Page 1



cultural arts catalog

Spring / Summer

COMMUNITY ARTS A nonprofit organization, building community, connecting cultures and enriching lives through the arts – locally & globally – with festivals, community events and arts education programs.


activates the arts to bridge cultures and create life-affirming, community building experiences - empowering LOCAL youth to become global citizens, young artistic leaders & agents of positive change.


is dedicated to cultural preservation, fostering global citizenship and cultural exchange. LEAF collaborates with communities & partners to support Culture Keepers who teach local youth their traditional arts.


founding event. For 23 years, an intergenerational global community gathers at Lake Eden for a dynamic experience of music, art a culture from our backyard and around the globe.


celebrates creativity, diversity & 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.

#1 Nonprofit Serving the Arts #1 Cultural Arts Event #1 Music Festival 2

#1 Music-Related Nonprofit #1 Festival for Camping #1 Festival for Kids





M emb e r





“LEAF MemberSHIP is important to me because I have experienced the transformational power of cultural exchange, and I have witnessed the life-changing impact that LEAF has brought to Asheville youth and to our global community.” ~ Tommy George, LEAF Member & Board Emeritus





• ect


LEAF MEMBERSHIP Join a global community of donors who believe in the life-changing power of cultural arts education locally & globally! 100% of MemberSHIP support LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International To get involved, visit

Your Membership Makes a Difference

LEAF Membership is a charitable contribution that ensures youth, in Buncombe County & in 9 countries across the globe, have access to cultural arts education at little to no cost.

Since 2004, LEAF Schools & Streets has served more than 70,000 youth through residencies, workshops, and performance opportunities. With the generous support of Members like you, LEAF is able to provide free and low-cost cultural arts education to more than 300 local youth each week.

Since 2006, LEAF International has empowered more than 2300+ youth across the globe. LEAF International currently serves more than 750 each week in 9 countries: Costa Rica, Rwanda, Bequia, Guatemala, Mexico, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Mardi Gras Indians of NOLA.


TABLE OF CONTENTS About LEAF ..................................................................................... 2

Cultural Expeditions .................................................................. 19

Join Our Global Community .................................................. 3

LEAF International

LEAF Schools & Streets

Bequia ............................................................................................. 21

Teaching Artist-Led Programs

Haiti ................................................................................................. 21

Resident Teaching Artist Program ........................................ 5

Costa Rica ...................................................................................... 22

Visiting Teaching Artist Program ........................................... 9

Guatemala ..................................................................................... 23

Artist in Residence Program ................................................... 12

Ivory Coast .................................................................................... 23

Community-Driven Programs

Rwanda .......................................................................................... 24

Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab ....................................................... 16

Tanzania ......................................................................................... 24

Unfolding LEAF (U-LEAF) ......................................................... 16

Mexico ............................................................................................ 25

Summer Camp .............................................................................. 17

New Orleans ................................................................................. 25

Community Events ..................................................................... 17

LEAF Signature Events

Living & Learning Series

LEAF Festival ................................................................................... 26

Learning Journeys ...................................................................... 18

LEAF Downtown AVL .................................................................. 26

Kennedy Center Partners In Education ............................... 18

Introducing: The LEAF Global Hub

Cultural Exchange ...................................................................... 19

Vision ................................................................................................. 27

How To Use This Catalog LEAF Schools & Streets welcomes and celebrates community partnership, the spirit of collaboration and joint efforts to support the healthy development of kids & young adults. Together, we can explore how engagement can happen, keeping in mind that customization is always an option as long as there is a mission match. Costs you see associated with residencies, workshops, performances, cultural exchanges and other experiences cover expenses related to Teaching Artist compensation, supplies, transportation/fuel, training and production-support where needed. This catalog was specifically created for schools, community centers, groups and other organizations that want to bring cultural arts education to the lives of youth locally, and globally. As you flip through this document, please note that LEAF’s cultural arts education offerings follow the academic year calendar for ease of partnerships with schools and educationbased programs, and are divided into the following semesters: SPRING | January 1 – May 31 Student Showcase – May 9-12 SUMMER | June 1 – August 15 Student Showcase – August 2-3 FALL | August 16 – December 31 Student Showcase – October 17-20 4

RESIDENT TEACHING ARTIST PROGRAM Program Overview: LEAF has the opportunity to impact youth beyond the festival experience. LEAF growing roster of 10+ Resident Teaching Artists lead a variety of programs that allow youth to explore an array of cultural arts, including: MUSIC APPRECIATION – Percussion, Brass Band & Intro to Guitar AFRICAN DIASPORA – Drumming, Dance & Costuming HIP HOP – Breakdance, Choreography & Intro to DJing DRAMA – Theater & Circus Arts MEDIA – Stop Motion Animation & EMErgence LEAF Schools & Streets programs, goals, curriculum, and evaluations are aligned with the Developmental Assets Profile, developed by the Search Institute. Building these assets prepare youth for success in some type of college or education, a career, and citizenship. LEAF has identified 6 assets that exemplify the types of skills our programs help to develop in our students. These are: Community Values Youth, Adult Role Models, Creative Activities, Cultural Competence, Personal Power, & Self-Esteem.

Semester Offered: FALL, SPRING & SUMMER Showcase Details (@ LEAF Festival): SPRING ‘19 – May 9-12 // FALL ‘19 – October 17-20

*Thanks in large part to grants, donations, sponsors, and LEAF MemberSHIP, these Resident Teaching Artist programs have been subsidized, allowing youth & their families to participate FREE & experience the award-winning LEAF Festival as a performing artist.


Music Appreciation PERCUSSION As universal as love, percussion is represented & embraced in every musical tradition through history, making this program an accessible & versatile entry into cultural arts education for children of all ages and backgrounds. Using djembes, congas, drum sets, shakers, claves, hand drums, snare & bass, bongos, dunduns and more, groups learn to honor & hone the different percussion rhythms from all over the world including Africa, Latin America, Middle East and American marching styles. Through the practice, youth develop coordination, rhythm & composition skills as well as nurturing a connection with their own heritage & individual self-expression. Teaching Artist: Agustin Frederic Program Partner: Christine W. Avery Center BRASS BAND In LEAF’s brass band program, youth gain familiarity playing brass instruments including the saxophone, trumpet, trombone and more mastering the principles of music composition & musical cohesion through an exploration in brass ensembles ranging from the classical to the modern lively styles reminiscent of the spirit of New Orleans. The program creates a stable foundation for youth to create supportive peer groups while developing self-affirming life skills such as self-confidence, self-worth, perseverance, commitment and the art of improvisation. Like percussion, brass instruments offer youth a connection to their roots and a vessel for enacting their imaginations. Teaching Artists: Sam Irvin IV Program Partner: Christine W. Avery Center INTRO TO GUITAR For many early music enthusiasts and experimenters, guitar is the first point of entry. This class engages beginner teens in the practice of music, gaining an understanding of scales, chords, strumming techniques and rhythm on acoustic, electric and bass guitars. Guitar lessons offer youth an opportunity to push themselves while finding musical connections with peers that expand their worldview and personal perspectives.The program is an access point for a wide array of musical genres and is tailored to the interests of the individual so that the guitar serves as a tool for achieving their own personal mission, whatever it may be. Teaching Artists: Sam Irvin IV Program Partner: YMCA - 21st Century Horizons Program

