Performers from Mexico, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico will come together to inspire, entertain, and encourage the preservation of the rich, sacred traditions of Latin communities everywhere…”
LEAF Art Dash, Twilight, Hot August Night 5Ks get hearts pumping - August 3, 2017
LEAF Art Dash, Twilight, Hot August Night 5ks get hearts pumping – August 3, 2017 – The Citizen-Times – “The LEAF Art Dash is one of the important fundraising tools directly support LEAF Schools & Streets bringing arts to local youth in collaboration with local partners…”
LEAF Downtown announces lineup for Pack Square Park - June 15, 2017
LEAF Downtown announces lineup for Pack Square Park – June 15, 2017 – USA Today – By Hayley Benton – “The Family Stone is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, making the LEAF set a legendary performance…”
LEAF seeking money for downtown arts center; other TDA grant requests - June 8, 2017
LEAF seeking money for downtown arts center; other TDA grant requests – June 8, 2017 – Citizen-Times – By Emily Patrick – “LEAF Community Arts is seeking to join the list of recipients of money generated from hotel room taxes…”
How go-go, the music of the nation’s capital, is trying to go mainstream - June 5, 2017
How go-go, the music of the nation’s capital, is trying to go mainstream – June 5, 2017 – PBS News Hour – By Elizabeth Flock – “ Rare Essence has booked more performances around the country, including Summerstage in New York in June, and the LEAF music festival in Asheville, North Carolina in August…”
Rocky Dawuni outreach with LEAF Community Arts Festival - June 1, 2017
Rocky Dawuni outreach with LEAF Community Arts Festival – June 8, 2017 – Rocky Duwani – By Cary Sullivan – GRAMMY nominated Afro Roots star, Rocky Dawuni was invited to perform two shows at the esteemed LEAF festival as well as participate in the community outreach program with a local school…”
LEAF Festival brings music and culture to Black Mountain - May 6, 2017
LEAF Festival brings music and culture to Black Mountain – May 6, 2017 – WLOS News – By Evan Donovan – “Experience the power music, art and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity…”
Why Everyone Should Be Listening to Balkan Beat Box - November 1, 2016
Why Everyone Should Be Listening to Balkan Beat Box – November 1, 2016 – The Odyssey Community – By Sophie Harris – “Hip-hop and traditional music are the polarities, but there’s a lot in between. We’ve always been intrigued by mashing up stuff…”
Q+A with Arouna Diarra & The AZA Band - October 28, 2016
Q+A with Arouna Diarra & The AZA Band – October 28, 2016 – Mountain Xpress – By Alli Marshall – “I had a great love of African music from the time that I was a teenager…”
Q+A with Third World - October 27, 2016
Q+A with Third World – October 27, 2016 – Mountain Xpress – By Alli Marshall – “Though the band is not touring, Third World made an appearance at fall LEAF on Saturday night…”
In Photos: Fall LEAF 2016 - October 25, 2016
In Photos: Fall LEAF 2016 – October 25, 2016 – Mountain Xpress – Alli Marshall – “Meanwhile, the Tibetan Buddhist Monks could be seen riding throughout the festival grounds on a modified shuttle complete with rooftop seating and a dance pole affixed to its hood…”
Adventure: Asheville - October 24, 2016
Adventure : Asheville – October 24, 2016 – The Odyssey Community – By Becca Colehower – “After a long night at the Orange Peel and a couple hours of sleep, we bundled up to head about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville to Black Mountain, North Carolina, where we spent the day at the LEAF Festival…”
Vaud & the Villians - a 19-Piece Time-Traveling Band - October 24, 2016
Connecting Cultures: LEAF Returns to Downtown Asheville - July 28, 2016
Connecting Cultures: LEAF Returns to Downtown Asheville – July 28, 2016 – Biltmore Beacon – By Shelby Harrell – “‘The “Voices of Asheville” tent will be back as a place to learn about the rich history of Asheville as well as its current challenges. Lots of different “Voices” will be present to share, such as Pisgah Legal Services, HACA Residents Housing Council, Center for Diversity Education, and plenty more…”
LEAF Downtown enters its second year - July 27, 2016
LEAF Downtown enters second year – July 27, 2016 – Mountain Xpress – By Bill Kopp – “We’re taking the formula that we had last year and ramping it up. We’re aiming for a natural, evolutionary growth. From a core mission perspective, we’ve made LEAF Downtown about showcasing the very best of what Asheville has to offer. Give us sunshine out there, and we’ll give you an incredible show…”
LEAF Downtown Treats Include Funky War, Cosmic Papadosio - July 27, 2016
