The 48th LEAF Festival will take place Friday, May 10, with an opening ceremony at 4 p.m., and continue through Sunday, May 12, at Lake Eden in Black Mountain. The theme of this year’s celebration of culture, arts and creativity will be Breaking Ground. The stellar lineup of musicians includes India.Arie, Trevor Hall, and Shovels & Rope.
“For the 48th LEAF Festival, we’ve scoured the globe to select artists who are architects of positive change, using the strength and resilience of their creative expression to uplift our communities,” says Ehren Cruz, artistic director. This ongoing mission of bringing people together for the past 24 years has garnered a reputation for the LEAF festival as one of the most recognized events in Western North Carolina.
The LEAF Festival prides itself on being interactive. “Watching performing artists that lead Visiting Teaching Artist Residencies with local schools perform onstage and seeing the children shine and glow during these performances is magical,” says Marsha Almodovar, community events coordinator and teaching artist. “There is nothing like it.”
With such an inclusive event and welcoming staff, it is no wonder almost half a million people have attended since the inception of the event in 1995. “I am so looking forward to reconnecting with LEAFers from across the planet and discovering many amazing musicians I haven’t seen,” says Jennifer Pickering, executive director and founder of the festival.
“Bring your hopes, your dreams, your families and an open heart for a world culture celebration you will never forget,” Cruz says.
LEAF Downtown will be held August 2–3, and this year’s fall festival happens October 17–20. LEAF Community Arts is a nonprofit and memberships are welcome, with 100 percent of membership dues supporting LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International.
All shows are sold out except for Friday and Sunday performances. To learn more about the festival or becoming a member, or to purchase tickets for upcoming events, visit TheLEAF.org.