African Diaspora AFRICAN DRUM, DANCE & COSTUMING When LEAF Schools & Streets was founded in 2004, the primary impetus was to bring music and art into the historically African-American neighborhoods of Buncombe County. Today, the programs continue to honor this foundation by recognizing the importance of connecting youth to their African heritage. Master Teaching Artists from Ivory Coast, Malawi, Rwanda, New Orleans and Virginia lead authentic drumming, dance and costuming classes, engaging students in the sounds, rhythms and customs from the Motherland. Teaching Artist: Adama Dembele Program Partners: Burton Street Community Center


Hip Hop BREAKDANCE & CHOREOGRAPHY LEAF’s most cross-generational class, dance! Youth from ages 5-17 learn to embrace movement to positive & empowering dance hits. Through group choreography & selfdesigned solos, youth develop supportive team bonds & a fun means to express highenergy, but focused body coordination. Participants also have leadership opportunities by creating & teaching choreography to their peers. Master Teaching Artists collectively bring 50+ years of dance experience, hands-on youth leadership experience, and education/ training in various dance genres, keeping lessons fresh & safe. Teaching Artist(s): Otto Vasquez, Ryulee Parker, Jeannette Zweig Program Partners: IRL (In Real Life), Burton Street Community Center, Children First/ Communities in Schools, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Asheville, Christine Avery Center, YMCA – 21st Century Horizons Program & Studio Zahiya INTRO TO DJING The art of mixing, scratching & spinning have taken the globe by storm. What started in urban cities across the Northeast US, quickly became an embedded art form of hip hop culture & continuously evolves as technology advances. DJs may create beats using percussion breaks, basslines & musical content sampled from pre-existing records. All are welcome to learn music production equipment, the ins & outs of the music industry & the technical art of mixing & scratching. This program has proudly been led by independent artists, hip hop professors & entrepreneurs bringing business acumen, artistry & tech detail to students. Teaching Artist: Nex Millen Program Partner: Burton Street Community Center

Drama THEATER LEAF theater classes explore a wide-range of written, verbal and non-verbal selfexpression tools as well as technical aspects of theatrical production. Youth engage in exercises to hone their interpersonal communication skills and develop self-confidence through script writing, group skit acting, monologue rehearsal, public speaking and improvisation. Teaching Artists bring business experience to the class for a behind-thescenes perspective of what putting on a professional production is all about: set design, props, lighting & presence. Teaching Artist: Erinn Hartley Program Partners: YMCA – 21st Century Horizons Program, IRL (In Real Life), Burton Street Community Center CIRCUS ARTS Challenge the body & mind in activities that combine balance, juggling, hand-eye coordination & body posture with non-verbal communication, improvisation, focus, teamwork & fun. Dive into the tricks of the trade while gaining confidence in conveying & control emotion. This unique art hones a high-level of concentration, body flow & relaxation that utilizes the right & left side of the brain. It also develops a need for open, clear communication & cooperation among a troupe teaching youth healthy support systems, and the joy of laughter, humor & creativity. Teaching Artists: Ingrid Johnson Program Partners: YMCA - 21st Century Horizons Program & IRL (In Real Life)


Media STOP MOTION ANIMATION Visual & audio storytelling have a technological & accessible medium for delivery through the wonder of stop motion animation, a new hit program at LEAF! Youth manipulate their original art, cut-out prints and physical objects to animate them into fantastical short films of their own imagining. Through the process, participants learn collaboration, script writing, filming, editing and voice-over techniques while conceptualizing story themes that range from “A Day in the Life,” a superhero epic, or an “African American Hero.” With access to the ONEmic Studio at Burton Street, youth are further encouraged to incorporate their skills in audio production and contribute to the soundtrack of their films. Teaching Artist: Nex Millen Program Partners: Burton Street Community Center EMERGENCE: MUSIC & SOUND EXPERIENCE Founded in 2013, EMErgence is LEAF’s Electronic Music Experience, connecting youth with the wide world of music production. This program offers the opportunity to explore the latest in music technology, equipment and techniques while honoring the history and progression of music production. Youth first learn how to completely setup and identify the different features of production equipment and then take creative liberty to explore with beats from around the world and their original compositions mixing their own songs. Access to a variety of instruments in real-time further compliments the experience allowing youth to record their original. Teaching Artist: Nex Millen Program Partner: Burton Street Community Center & IRL (In Real Life)

Introducing the... LEAF TEACHING ARTIST INSTITUTE In the Fall of 2019, LEAF will launch the first stage of a LEAF Teaching Artist Institute, in partnership with Lenoir Rhyne University. Through the Teaching Artist Institute we endeavor to create a community of teaching artists and teachers who are able to deliver high quality arts programming in the schools and surrounding communities. We envision fostering an environment that encourages cultural curiosity and global awareness and celebrates and elevates students’ voices. Lenoir Rhyne University is interested in creating more informal educational opportunities in the community, making the LEAF Teaching Artist Institute a natural fit. Through this collaboration, in addition to our affiliation with the Kennedy Center Partner’s in Education program, we hope to ensure thriving mutually-beneficial collaborations between teachers, artists and community members, thusly having a powerful impact on our students. Both classroom teachers and teaching artists will be able to be a part of our Teaching Artist Institute. We will approach all our work through an equity lens, empowering and uplifting our community. We look forward to sharing more about this opportunity as the program develops! For more information, email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742].