LEAF Downtown Treats Include Funky War, Cosmic Papadosio – July 27, 2016 – Tribune Papers – By Pete Zamplas – “LEAF Downtown Asheville invigorates with various musical treats starting with cosmic electronic Papadosio in the pre-party that benefits local music education, smash local acts such as rocking The Broadcast and progressive folk Jon Stickley Trio, and funky top act War in the second annual free street festival July 30-31…”
Live for Live Music - July 7, 2016
LEAF Festival Announces Lineup – July 7, 2016 – LIVE for Live Music – By Dave Melamed – “There are lots of exciting artists to catch this year, including Here Come The Mummies, Third World, Solas, Too Many Zooz, Chali 2na & The House Vibe, Dar Williams, Leah Song (of Rising Appalachia), The Hip Abduction and so many more!…”
Grateful Web Feature - July 7, 2016
LEAF Festival Announces Lineup – July 7, 2016 – Grateful Web – By Mike Moran – Fall LEAF Festival ’16
Get Funky: War to Play Summer LEAF (Downtown) – June 7, 2016
Get Funky: War to Play Summer LEAF (Downtown) – June 7, 2016 – Asheville Citizen-Times “Headlining band War, once fronted by British rocker Eric Burdon, is now led by original member Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan. Started in 1969, it is known for the hits “Spill the Wine,” “The World Is a Ghetto,” “The Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?,” “Low Rider“, and “Summer“. This is the band’s first performance at a LEAF event…”
Recap: Fun at the LEAF Festival – May 20, 2016
Recap: Fun at the LEAF Festival – May 20, 2016 – ArtsNowNC – “One of the highlights was meeting some of the ladies of Gee’s Bend, a tiny, rural, African-American community in Alabama known for quilt making. Mostly the decedents of slaves, the people of Gee’s Bend have produced countless patchwork masterpieces beginning as far back as the mid-19th century. Pushing the boundaries of traditional quilting, these quilts included bright colors and were expressive and unconventional…”
Why My First LEAF Festival Won’t Be My Last – May 19, 2016
Why My First LEAF Festival Won’t Be My Last – May 19, 2016 – Bullet Music – “This festival is an all-in-one experience. Attendees can enjoy a pleasant, family environment during the day, where children perform, food is in the air, and acro-yoga in the field. You may even make it to the Chilean Drum Workshop if you sprint fast enough across the land. At night, you will find pockets of jams amongst the campsites, and at the top of the hill, in a cut, you will come across the after-hours (18+) drum circle that goes until the sun comes back up. Altogether, this is a sophisticated, established festival that brings immensely talented musicians to Appalachia and has something for everyone…”
Jon Stickley Trio seizes Music Video Asheville honors, captivates LEAF – May 18, 2016
Jon Stickley Trio seizes Music Video Asheville honors, captivates LEAF –May 18, 2016 – The Tribune Papers – “The Jon Stickley Trio is blazing an ear and eye-opening path with sensational instrumentation in uplifting, up-tempo “newgrass” blends, after dominating Music Video Asheville top awards then wowing crowds at LEAF this past weekend…”
Band Takes Stand For LGBTQ Rights By Performing In Drag In North Carolina – May 16, 2016
Band Takes Stand For LGBTQ Rights By Performing In Drag In North Carolina – May 16, 2016 – Live for Live Music – “Following the new laws in North Carolina against the LGBTQ community, and the recent concert cancellations that some headlining acts chose to respond with, members of MarchFourth decided to respond to the situation in a different way. After a late night drunken conversation about the matter, the band unanimously decided to go forward with both their North Carolina shows, in Durham at Motorco and headlining the LEAF Festival outside of Asheville, in full drag…”
Spherical Shot of Juan de Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All-Stars – May 15, 2016
Spherical Shot of Juan de Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All-Stars – May 15, 2016 – Shane Peters
LEAF Festival feature on Ashvegas.com – May 12, 2016
LEAF Festival feature on Ashvegas.com – May 12, 2016 – Ashevegas.com – “Since the US began easing Cuban sanctions under the Obama administration, travel to Cuba and interest in the island nation has grown quickly. Recently, the first US cruise ship made a stop in Havana. Journalist Jon Elliston, who has visited the country several times and is working on a study of the state of Cuban media, sees events like this as “opening one more bridge between the US and Cuba, just like LEAF is doing by bringing Cuban artists here as part of a greater process of our two countries getting along…”
