V-LEAF | Virtual LEAF Experience May 15-17

LEAF is in the process of creating a virtual LEAF Festival on the weekend of: May 15-17, 2020

We didn’t know if we had the capacity to create a virtual festival with our core staff on reduced time, but then we really started missing our LEAF friends and said “Let’s give it a go!”. We’ve embraced that “V-LEAF” will be old school creative, authentic, and fun. The CONNECTION and #LEAFLove is the essential ingredient.

The creation phase is happening and YOU are welcome to be apart of this new journey. Have time? We want to hear from you if you’d like to volunteer website or social media support, lead a workshop, zoom w/ LEAF friends or if you have LEAF stories and ideas. Dance, connect, pull out costumes, decorate, camp in the yard – let’s get LEAFy.


LEAF Global Arts Experience to reopen June 11th

LEAF Global Arts Experience is planning to do a safe & soft reopen on June 11th on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 12noon-7pm. In addition, LEAF Global is available anytime as of June 1st for private rentals or small private group experiences – contact Marsha at GlobalArts@theLEAF.org

Welcoming Gifts To Support LEAF’s Mission & Future

Like so many organizations, LEAF is facing potentially devastating financial times, and yet the nature of this pandemic is calling us to be fully present for our community in impactful ways that will lead us into the future. 
Your gift today enables us this opportunity to be present. Especially as our world shelters at home, desiring pathways to rekindle hope, ignite creativity, and connect with community. With the push of our May Festival, we lost $275,000 of mission-critical revenue that is the cornerstone of our work throughout the year. In addition, we are anticipating steep declines in annual fundraised contributions. And yet, we have not lost heart! We welcome you to join/renew LEAF Membership, become a Sponsor, or share a meaningful donation. All giving pathways are most welcome as we carry the mission of LEAF forward during this unprecedented time in our world.

– April 15, 2020

LEAF Schools & Streets Online Classes

Like you, LEAF Global Arts is staying home. Fortunately for us all, music & art are universal and we can connect to each other from afar! For the month of April, we are excited to invite our global community to get engaged and get creative with LEAF Schools & Streets through virtual Cultural Arts education, exploration, and experiences! Our Resident Teaching Artists will be offering free public online classes six days a week. Click the images below to get details on each class, and check out the full schedule on the LEAF Community Calendar.

– April 8, 2020

We hope you are all staying healthy and happy at home during this unprecedented time. As a reminder, as of 3/31, all May Tickets, Vehicle Camping, Cabin Rentals & WeX (Work Exchange) applications have automatically transferred into October 2020 Tickets. Yet if this does not work for you, see the 3 options listed in our last update. We are looking forward to celebrating our “Solid Gold” 50th LEAF Festival this October 22-25 and sharing 25 years of memories. Tickets on sale at theLEAF.org/store. So much love, health & gratitude to our LEAF global community. 

– March 18, 2020










Dear LEAF Family & Friends,

As you begin reading this statement, we invite you to first take a moment to turn on a song from one of your favorite LEAF artists. Take that moment to feel gratitude that moves your soul, touches your heart, and guides you forward with hope & inspiration when that first note hits your ears. 

During this unprecedented world phenomenon, LEAF Global Arts is drawing upon the beauty and healing power of 25 years of hosting a world gathering built on friends, family, tradition, arts, culture and MUSIC to face the gravity of how we move forward together. In accordance with the Social Distancing mandates issued by NC Governor Roy Cooper, safety measures implemented by the CDC, and the health-centric mindset embraced by our staff & board – the Spring LEAF Festival, originally scheduled for May 14-17, 2020 is officially shifting to combine with our Fall Festival taking place Oct 22-25, 2020 – for a special 50th Festival Celebration honoring all we hold dear about our Global Community.

At the onset of this unprecedented situation, we were hopeful that the crisis would have stabilized by mid-April and LEAF would be able to welcome our incredible community of families, members, artists, vendors, and staff to reconnect for a new chapter together. Yet it appears that the world needs to take this deep breath together, honoring the need for the utmost safety and caution before reuniting. As we look across the rapidly changing landscape at events, festivals, artists, and creatives across this nation – our hearts go out with profound empathy for all those who have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Know that we are here alongside you as family on this journey together… and recognize this situation is bigger than any of us. Please remain steadfast in supporting your friends, family, and community the very best you can, so we make it through together with strength and resilience.

Important Details for LEAF Festival Ticket Holders: 

  • Per our ticket policy, as a Non-Profit, LEAF is not able to process refunds. Your understanding is deeply appreciated during this very challenging and unprecedented event. All May Tickets, Vehicle Camping, Cabin Rentals & WeX (Work Exchange) applications will automatically transfer into October 2020 Tickets by 3/31. Yet if this does not work for you, we have 3 options: 

    1. Receive Credit for a future event per our credit policy (Note: All standard fees will be waived). Your LEAF Credit will be valid for 3 years, and may be transferred to another person. Email: info@theLEAF.org your LEAF credit request.