LEAF FESTIVAL VISITING TEACHING ARTIST PROGRAM Week of May 6 - 10, 2019 with a final showcase at Spring LEAF May 9 - 12, 2019. Program Overview: Twice a year, LEAF invites performing artists from around the globe that are culturally-rooted enough to grace the Festival stage and mission-oriented enough to lead a Visiting Teaching Artist Residency with elementary, middle and/or high school students in and around Buncombe County. It is an opportunity for youth to dive-in deep with a particular set of cultural traditions and immerse in the multicultural, multigenerational celebration that LEAF Festival offers taking the next step toward becoming global citizens and leaders - onstage and off-stage. LEAF Festival Visiting Teaching Artist Residencies consist of the following:

• Visiting Teaching Artists are carefully selected by a committee comprised of the Performing Arts Director, Executive

Director and Cultural Arts Team at LEAF. These individuals are national and internationally touring acts with a deep desire to engage and empower youth in music and arts. • A 3 - 5 day residency, 1 1/2 to 3 hours a day, hosted in a local school and/or community center for children. • Each youth performer gets rockstar treatment for their showcase at LEAF Festival with the Visiting Teaching Artist including, a LEAF performer badge with access to the Performer Lounge, two free guest passes for the day of their performance, a swag bag and LEAF t-shirt to rock on stage. • The opportunity for youth to truly become global citizens and artistic leaders by working with role models of different cultures to express themselves and dream of future possibilities!

How to Book: Email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742] for booking information.


Guatemalan Mountain Marimba, Mandolin and More! Artist: LEAF International Guatemala Cost: $1000 | Length: 5 day | Grade Level: K-12 Program Overview: Co-founded with the support of fellow Visiting Teaching Artist, David LaMotte, LEAF International Guatemala is an exemplary youth ensemble of Guatemala musical tradition and history. Led by Teaching Artists and students from the music program in El Tejar, Guatemala, this residency will bring a taste of the rich and expansive instrumentation that brings these tradition alive including marimba, violin, guitar, percussion and keyboard. Paired with the customary dances, storytelling and clothing, students will truly get the Guatemalan experience and a sense of global citizenship.

Bagpipe Ballads Artist: Jarlath Henderson | Cost: $850 | Length: 3 day | Grade Level: 3-12 Program Overview: The youngest recipient of the BBC Radio Young Folk Musician of the Year Award, Jarlath has taken the folk music scene by storm. A native of Northern Ireland, Jarlath has toured all over Europe and is bringing his talents stateside with a stop at a local WNC school for this residency diving into the folk traditions of the UK and Ireland, the art of song composition, production and singing. Though most renowned for his extraordinary gifts playing the uilleann pipes and whistles, the national bagpipe of Ireland, Jarlath is also a skilled vocalist and is accompanied by his band of multi-instrumentalists specializing in keyboard, flute, fiddle, guitar and double bass. This residency will explore the origins of Celtic folk music, bridging this definitive cultural tradition to that of the Appalachian folk roots we know and love in Western North Carolina.

Global Musical Passport Artist: Dirtwire | Cost: $700 | Length: 3 day | Grade Level: K-12 Program Overview: Dirtwire is on a musical mission to celebrate, honor and preserve the traditions of indigenous populations and the art of the instruments used to translate their authentic spirit. Their unique style of weaving the old world with new-age electronic music utilizes dozens of instruments from the melodicas, guitarjo, electric spade fiddle, jaw harp, overtone flutes, ukulele, Siberian ghostcatcher mouthbow and many more. Championed by Evan Fraser, David Satori and Mark Reveley, Dirtwire has explored almost every corner of the world. This residency will take youth THERE, transporting the mind from culture to culture landing in the melting pot of diversity and influential power of music to showcase an ensemble of global goodness.

Bilingual Folk-Pop Artivist Artists: Gina Chavez | Cost: $700 | Length: 3 day | Grade Level: K-12 Program Overview: A multi-ethnic native of Austin, Texas, Gina Chavez has made it her personal mission to be the microphone for other people’s stories by way of her signature style of bilingual Latin folk-pop. Her lyrics, enveloping a beautiful spirit of soulful sincerity, love and uplifting life, have won her 10 Austin Music Awards, a spotlight on NPR Tiny Desk and role as cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department. For Gina, music is more than a melody, it is a vessel for speaking up and out for a better world. In working with Gina, youth will experience the healing and relieving properties of storytelling, singing and performing the message of their authentic journeys. 10

Joyful Jazz Artist: Sammy Miller & The Congregation Cost: $800 | Length: 3 day | Grade Level: 6-12 Program Overview: Grammy nominated drummer, singer & bandleader, Sammy Miller, exemplifies relentless dedication to “making music that feels good.” A graduate of The Juilliard School, Sammy formed this ensemble of drums, trombone, tenor & soprano sax, sousaphone, guitar, trumpet and piano to share the power of community through the art of jazz. The band’s style is smooth, soulful & funky with swing & gospel undertones. During this residency, students will be exposed to a high level of skill in instrumentation and authentic jazz musicianship while carrying fourth it founding principle, spread joy throughout the world.

Musical Medicine Artist: Poranguí | Cost: $650 | Length: 3 day | Grade Level: K-12 Program Overview: A musician, healer, teacher & creative, Poranguí carries music and art in his DNA. His mastery in looping technology allows him to weave ancestral songs and indigenous rhythms from Australia to Brazil, Africa and more through the integrative sounds of world instruments including the didgeridoo, pre-Columbian flutes, guitar, percussion and vocals. His unique sound of ecstatic beats and blissful lullabies have lent themselves to a diverse swath of teaching opportunities, especially in working with marginalized youth. Poranguí brings with him years of experience in designing interdisciplinary residencies that combine music, movement and medicine with a mission to support others in remembering “what it means to be free and fully expressed, what it means to love and be loved, what it means to be more authentically human.”

Cultural Convergence: Uniting of Traditions Artist: Abraham Jam | Cost: $1000 | Length: 5 day | Grade Level: K-12 Program Overview: Comprised of three seasoned and internationally-renowned songwriters, Dawud Wharnsby, Billy Jonas and David LaMotte, Abraham Jam specializes in the art of harmonizing: cultivating peace by showcasing differences. The trio, representing the three Abrahamic faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, have made it their mission to share and pass along tradition through song, story and laughter. Abraham Jam is distinct in their collaborative vocals, percussion and instrumentation as well as their whimsical performances that draw in crowd participation. This residency will shine a light on the significance of forging cross-cultural understanding, honoring of differences, and the importance of using creative expression as a bridge toward appreciation, acceptance, and celebration.

Want to learn more? VIsit our website at, email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742].


ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM February 1 - December 13, 2019 based on artist availability. Program Overview: Since it’s conception in 2004, LEAF Schools & Streets has operated to provide exceptional and authentic cultural arts education in Western North Carolina through the dedication of local and international Teaching Artists. Over the years, the roster of Teaching Artists has grown and diversified in an effort to continuously support the changing needs of cultural arts programming in the most high-need communities. LEAF is proud to continue supporting these artists and our communities quest for satisfying cultural curiosity by making their programs available year-round for residency, workshop and performance opportunities to anybody and everybody! These artists have been carefully selected for their high level of expertise, passion for teaching and authentic connection to the cultural artform they represent to ignite creativity and inspire self-expression in people of all ages. Residency: Residencies are intensive, 5-day (1.5 - 3 hours a day) immersions in the artist’s signature artform and style that may culminate in a final performance/showcase of skills and knowledge gained. These are opportunities to begin exploring a new cultural art or seek a higher and deeper level of engagement with an already familiar artform. A residency offers an intimate experience with a highly acclaimed Teaching Artist that connects the individual to the artform on a more profound and personal level. Residencies are typically available for individuals or groups of up to 30, but exceptions may apply based on the artist and artform. Fee: $685 Workshop: A 45 - 90 minute hands-on practicum in the artist’s signature artform and style including an introduction of brief history/context of the art and their connection to it. These are opportunities to begin exploring a new cultural art or seek a higher and deeper level of engagement with an already familiar artform. Workshops are typically available for individuals or groups of up to 30, but exceptions may apply based on the artist and artform. Fee: $105 Performance: A 45 - 90 minute presentation of the artist’s signature artform and style including an introduction of brief history/context of the art and their connection to it. Fee: $105

How to Book: Email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742] for booking information. 12

EMErgence: Electronic Music Experience Artist: Nex Millen Program Overview: For Nex Millen, a native of Philadelphia, music is at the forefront of everything. “Music helps us to truly live in harmony with ourselves,” he explains. Nex embodies this philosophy as an accomplished music producer, visual & performing artist, DJ, student and teacher of Hip Hop culture. As a LEAF Master Teaching Artist, Nex’s programs give youth a voice by exposing them to the latest in electronic music technology within the context of it’s cultural significance. Participants explore self expression through singing & songwriting and audio & visual media production. Through his 20 years of experience in the music entertainment industry, not only as an artist, but also in the fields of music retail, music marketing, and artist development, Nex emphasizes the importance of learning the ins & outs of the industry. In honoring the past, present and future of Hip Hop, participants learn to take responsibility for their own creativity & successful paths forward.

Puppeteering with a Purpose Artist: Edwin Salas Acosta Program Overview: Edwin is a Mexican Puppeteer, raised in Costa Rica whose international acclaim in the artform has led him all over the world, allowing him to reach larger audiences and bridge seemingly greater divides. He is prestigiously recognized as a performance artist in dance and theater as well as a mixed-media visual artist, specializing in sculpting of puppets using anything from wood, plastic, paper, cardboard & more. While his themes range from social activism to cultural & folkloric storytelling, mental illness & beyond, Edwin is also passionate about working intimately with people of all ages to illuminate their self-expression through puppetry. In his programs, Edwin teaches different puppetry techniques, material manipulation and the process of story craft to assist youth in sharing their authentic selves highlighting the significance of each child’s presence and unique perspective in this wide world.

The Wonderful World of Hip Hop Dance Artist: Otto “Aquaboogy” Vasquez Program Overview: Internationally acclaimed Broadway dancer, instructor, choreographer, street dancer and LEAF Master Teaching Artist, Otto, who honed his craft in Miami & New York, invites you to the wonderful world of Hip Hop dance! Jump into the culture and art of Hip Hop dance through the ages, learning iconic moves and grooves from classics like King Tutt (Tuttung) and Waving, to authentic street styles like Popping and the Robot, to the popular styles of today. Otto’s Hip Hop immersions embody his motto: “Everyone learns, everyone smiles, everyone has a good time!” From adults to kids, the journey is universally the same. It’ll be one funky experience!


Drum to the Beat of Your Voice Artist: Hope Medford (Starting March 1st) Program Overview: Inspired by her first percussion teacher, Babatunde Olatunje of Nigeria, Hope has been using the art of hand drumming as a vessel for love for over 25 years. Having immersed in the study and teaching of percussion across cultures from Senegal to West Africa, Brazil and Peru, Hope finds her spirit called to the preservation of multicultural indigenous instruments by highlighting them in her signature musical style most commonly featured in her work touring internationally with the band Nahko and Medicine for the People. In her teaching, Hope seeks to inspire students to explore a new voice using these instruments as tools for deepening confidence, strengthening creativity and building community. Her sessions are filled with hands-on, interactive activities to develop coordination, listening skills and self-expression of one’s own rhythm in a safe, success-oriented environment.

The Science & Philosophy of Music Artist: Samuel Irvin IV Program Overview: Marrying degrees in jazz studies & philosophy, Sam Irvin’s perspective-widening curriculum inspires students to engage with the fundamentals of music. Sam uses his extensive experience as a WNCbased jazz director, synthesizer technician, multi-genre musical performer & composer to teach the inner-workings of sound, establishing a foundation from which individuals can discover their unique musical expression through experimentation & improvisation. Sam tailors his residencies & workshops to connect directly with K-12 North Carolina Essential Standards. From using an oscilloscope and synthesizer to manipulate & measure amplitude, frequency & slope of sound waves, to basic pattern identification in harmony & rhythm, these immersions make learning fun & interactive. Regardless of the learning & creative process, for Sam, the most important outcome is to challenge perspective, expressing oneself and appreciating each other and the wider world.

Dance FOR the Revolution Artists: Lisa Zahiya Program Overview: Owner of Studio Zahiya in Downtown Asheville, Lisa’s mission is to “help other women figure out what they want most out of life and to figure out how to get it.” As an internationally renowned dancer and choreographer in addition to her success as a life and entrepreneurship coach, public speaker and change maker, Lisa brings the inner light in everyone she meets out onto the “mainstage” of their life. In her extensive work with children, including over a decade as LEAF Master Teaching Artist, Lisa focus on co-creation: exploring history of movement and then co-creating dances with kids. She specializes in North American folk and Indian folk dances, particularly bellydance, as well as an all-time favorite, Hip Hop dance. Her residencies and workshops boost self-esteem, creativity and cultivate joyful environments for people of ALL ages.