Festival Bring Big Economic Punch – May 9, 2016
Festival Bring Big Economic Punch – May 9, 2016 – Asheville Citizen-Times – “LEAF pulls 6,000 visitors a day to historic Camp Rockmont. They all buy their tickets in advance, making a commitment for a single day or the weekend. Pickering said about 45 percent of the turnout comes from around the Southeast, including the Greenville-Spartanburg area, Charleston, across North Carolina, up from Atlanta and Florida and as far away as Washington state…”
Música de la pasión caliente! – May 4, 2016
Música de la pasión caliente! LEAF adds Cuban spice to invigorating music May 13-15 – May 4, 2016 – The Tribune Papers – “LEAF has long promoted international music, including hypnotic Afro-Cuban dance sounds. Ehren Cruz enthusiastically described Cuban music: “From the big band garacho sounds, to salsa, to timba, to bolero, samba, afro-cuban Jazz, and even a new wave of ‘reggaeton’ emerging from Cuba … the islands music packs a big punch in all genres…”
Above & Beyond: Celebration of Champions Honors Volunteers – April 18, 2016
Above & Beyond: Celebration of Champions Honors Volunteers – April 18, 2016 – The Laurel of Asheville – “… the three local partnerships crucial to his service throughout the years are with ACSF, LEAF Schools and Streets, and Roots + Wings School of Art (RWSA)…”
Sarah Jarosz Plots Extensive 2016 Tour – April 5, 2016
Sarah Jarosz Plots Extensive 2016 Tour – April 5, 2016 – Rolling Stone – Tour date mention.
LEAF Festival Announces Cuban Theme for Spring – January 19, 2016
LEAF Festival Announces Cuban Theme for Spring – January 19, 2016 – Asheville Citizen Times – “What better time to celebrate the sounds of Cuba than right now, as the U.S. relaxes travel and trade restrictions with our island neighbor? LEAF Community Arts will commemorate this new relationship and celebrate the country’s history of rich sounds at May’s LEAF Festival...”
41st LEAF Festival – October 23, 2015
41st LEAF Festival – October 23, 2015 – Grateful Web – “The thousands in attendance came not only for the six stages full of music, but also for the traditions that have become staples in the LEAF tradition: LEAF Fiddle Contest; Healing Arts Village; Ziplining, Lakeside Activities and Camping; LEAF Hike; LEAF Member’s Party; Healing Arts Village; Roaming Performing Artists; LEAF Parade (Mardi Gras-style this Festival); LEAF Southern Fried Poetry Slam; LEAF Arts Ed Pavilion (formerly called the Outreach Pavilion); Fire Performance by Unifire Theatre; Community Tribal Drum Circle…”
Rising Appalachia Recounts New Orleans @ LEAF – October 20, 2015
Rising Appalachia Recounts New Orleans @ LEAF – October 20, 2015 – AshevilleGrit.com – ” LEAF was an incredible container for all our cross pollination of muse and spirit and we were delighted to connect with old friends and dance our tails off all weekend to pretty much every band on the stage. We are incredibly thankful that LEAF has such a solid relationship with New Orleans and that the bridge between Appalachia and the bayou remains as strong as ever…”
An Interview with LEAF Performer Marcel Anton – October 20, 2015
An Interview with LEAF Performer Marcel Anton – October 20, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – “Asheville-based musician and composer Marcel Anton answered questions in the LEAF Press Lounge on Saturday. During the festival, he performed with Jeff Thompson’s SoulofNOLA project, which kicked off the weekend, as well as his own band. He also led the LEAF members party at The Barn on Sunday…”
Golden Autumn Days: LEAF Recap, Part 2 – October 19, 2015
Golden Autumn Days: LEAF Recap, Part 2 – October 19, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – “The LEAF Festival marked its 20-year anniversary in May, and last weekend’s event was the 41st biannual celebration. And while it’s grown and evolved over the years, there’s also the sense that LEAF has remained true to its core principals and preserved its earnestly freaky essence. Undeniably family oriented, the festival feels safe without being obsessively G-rated. Weirdness is celebrated on many levels and exploration — especially in the artistic sense — is encouraged…”
Golden Autumn Days: LEAF Recap, Part 1 – October 18, 2015
Golden Autumn Days: LEAF Recap, Part 1 – October 18, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – ” it’s at the shufftle drop-off on Camp Rockmont property where the magic really starts, when the daily business and routine fall away and you’re surrounded by fall colors, mountain vistas and thousands of people in costumes and various stages of parading or stiltwalking or slack-line yoga-ing. It’s pretty much like wandering into a participatory carnival…”