    2. As a non-profit organization, LEAF Membership is the KEY to supporting over 12,000 youth globally through our Cultural Arts Education programs. Please consider having your ticket purchase go towards becoming a LEAF Member or elevating your current membership. Email: Jordan at engagement@theLEAF.org

    3. Make your ticket into a tax-deductible donation. The loss of the Spring Festival major event will have a tremendous financial impact on the LEAF Global Arts Organization. It is essential for a significant portion of our operations, and unfortunately our longtime secure Rainy Day Fund had to be put into action.  Donations will be key to ensuring the long term sustainability of our organization. LEAF is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Email: Jordan at engagement@theLEAF.org

Important Details for LEAF Festival Ticket Holders: 

  • We have adjusted our traditional WeX (formerly Volunteer) Application Policy. We will transfer all current Spring Festival Applications to this year’s Fall Festival. We will reach back out in June to reconfirm schedules and availability. *IF* you are not able to attend this year’s Fall Festival, October 22-25, you may transfer your application fee to either of the 2021 Festivals by emailing WeX@theLEAF.org.

When the world settles, we will stay in touch to let you know when the LEAF Global Arts experience will reopen downtown, and when LEAF Schools & Streets classes and workshops are able to resume (the kids and parents will be ready!). LEAF International programs are each following the protocol of their country. In this time of uncertainty, especially for artists, LEAF has taken the extraordinary step of committing to paying hourly LEAF teaching artists and International Culture Keepers, and creating opportunities that they can make up any loss of income during the coronavirus school and center shutdown. In this crucial time, LEAF Membership and Endowment allows us to make this important commitment for the team that is directly working with the youth who are the future Global Citizens. LEAF Teaching Artists and International Culture Keepers are essential in carrying out the mission of LEAF Global Arts in our neighborhood and across the world. Any additional donations to support this commitment are most welcome.

In holding space together, on the weekend of May 14-17, 2020, the LEAF team will host a music experience virtually from LEAF Global Arts in downtown AVL to share some music & culture we love with all of you at home. In the coming weeks, we will share social media updates with music, art, insights, and wisdom from artists, culture keepers, and creatives from all throughout the world to keep the fire of inspiration burning in the hearts of all we are connected to as a community. LEAF is so much more than just a festival, we are a world family and we ask that you keep us involved in a dialog with how we can best show up for each other during this unprecedented time. We thank you all so much for your ongoing support and understanding. It is our hope to see you soon at LEAF Global Arts in downtown AVL, and so look forward to welcoming you back with big hugs (virtual and real) at Lake Eden for our big 50th Festival in the Fall. Safe and healthy journeys to you and your families.

With So Much LEAF Love, Gratitude and Compassion
as we all stand TOGETHER,

LEAF Board President Pete Roe, Executive Director Jennifer Pickering, Co-Festival Directors Ehren Cruz & Leigh Maher, and the LEAF Team & Family

March 12, 2020

Love + Health to Our Global Community

LEAF Global Arts is dedicated to creating life-enriching experiences for patrons, families, youth, members, staff, sponsors and artists – and our highest priority remains the health & safety of our collective community. We are closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the region and world, and are consulting with top event specialists, medical experts, and regional municipalities to receive the most up to date resources & information on this developing phenomena. We also have assessed insights and feedback from many constituents including partners, sponsors, teaching artists, patrons, staff, board, and other key contributors in our vibrant global community.

As of now, given the professional advisement we have received, LEAF plans to host the upcoming Spring’s 50th LEAF Festival, May 14-17. We so hope to see you in May, and are grateful to have over two months to evaluate, plan and respond to the situation as it changes. In recognition of our amazing festival community, we honor your discretion and decisions and will accept exchanges of tickets as a credit which can be used at a future LEAF event in the next 3 years. LEAF leadership is actively meeting throughout this historic world situation and have created benchmarks to discern our courses of action. We are sharing updates on LEAF Website as this situation evolves.

With an abundance of health precautions, LEAF Global Arts Center in Downtown Asheville will be closed temporarily with updates posted on webpage. LEAF will continue to evaluate the health & safety updates in Western North Carolina aligning with organizations that have educational components to determine the reopening time of the LEAF Global Arts experience.  

Thank you for being a vital part of our community. In this time of global crisis, compassion and understanding are essential as we are on this unique journey together as Global Citizens. LEAF will continue to virtually share global stories, good music, and connection. For 25 years, LEAFers have been remarkable in taking amazing CARE and KINDNESS of each other – let’s continue this journey together.

We deeply appreciate you and our community,
LEAF Board President Pete Roe & Executive Director Jennifer Pickering


Resources for the latest official updates:

Guidance from World Health Organization (WHO)
Latest information from NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)
Buncombe County Health & Human Services
Asheville Area Arts Council Updates 

Healthy & Happy Habits:

Be Compassionate: It is important to remember that this is a world situation affecting families, friends, students, artists, staff and everyone in some way. You may have friends, family and loved ones in areas that are at higher risk and remain compassionate to their worries and concerns about their loved ones and the daily changes in their lives.

Be Healthy: Wash your hands often, sanitize, and stay home if you have any signs of being sick.

Be Creative: Practice fun ways to eliminate touch. Perhaps you can greet one another with your favorite dance move, an air hug or virtual high five, jazz hands, or something to that nature.

Be Informed: about what is happening globally regarding the coronavirus and be open to talking with your friends, kids students and helping to mitigate their fears, and think together ways to work through it.

Be You! Bringing Joy through cultural arts is so vital in times that are filled with uncertainty.