Nurturing the Beat of Life Artist: Agustin Frederic Program Overview: Influenced by the vibrant and diverse musical traditions of his home-country of Costa Rica, Agustin pursued an education in music, social behavioral sciences and jazz studies in Florida catapulting his personal & professional path into the world of musicianship. He is a performing, touring and recording drummer & percussionist as well as a live sound engineer, music producer & composer with esteemed credits across the US. As a percussion teacher, Agustin’s mission is to awaken life, positivity & joy. Life has a beat, and for that beat to hold steady, one must nurture it. Agustin accesses his extensive repertoire of knowledge and skill in drum set, orchestral percussion, hand drums (Latin, African, Middle Eastern), marching & rudimental percussion, percussion ensemble and Brazilian percussion to custom tailor programs that cater to the needs and goals of the individual or group.

West African Djembe Jam Artist: Adama Dembele Program Overview: Adama Dembele is a master djembefola (djembe player) from the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Born into 33 generations of musicians where his family home was known as Djembeso, “the house of djembe,” it is Adama’s mission in life to preserve and promote authentic West African musical and cultural traditions throughout the world. He has toured several continents and collaborated with various major acts and companies such as Yelembad’abidjan, Ensemble Koteba, Congoba, Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita, Affou Keita, Sogona Djata, Toubab Krewe, his original band, Les Amis as well as many others. In teaching, Adama seeks to share a holistic understanding of his deep cultural roots including language, the rhythms of the djembe drum and accompanying dances and customary dress, the historical context and storytelling properties of the music, a sense of place and more. While dozens of musicians flock to his home for this education, we are honored to welcome Adama to Asheville since 2005 for experiences that transport and transform us.

Classical Comedy Artist: Skyler Goff & Ashleigh Goff

Program Overview: Good Company Youth Theatre is dedicated to using performance to help youth discover themselves in a safe yet challenging environment. Through classical theatre such as commedia dell’arte, Shakespearean, and Greek Tragedy, students learn how to use their bodies & voices as instruments to tell stories and perform for an audience. They also create the script, props, costumes and set, making their final production entirely youth driven. Through this process, students learn their strengths and, most importantly, their self worth while also learning the importance of responsibility & teamwork. Instructors Ashleigh & Skyler Goff collectively have over 25 years of experience with youth & theatre. Ashleigh having graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University and founding The Montford Moppets Theatre Troop, and Skyler having designed programs for youth for over eight years, it is their mission to bring performance to communities around the country that show off just how brilliant children can be.


COMMUNITY-DRIVEN PROGRAMS Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab // U-LEAF Mobile Stage // Arts & Parks Camp // Community Events

Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab

U-LEAF Mobile Stage

Program Overview: Easel Rider – Asheville’s Mobile Art Lab – is all about connecting people & art. Since July 2013, City of Asheville Parks & Recreation Department has partnered with LEAF to operate Easel Rider, which is free when hosted at an Asheville Parks & Recreation site. The fully-customized Sprinter Van contains 80 linear feet of art supplies, a sound system & projectors, providing interactive hands-on activities that challenge the Asheville community to experience creation on the go!

Program Overview: The “U-LEAF” (short for “Unfolding LEAF Mobile Stage”) is a one-of-a-kind mobile art stage, built in collaboration with Asheville Design Build Studio through a grant project featuring 13 scholarshipped students who worked tirelessly for two months fabricating models, workshopping blueprints and surveying community needs.

Today, LEAF has a growing roster of 10+ Easel Rider Teaching Artists that facilitate a visual art project related to the theme of the community event. Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab is used in many different capacities: after-school programs, community functions, specific school activities, outdoor activities & camps - reaching roughly 6,262+ youth at 208 events in 2018. Semester Offered: SPRING, SUMMER & FALL Cost: $150 (1-3 hours) / $300 (4-6 hours) Teaching Artists: Marsha Almodovar (Coordinator), Cleaster Cotton, Edwin Salas Acosta, Cynde Allen, Chaka Gordon, Erinn Hartley, Robyn Josephs, Madison Link, Jenny Pickens, Vanessa Guerrero, James Love Graphic Artist: Sir Tom Foolery Art + Design Sponsored By: Harmony Motors Program Partners: Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff & Maybin Mission


Our purpose for creating the U-LEAF, is to foster pathways of access, inclusivity & community-building through the collaborative production of high integrity events in neighborhoods, community centers, public parks, and even private functions. The U-LEAF is available in a variety of forms ranging from a simple stage deployment to a comprehensive experience – the stage deployment paired with admin and a full PA sound system. Semester Offered: SPRING, SUMMER & FALL Cost: $400 (half day) / $800 (full day)* *Stage only. Does not include sound engineer or PA sound system. The pricing for the rental and use of the U-LEAF stage will be determined based upon the nature of your event, status of your organization (private vs. non-profit), and partnership status with LEAF Community Arts. U-LEAF programming made possible in part by support from Beattie Foundation & Bradham Family Foundation.

Arts & Parks Camp

Community Events

Program Overview: The annual LEAF Arts & Parks Summer Camp is a joint partnership between LEAF Schools & Streets and Asheville Parks & Recreation. The camp is a natural product of each organization’s mission.

Program Overview: Community Events are communitydriven programs that showcase local artist talent and connect, build and strengthen our local community by developing opportunities for young and emerging artists to build sustainable relationships that connect them back to LEAF’s mission of connecting cultures and creating community through music & arts.

At the conclusion of each week of Camp, youth will have the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned in a finale performance for families and community members at the Wesley Grant Center and/or LEAF Downtown. Kids step into the magical world of LEAF in a week of fun activities similar to festival-favorite experiences with dance workshops, healing arts, face painting, drum lessons, circus/theater arts, Spanish, the LEAF Instrument Petting Zoo & more!

A community event can include LEAF teaching artists, the Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab, the ULEAF stage, a sound engineer and DJ’s, or customize one of your own! *To find out more details about these events as well as our nonprofit pricing, please contact our Community Events Coordinator and plan your next special event!

*Advance registration required. Registration opens on February 18th & closes when spots fill.