6 Questions with LEAF Performers Sol Driven Train – October 12, 2015
6 Questions with LEAF Performers Sol Driven Train – October 12, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – “We are excited to have two sets at LEAF, one on the Lakeside stage and one in the intimate setting of The Barn. On our Saturday Lakeside set, we will be joined by local school kids from Swannanoa Valley Montessori [as part of] the LEAF Schools & Streets program. We are going to be in the classroom all week with these kids. With the New Orleans theme at this festival, we are going to be teaching the students a few songs from NOLA that were favorites of mine when I was a kid…”
8 Questions with LEAF Performers The Revivalists – October 9, 2015
8 Questions with LEAF Performers The Revivalists – October 9, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – “Rock and soul band The Revivalists are based in New Orleans. The group, led by vocalist David Shaw, formed in 2007, and recently released its latest studio album, Men Amongst Mountains, which seems fitting considering this festival’s concept…”
5 Questions with LEAF Performer Jeff Thompson – October 8, 2015
5 Questions with LEAF Performer Jeff Thompson – October 8, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – “I couldn’t be more excited about the set my band and I have put together for LEAF this Fall. We are calling this project “SouloNOLA,” since it has involved a return to my New Orleans roots. I grew up there and still return as often as I can, so it’s been really cool to intentionally put together a set that honors my hometown…”
LaMotte and Guatemalan Children to Perform – October 3, 2015
LaMotte and Guatemalan Children to Perform – October 3, 2015 – Black Mountain News “Guatemala is geographically closer to Asheville than California is, but in other ways, it is worlds away. Through the work of PEG Partners and LEAF International, children in Guatemala have more opportunities and possibilities…”
Aaron Neville, Pres Hall… – September 23, 2015
Aaron Neville, Pres Hall… – September 23, 2015 – Live for Live Music – “The LEAF Festival has announced its lineup for the 41st annual festivities! Taking place on the beautiful Lake Eden in Black Mountain, NC, LEAF is celebrating all things NOLA in honor of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With a theme of “Celebrating the Spirit of New Orleans,” LEAF has unveiled a lineup with Aaron Neville, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Dumpstaphunk (x2) at the top. The festival is held from October 15-18, and the full lineup includes such top-notch performers as Rebirth Brass Band, Rising Appalachia, The Revivalists, Charmaine Neville, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Roosevelt Collier’s Gospel and more!..”
Aaron Neville, Preservation Hall & Dumpstaphunk Headline 41st LEAF Festival! – September 23, 2015
Aaron Neville, Preservation Hall & Dumpstaphunk Headline 41st LEAF Festival! – September 23, 2015 – Live Music Daily – ” August 29th, 2015 marked the 10th year since Hurricane Katrina impacted New Orleans, Louisiana – environmentally, socially and economically. In honor of the contributions that this cultural capital of the world has given to music, food, the arts and LEAF, the 41st LEAF Festival has been created with the inspirational theme of “Celebrating the Spirit of New Orleans” at heart. “
Asheville Downtown turns over a new LEAF, putting Bele Chere to rest once and for all – August 3, 2015
Asheville Downtown turns over a new LEAF, putting Bele Chere to rest once and for all – August 3, 2015 – 880 The River – By Jeff Messer – “Less all-consuming than Bele Chere had been in the past, when it closed down virtually all of downtown for a weekend, much to the joy of downtown businesses in the early years, then their contempt in later years, LEAF occupied the Pack Square Park area up to Vance monument, without interruption to the traffic and the majority of businesses in downtown.”
Jennifer Pickering & Community – August 31, 2015
Jennifer Pickering & Community – August 31, 2015 – WLOS News 13
LEAF Downtown reports 12,000-person crowd – August 3, 2015
LEAF Downtown reports 12,000-person crowd – August 3, 2015 – Asheville Citizen Times – By Emily Patrick – “…the crowd peaked during a performance by Bootsy Collins, the festival’s headliner event who is known for his space-themed performances featuring the star-shaped Space Bass. “It got beautiful,” said LEAF founder Jennifer Pickering. “The mothership landed in downtown in the most beautiful, positive, diverse experience that I’ve ever had in Asheville.”
LEAF Downtown Well-Received – August 3, 2015
LEAF Downtown Well-Received – August 3, 2015 – WLOS News 13
LEAF Downtown – August 2, 2015
LEAF Downtown – August 2, 2015 – Romantic Asheville – By Mark File – “These folks know how to present a great event since they host the big LEAF Festival twice a year in Black Mountain for more than 20 years. Celebrate communities, creativity, diversity, and families in the heart of downtown in Pack Square Park.”
First Annual Downtown LEAF Aug 1-2 – July 30, 2015
First Annual Downtown LEAF Aug 1-2 – July 30, 2015 – By AshevilleNC.com – “After 20 years of producing WNC’s #1 Music Festival, #1 Festival for Camping and #1 Festival for Kids, LEAF Community Arts (LEAF) is proud to announce the first Annual LEAF Downtown AVL taking place August 1st and 2nd in Pack Square Park.”
Diversity in Downtown AVL – July 29, 2015
Diversity in Downtown AVL – July 29, 2015 – By The Mountaineer – “Don’t miss the first ever LEAF Downtown AVL event —taking place on from noon – 10 p.m. on Aug. 1 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 2 in Pack Square Park.”
Your Guide to Asheville’s new festival LEAF Downtown – July 29, 2015
Your Guide to Asheville’s new festival LEAF Downtown – July 29, 2015 – Asheville Citizen Times – By Emily Patrick – “In the interest of navigating this new world, Scene has created two suggested itineraries — one geared toward music enthusiasts and one geared toward families. But in true LEAF style, the two overlap. There’s plenty for kids with adult tastes as well as for the young at heart.”
Branching Out: LEAF Downtown AVL festival – July 28, 2015
Branching Out: LEAF Downtown AVL festival – July 28, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – By Bill Kopp – “The organizers of LEAF Community Arts launched their signature event — the now-biannual LEAF Festival at Lake Eden in Black Mountain — in 1995. “When you hit a landmark like 20 years,” says LEAF Executive Director Jennifer Pickering, “it’s time to ask yourself: ‘How are we meeting our mission? How are we serving our community? What are the new opportunities, the new ways of doing things?’” A conversation that began in 2014 yielded some answers, and an outgrowth of those conclusions is the upcoming LEAF Downtown AVL, a free event taking place Saturday and Sunday, Aug 1-2, in Pack Square Park.”
LEAF Downtown Asheville is Aug. 1-2 Free Festival – July 28, 2015
LEAF Downtown Asheville is Aug. 1-2 Free Festival – July 28, 2015 – The Tribune Papers – By Pete Zamplas – “…the festival has a LEAF-like local emphasis with more than 90 vendors including craft brewers, also healing arts, roaming artists, art installations and interactive play. The Family Adventure Zone, EASEL RIDER, and the Prestige Subaru Adventure Zone are among family attractions.”
Inaugural LEAF Art Dash Asheville 5k this Saturday – July 27, 2015
Inaugural LEAF Art Dash Asheville 5k this Saturday – July 27, 2015 – Asheville Citizen Times – By Karen Chavez – “At key points along the route, runners or families may take an artful moment with volunteers from Roots + Wings School of Art and Design to create small works of art that will contribute to a larger communal project that will then be donated back to the City of Asheville.”
The changing landscape of Asheville’s free music festivals – July 24, 2015
The changing landscape of Asheville’s free music festivals – July 24, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – By Ben Williamson – ““As a nonprofit, tickets for LEAF have been a main source of revenue,” Pickering says. “Since this is a free event … anyone can come, but it’s challenging in that we have to look at creative funding streams.” LEAF Downtown AVL incorporates a wide variety of for-profit satellite events, such as a kickoff party with the Ohio Players at New Mountain; a VIP experience; a “Bootsy Funk Dynasty Day” with funk icon Bootsy Collins; and a 5K run.”
My Journey to LEAF Festival – June 1, 2015
My Journey to LEAF Festival – June 1, 2015 – By Joseph McKee – “It is easy to be captivated by the plethora of interactive arts, vendors, workshops and impromptu performances. However, the heart of LEAF reveals itself in the interactions between musicians and a captivated audience.”
Why LEAF is One of the Best Fests Around – May 5, 2015
Why LEAF is One of the Best Fests Around – May 5, 2015 – By Asheville Grit – “I think what I like most about LEAF is the complete sense of community. Everyone arrives ready to relax and catch up with friends, and everything about the festival works to reinforce a sense of togetherness: the funky world music vibe; the sharing of dance, art and food; the surrounding embrace of the beautiful mountains. To attend LEAF is to step out of your singular life and experience real togetherness.”