Semester Offered: SUMMER only Cost: $165* per child (rising 1st to 5th graders) Camp Details: 9am - 5pm daily Week 1: - July 22-26 // Week 2: July 29-Aug 2 Location: Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Center | 285 Livingston

Semester Offered: Offered year-round Cost: For-profit & non-profit pricing available. Details: For more details on custom events, pricing menus & offerings, please visit our website at

Want to learn more? Visit our website at, email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742]. 17

LIVING & LEARNING SERIES Cultural Exchanges // Cultural Expeditions // Learning Journeys // Partners In Education

Learning Journeys Program Overview: Since 2014, LEAF has been hosting conversations for & by the local community and our Teaching Artist called “Learning Journeys” these discussions give our LEAF family an opportunity to connect, engage and get inspired to the work and efforts that improve our community and world around us! Each month, Learning Journeys are paired with a theme, and a speaker, panel or workshop. We are invited to share in the experience to learn and connect Learning Journeys will last approximately 60-90 minutes, depending on how long Q&A is the speaker shares. This is a FREE gathering, with some kid-friendly options. We invite YOU to join us. RSVP is requested. Please e-mail for further information

Semester Offered: SPRING, SUMMER & FALL Cost: FREE to attendees Details: 12pm-1pm Every 4th Thursday (except May & October) Dates: Feb 21 | Mar 21 | Apr 25 | Jun 20 | July 25 | Aug 22 | Sep 26 | Nov 14 | Dec 19 Location: Varies (see invites for details)

Kennedy Center Partners In Education Program Overview: In 2018, LEAF Community Arts and Buncombe County Schools had the honor of becoming a part of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, furthering our ability to connect cultures through music & arts. The Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program facilitates educational partnerships between arts organizations around the nation and their local school systems. Representatives from these organizations work together to establish or expand professional learning programs in the arts for teachers. These events for teachers focus on either teaching about the arts, or teaching other subject areas through the arts. Through this partnership, LEAF has access to a plethora of educational resources, more visibility through the Kennedy Center branding, and a network of peers across the country with similar goals. Beginning with a cohort of 30 teachers across Buncombe County representing each grade level and a diverse array of subject areas, we plan to increase our reach each year by diving in with a new cohort of Buncombe County teachers. Email or call 828.68.MUSIC [686-8742] for booking information.


Cultural Exchanges

Cultural Expeditions

Program Overview: Cultural exchanges are an integral part of what we do at LEAF Community Arts as we work to cultivate a stronger global community and connect cultures around the world. LEAF International cultural exchanges result in life-changing experiences, both for the participating LEAF International students as well as the larger LEAF community involved. During cultural exchanges, LEAF International culture keepers, teaching artists, and youth come to Asheville to share their traditional cultural art forms with local communities, creating global citizenship experiences. These exchanges happen in conjunction with the LEAF Festivals & LEAF Downtown (May, August, & October).

“I saw people listening to each other and I saw people being heard. So much love, care, and kindness were being exchanged. I experienced love, family, cohesiveness, attention to detail, and attention to what really matters in the world.” - Cleaster Cotton, LEAF Teaching Artist & Expeditioner

“It’s really cool for them to come all the way from Haiti - I don’t know if they know how impactful it is for us as students. It’s so cool!” -Madi Beddingfield, TC Roberson High “The youth that are taking part in the drum and dance classes are all excited to learn about their own culture this way. The pride they express while performing and also teaching their audience about Haiti’s history and culture through music and dance is unquestionably the most touching and humbling part of the whole experience” - Ingvill Ceide, LEAF International Haiti Partner & Prosjekt Haiti Founder

Cultivating Cultural Curiosity Be a part of a journey that will allow you to immerse yourself into the heart of LEAF International & its mission. This opportunity will take you and your involvement with LEAF to new heights through cross-cultural experiences with several LEAF International programs including Guatemala, Haiti, Costa Rica and more. See how LEAF International contributes to the vivacity of these traditions by supporting the preservation of cultures and cultural knowledge transfer to the next generations. LEAF International Culture Keepers & youth feel that it’s important for LEAFers to visit the sites where programs are thriving, but most importantly, where indigenous cultures are illuminated through the art of their heritage. Your journey will be led by LEAF staff members, Culture Keepers & partners. These trips are family-friendly, so bring your kids & their friends! Give them an opportunity to see the world as global citizens.

See the world with LEAF! Visit LEAF International programs in Guatemala, Haiti, Costa Rica and more. For info on how to immerse, visit


Program Overview: LEAF International is dedicated to cultural preservation, the fostering of global citizenship and cultural exchange. LEAF collaborates with community partners to support Culture Keepers, leaders who hold the highest understanding of culture/tradition in their community and work to preserve their native languages, land, instruments, costumes and musical tradition by teaching them to local youth. Currently, LEAF International operates in 10 countries through 11 different programs led by 18 different Culture Keepers engaging 750+ youth weekly in the study and appreciation of their cultural traditions, empowering them with the life skills necessary to be active agents of change in their communities and in our world at large. Impact:

• • • • • • • • •

Cultural and historical awareness Preservation of and pride in cultural traditions Familiarity with native instrument, song, dance, ritual, folklore and costuming Community performance experience Increased self-esteem and confidence Indigenous language skills Development of interpersonal trust through role models and mentorship Increased sense of community, teamwork and camaraderie Leadership skills

Where We Work













{ Founded in 2006 }

{ Founded in 2013 }

“The most important thing for me coming Asheville is connection and culture. Sharing my culture and learning about others.”

“Music is the language I speak that makes me feel free. I can express all of myself through music.” ~ Stanley Lubin, LEAF International Haiti Student

~ Blossom, LEAF International Bequia Student

• Cultural Focus: Steel Pan Traditions • Youth Currently Enrolled: 32 • Program Coordinator: Levi Walker DESCRIPTION

LEAF International has partnered with Bequia Community High School to start a unique, music & arts education program that teaches traditional steel pan drumming to children on the island. Called “Kids on Pans,” this program has grown from an introductory class trying to get kids excited about their cultural heritage to an established program with dedicated kids that are becoming professional steel drum musicians. When the program started in Bequia, only one child on the small island had knowledge of the steel pan tradition. Due to Westernization and the relative expensiveness of the cost and regular tuning of the steel pans, the steel pan tradition was slowly fading out and losing relevance among the upcoming generation. Now, with the help of an inspired and engaged community, over 70 children have participated in the “Kids on Pans” program, resulting in a revival of the vibrant steel pan tradition.

• Cultural Focus: Traditional Voodoo Rhythms • Youth Currently Enrolled: 24 • Teaching Artists: Johanne Dejean & Bois Gris • Partner: Prosjekt Haiti DESCRIPTION

LEAF International, Prosjekt Haiti (a Norwegian nonprofit), and Boukman Eksperyans (a Haitian musical group) all partner together to implement and sustain the LEAF International Haiti program. Twice a week, members of Boukman Eksperyans give drum and dance lessons to children in Project Haiti’s Youth Club, free of cost. These youth are extraordinary and dedicated. The long-term vision for the program is that they will eventually serve as music teachers for younger children. The youth perform in the community at least 4 times each year. The benefits of this program extend to the local community, including the drum maker commissioned to provide instruments and the women in the tailor shop Atelier Manman Troll (apart of Prosjekt Haiti), who make costumes for the youth.