LEAF Brings Funky Cultural Fest to Downtown – April 20, 2015
LEAF Brings Funky Cultural Fest to Downtown – April 20, 2015 – By ExploreAsheville.com – “Mark your calendars–there’s a new reason to get funky in downtown Asheville this summer! Two years after the final installment of the long-running Bele Chere, Asheville welcomes a new free, family-friendly festival from LEAF Community Arts…”
New Summer Music Fest to Fill Some of Bele Chere’s Void – April 17, 2015
New Summer Music Fest to Fill Some of Bele Chere’s Void – April 17, 2015 – Asheville Citizen Times – By Emily Patrick – “LEAF Community Arts, which organizes LEAF Festival in Black Mountain twice a year, will create the event, which will include three stages, food trucks and more than 90 locally-owned and artisan vendors and business partners.”
LEAF announces free event in Pack Square Park, Aug. 1 and 2 – April 16, 2015
LEAF announces free event in Pack Square Park, Aug. 1 and 2 – April 16, 2015 – Mountain Xpress – By Alli Marshall – “LEAF will hold the first LEAF Downtown AVL event in Pack Square Park on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 and 2. The free mini-festival will include Bootsy Collins and the Rubber Band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, The Main Squeeze, Empire Strikes Brass, The London Souls and more.”
A Weekend of Global Gratitude at LEAF’s 40th Festival – March 27, 2015
A Weekend of Global Gratitude at LEAF’s 40th Festival – March 27, 2015 – By The Laurel of Asheville – “At LEAF Festival, our senses go wild. From the scent of crêpes sizzling in the pan to the sights of hula hoops spinning and the sounds of laughter, there is so much for the whole family to experience at Lake Eden in Black Mountain.”
LEAF: Bringing the Funk Back to the Mountains – June 16, 2014
LEAF: Bringing the Funk Back to the Mountains – June 16, 2014 – Concert Photos Magazine – By Jeremy Chrzan – “LEAF is also the perfect place to let loose to the awesome music and put your dance on…”
LEAF Festival Review – May 11, 2014
LEAF Festival Review – May 11, 2014 – Appalachain Jamwich – By Michael Phillips – “Upon arriving, it became apparent that this festival was going to be much different than most I have encountered.”
Live Review: LEAF, Black Mountain, N.C. – May 11, 2014
Live Review: LEAF, Black Mountain, N.C. – May 11, 2014 – Creative Loafing – By Pat Moran – “Bedecked in silvery, multi-hued top hat and tails, star-shaped bass slung low on his hips, Bootsy Collins whipped the crowd into a delirious frenzy at LEAF’s Lakeside Stage on Saturday night.”
Shows I’ll Never Forget: Bootsy Collins – May 10, 2014
Shows I’ll Never Forget: Bootsy Collins – May 10, 2014 – Something Else – By Michael Walsh – “‘People say I’m crazy to get out here with you without security,’ said Bootsy, ‘but y’all are my security.’”
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Spring LEAF Festival
Live from Your Neighborhood
“More than 100 million Americans attend arts and cultural festivals each year. It is time that we start to examine these festivals more closely,” said NEA Chairman. Presenting the 1st study of outdoor arts festivals, LEAF and the National Black Arts Festival were the two organizations (out of 1,400 participants) selected to speak at the NEA Advisory Council (Presidential Appointed) annual meeting. LISTEN IN HERE.
Listen to Our Story
Check Out LEAF on the air!
May 16, 2016 – Live at LEAF: Masankho Banda
May 13, 2016 – Live at LEAF: Jon Stickley Trio
October 14, 2015 – Ivan Neville of Dumpstaphunk on Slumber Party
August 3, 2015 – Asheville Downtown to Turn Over a New LEAF
July 29, 2015 – The Jeff Messer Show (880 The Revolution)
July 22, 2015 – Talking Elvis & LEAF Downtown on Slumber Party
April 1, 2015 – What’s Your Story? (WPVM – 103.7FM)
February 3, 2015 – The Jeff Messer Show (880 The Revolution)
Press Photos – LEAF Downtown AVL
Please download photos below as needed or contact communications@theLEAF.org with additional requests.
Press Photos – LEAF International
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Press Photos – LEAF School & Streets
Please download photos below as needed or contact communications@theLEAF.org
Press Photos – Lake Eden Grounds
Please download photos below as needed or contact communications@theLEAF.org