COSTA RICA { Founded in 2013 } “I think that LEAF Community Arts is different from other organizations because LEAF really build bonds between communities and so that makes you feel that you are not alone in this journey. And you have a lot of opportunities to show what you are doing; for the teaching artists that is something really important.” ~ Luis Porras Mora LEAF International Partner & Coordinator

• Cultural Focus: Indigenous First Nation Culture • Youth Currently Enrolled: 100+ • Coordinator: Luis Porras Mora • Partner: Proyecto Jirondai • Culture Keepers: Alexis Rodriguez (Ngäbe), Elvis Pitar (Bribri), Luis Salazaar (Cabecar)


In La Casona, the people of the Ngäbe First Nation live on a comarca, roughly translated to “reservation,” where indigenous groups have exclusive land rights & some autonomy. The Ngäbe people have lost much of their culture due to colonization & globalization. This is particularly true for the Panama Ngäbe. Those that migrated to Costa Rica have been separated from their cultural roots. Certain indigenous knowledge of traditional instruments, the remembrance of songs & the lineage of some dialects are all disappearing. Here, LEAF International Costa Rica is supporting the Centro de Cultura Ngäbe, founded by community member & musician, Alexis Rodriguez. Alexis teaches ancient stories to the kids, painting exceptional illustrations in accompaniment. He also teaches children the different traditional dances & songs of the Ngäbe people. Through supporting his endogenous efforts, we are connecting him to a larger network of support to bolster his impact to the Ngäbe communities he is a part of & serves. 22


In 2013, LEAF International teamed up with Proyecto Jirondai to support the preservation & revitalization of ancient Bribri music, art & language traditions in the southern mountainous region of Talamanca, Costa Rica. The culture & language of the First Nations in Costa Rica have been marginalized for 2+ generations. Currently, 90% of all linguistics diversity in the Americas have disappeared or are in process of. UNESCO predicts all native languages will disappear in this century. LEAF International Costa Rica supports & empowers the Bribri First Nation to revitalize their cultural traditions. They connect to their gods, elders & each other through song, dance & drum. The community also has a very progressive radio station & recording studio that has been in existence for many years. With use of radio, the Bribri share their music & recordings of ancient songs with the rest of the country. This ability is empowering to them. Before LEAF International teamed up with Proyecto Jirondai to initiate this project, there were only 3 individuals in the entire Talamanca Bribri community that still held knowledge of this unique drumming tradition, including Jairo. With the help of Jairo, over sixteen youth are now cultural keepers of the Bribri drumming tradition, revitalizing a cultural art that was at risk of being lost. With each year, these numbers continue to grow.


With partner Proyecto Jirondai, a third LEAF International program was created with the Cabecar First Nation. Located on Alto Chirripo a 22-mile hike from the nearest vehicle accessible road, Luis Salazar teaches approx 55 students ancient song & dance, creation stories, scared ceremonies, lullabies and healing plant medicine. Additionally, Luis Salazar travels to Ujarras once a month to teach another group of students this ancient wisdom as well.



{ Founded in 2007 }

{ Founded in 2017 }

“It is important to the families to give kids access and a chance for development. It is economically very difficult to provide this. When the kids show interest in something, it’s our pleasure to support them. It has to be this way.” ~ Claudia, LEAF International Guatemala Parent

• Cultural Focus: Traditional Strings Instrument Band • Youth Currently Enrolled: 150 • Teaching Artists: Sara Morales & Stephany Munoz • Partner: Proyecto para las Escuelas Guatemaltecas (PEG)


LEAF International works with PEG, Child Aid, and the CEDIN School in El Tejar to provide an after-school music & cultural arts program. Using instruments made by local artists, Teaching Artists lead classes in Marimba, String Instruments, Percussion, Keyboard, Music Theory, Music History & Rhythmic Reading. LEAF International Guatemala’s Teacher Training Program enrolls older students in leadership building classes that guide them through the process of leading a week-long Music Summer Camp Immersion. The Student-Teachers, ranging in age from 15-18, visit a nearby school with no music program to offer this free opportunity for students aged 6-12. Each Student-Teacher leads a group in learning a song that they perform for family and friends at the end of a week.

“Several students come from Burkina, Mali, and different Ivory Coast regions to learn from me. I feel like a father figure to the orphans in the neighborhood. We want to have a place to continue teaching our traditions.” ~ LEAF International Culture Keeper, Dramane Dembele

• Cultural Focus: West African Drum & Dance • Youth Currently Enrolled: 75 • Culture Keepers: Dramane & Adama Dembele DESCRIPTION

Demolished in 2015 by the government, the Djembeso Drum & Dance Education Center operated by the Dembele family was a place for people of all ages and from all over the world (including local Asheville musicians from Zansa and Toubab Krewe) to study drumming, dance and West African culture for nearly 7 centuries. Because of LEAF’s respect for and link with the family for over a decade, LEAF partners to support the continuation of West African drum and dance classes at Djembeso, the House of Djembe. In addition to the preservation of musical heritage through classes, the program also includes monthly community performances in Ivory Coast and Mali, meals for youth between rehearsals and economic opportunities for the Culture Keepers.

Cultural Expedition to Guatemala: July 1 - 5, 2019 Dive deep into the community & connect with the kids, music traditions, teachers, & partners while immersing in the beauty of Antigua, Atitlan Lake & more!




{ Founded in 2006 }

{ Founded in 2009 }

“Teaching the kids is my happiness. I never felt a happiness like I do when I’m teaching the youth. So, to teach the kids is something important for me because what I’m teaching them (drum & dance) is what saved my life.”

“We are so proud to represent our country & we share our culture on behalf of all of our fellow students. We really enjoyed learning to be teachers. The kids were great.”

~ David Kwizera LEAF International Rwanda Culture Keeper

• Cultural Focus: Rwandan Drum & Dance • Youth Currently Enrolled: 150+ • Culture Keeper: David Kwizera • Teaching Artists: Claude Nyandwi

~ Maria Kulaya, LEAF International Tanzania Student

• Cultural Focus: East African Drum & Dance • Youth Currently Enrolled: 140 • Culture Keeper: Fredy N’ganga • ONEmic Studio Teaching Artist: Edward Ndoleli • Partner: Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots DESCRIPTION


In Kinyarwanda, the word “Intore” refers to a person who is desperate and hopeless, then GIVEN HOPE by a person or event. This new-found hope gives the person strength to learn new skills, see life through new eyes and become a better person and a leader. An Intore is a true hero. In 2006, LEAF International began working with 25 children who lived on the street in Rwanda by exposing them to traditional drumming classes. Now, years later, the group has grown into men who have moved forward in their life, but the journey has led to the extraordinary development of a Culture Keeper, Teaching Artist and Culture Center that supports more than 200 youth in the Kacyiru district of Kigali, Rwanda. This group of youth are known as the LEAF Intore JR Troupe. The Troupe participates in weekly Rwandan drum and dance classes where they develop a sense of community and valuable skills as well as pride in keeping their traditions alive.


With the support of LEAF International, Ilboru Secondary School & St. Joseph Girls School in Arusha, host music programs that teach youth East African dances, songs & drum rhythms. The youth perform concerts regularly that highlight the various tribes and cultures in Tanzania while promoting the environmental messages of our partner, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. Young boys and girls from all over Tanzania attend the prestigious Ilboru & St Josephs’ Secondary Schools in Arusha. Prospective students must pass an exam to be accepted. Families often cannot afford the $1,000 annual tuition, so the opportunity to learn their culture & enhance their economic livelihood is essential.



{ Founded in 2007 }

{ Founded in 2016 }

“We love to share our culture and being in Asheville gave us a platform to do so globally.”

“New Orleans is like another country and it is critical at this point in history for this rich tradition to be passed forward from the culture keepers to the youth.”

~ Mirna Rodriguez, LEAF International Mexico Coordinator

• Cultural Focus: Ancestral Mayan Music, Theater, & Traditional Mayan Ceremonies • Youth Currently Enrolled: 120 • Teaching Artist: Marco Lievano


LEAF International’s music program in Valladolid, Mexico is held at Ramon Osorio, a middle school for students who need to work during the day. The school is committed to teaching 21st century skills and Mayan traditions through integrating the Mayan language into many of their activities. The students perform their ancestral music as they play Mayan instruments from cultures such as: Cabeza de Cochino, Xtoles, Noche de Ocarinas, El Tunkul, La Cigarra, and Los Mapuches. The goal of the program is to ensure community growth, revive cultural sustainability, and instill local pride through the excellent challenge and beauty of music. The school and its teachers are highly committed to working with the students on creating cross-disciplinary productions that incorporate the meanings of Mayan instruments, music, dance, and language into the student’s studies.

~ Chief Shaka Zulu LEAF International New Orleans Culture Keeper

• Cultural Focus: Mardi Gras Indian Traditions • Youth Currently Enrolled: 20 • Culture Keeper: Chief Shaka Zulu DESCRIPTION

At LEAF, we recognize and celebrate New Orleans culture as one of the most vibrant living cultures in the world and especially in our country. Over the past 18 years, Shaka & Na’imah Zulu have been part of the LEAF Family by performing at LEAF Festivals, offering residencies in Western North Carolina teaching native traditions and helping to start four LEAF International programs across the globe. This journey has come full circle as we now support Shaka Zulu in leading his community in the preservation of Mardi Gras culture including drumming, stilt walking, storytelling, rituals, chants, visualizing, designing and sewing skills of costuming culture.

Burial Beer Company shares their love and dedication to helping support and preserve the vibrant culture of New Orleans by becoming a LEAF International New Orleans partner in 2016. Each year, Burial Beer releases a seasonal Mardi Gras Indian beer contributing 100% of proceeds to the LEAF International Feather Fund preserving the costuming traditions of this culture.



LEAF Festival LEAF Festival is an inter-generational celebration of world culture that uses music, arts, and creativity to champion artistic expression, instill cultural competency, and build a diverse & welcoming community. For 24 years, each May & October a global family of over 12,000 people join together upon the beautiful Lake Eden grounds to experience the power music, art and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity. With over 400 performing artists representing 12 different countries, 5 family adventure villages, 80+ craft & culinary vendors, 50+ healing arts, music & earth skills workshops, and a global community steeped in tradition... LEAF Festival gathers all walks of life to take part in an unforgettable cultural experience.

LEAF Downtown AVL LEAF Downtown celebrates communities, creativity, diversity, and families in the heart of downtown Asheville. LEAF Downtown furthers Asheville’s goals of access, community partnership & economic vitality in the greater Asheville area, while driving the greater LEAF Community Arts mission to connect cultures & create community through music & arts. At LEAF Downtown, experience a world-class music, art & cultural immersion featuring over 200 performers on 3 stages, 70 hand-selected artisan craft & food vendors, non-stop family adventure programming, and the Voices of Asheville cultural epicenter. No matter who you are, where you are from, and what lights your fire, LEAF Downtown celebrates YOU – Championing diversity, equity & inclusivity at the heart of the event. 26


THE LEAF GLOBAL HUB { Opening in 2019 } “LEAF is an energetic, vibrant group with a global vision. Their project will bring new culture and diversity to our city that will be a perfect complement to the very core of Asheville’s identity. There is nothing more powerful than creating positive change in our own community that will have a lasting positive impact felt far beyond our own borders.” ~ Robert Foster, TPDF Committee Chair

LEAF plans to open a Global Arts Center in the historic Del Cardo building on Eagle Street where guests can enjoy educational experiences rooted in music, art, community and culture. The 3,300 sq. ft. center will feature an interactive world map where visitors can explore a wide range of cultural art forms, an international immersion room that will transport visitors across the globe through a sensory experience, and a global sound underground to encourage experimentation with unique musical instruments from around the world. A virtual reality mini-theater, intimate performance stage, interactive artist workstations and an area dedicated to preserving the history of the Block are also highlights of the Center. Programmatic offerings like the Artist in Residence Program and merit based engagement curriculum add another layer of attractiveness to this project. Hosting ongoing monthly workshops series, offered by international, national, and local Teaching Artists, will serve as a bridge for global connections and greatly diversify Asheville’s current cultural offerings.

LEAF is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a talented and diverse team of longtime LEAFers and local community leaders to help bring its work, vision and mission to life in the Center.

As LEAF looks toward an August 2019 opening, there are exciting ways to get involved with this project. Corporate and individual support welcomed and naming opportunities also available.

Project Manager: Miriam Gee


This project is made possible in part with support from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. LEAF GRATITUDE!


Connecting Cultures & Creating Community Through music & art

377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711 828.68 MUSIC [686.8742]

Profile for LEAF Community Arts

LEAF Cultural Arts Catalog - Spring/Summer 2019  

LEAF Schools & Streets welcomes and celebrates community partnership, the spirit of collaboration and joint efforts to support the healthy d...

LEAF Cultural Arts Catalog - Spring/Summer 2019  

LEAF Schools & Streets welcomes and celebrates community partnership, the spirit of collaboration and joint efforts to support the healthy d...