LEAF Global Experiences & EXHIBITS

What is LEAF Global ? LEAF Global invites you to explore the world through immersive music & art experiences & cultural connections, fostering global citizenship and opening pathways of understanding… for kids to elders.

Click on the popups below to explore Engagement Stations and Cultural  Exhibits.

Check out our Classes & Workshops (in person & virtual).

Wow!!!!! Your vision has come true!! The LEAF Global Arts Center looks awesome. I love everything about it. The old, the new, the Virtual Reality, interactive maps, recording studios. My kids are going to love it!! And happy for our community!! Can’t wait to see how magical the next 25 years of LEAF are!!!!! ❤️
Kellie K.

Go Global World Map

One of the largest immersive touch screen maps in the world! Explore, dream, and this experience creates conversations of finding roots and retracing travels. 5 screens allow for multiple users and mobile friendly heights. Discover the flag, capital, currency, and language of each country. Featured musicians, culture keepers and instruments are being activated for all 193 countries as of 2020. Note that historically countries change with wars, politics, colonization, treaties etc…. Consider as maps change the impact on people, traditions, environment, resources and every facet of humanity.

Did you discover? • The Conch shell

Partners & Designers: Putumayo World Music, Interactive Knowledge, ESRI, Bank of America & LEAF Team: Schree Chavdarov, Megan Crow & Jennifer Pickering.

Del Cardo History 

Honoring The Club Del Cardo, which was alive here for decades, and holds a special place in the history of The Block & Asheville’s African-American Community. This exhibit hosts Elder Storytime & a space to share your stories.

Look for original& replica pieces from Del Cardo. Many people have a Del Cardo story! This is their place. Memorabilia, stories and photos welcomed. Curious about AVL’s African American history? Make sure to visit the YMI Cultural Center across the street for history, exhibits & events.

Did you discover? •The Dog •Remnants of the Bar at historic Del Cardo

Curator: Roy Harris, The “Lion” Elder of The Block,

Del Cardo Music Trails

Club Del Cardo felt just right as musicians from Nina Simone to Jackie Wilson took the stage, people gathered, danced and celebrated at the club on “The Block”. The story goes Al Green was the last musician to play Club Del Cardo.

“I got my 1st kiss by Jackie Wilson at the Club Del Cardo.” -Aunt Emma

Do you hear music playing? Global’s main playlist is songs collected by Mama Deborah Bryant from elders who frequented the Del Cardo. These songs hold their memories of great times in this historic place of music & good times!

A gift of Music & Love! The beautiful 1957 Wurlitzer Jukebox was a wedding anniversary gift. The Allen’s met over the music of Motown. The jukebox symbolizes their love for one another and the music. The original 45s/ Small Records are in the jukebox. A Jukebox specialist plans bring it back to life. On loan from the Derek Allen Family.

Curator: Claude Coleman, Jr. of Ween and SoundSpace@Rabbit’s

LEAF Live Stage

Take the stage! Music has a deep history in this space and LEAF – it sets the soundtrack of our lives.  From worldly acoustic melodies to intimate concerts, spoken word  or open mic play- this intimate stage adds a performance pulse in this dynamic arts epicenter. 

See the piano? Many famous South African musicians such as Hugh Masekala have played this piano which was in the landmark Madiba Restaurant in NYC. Madiba was Nelson Mandela’s nickname. Explore more in Madiba Mezzanine.

Did you discover? LEAF Logo

Putumayo Listening Station

Celebrate and travel the world with Putumayo music. This music journey began in 1975, and was named after a river in Columbia. Putumayo’s Founder, Dan Storper and curator, Jacob Edgar have inspired LEAF’s selection of presenting artists over the years. “Bringing you sights, sounds and cultures from around the world.” 

Did you discover? •World Peace

Curator & Partner: Putumayo

Murals & Wraps Throughout Global

Enjoy discovering the murals, door wraps and art details that are part of cultivating visitors inspiration . The artists are connected to either the Block history or a global tradition. As you enter look down at the Mexican Pasta Tiles, see the stencils from Bribri First Nation, Mali and Haiti, and wander to find all the 10  murals/wraps…its like an artful treasure hunt.

Monique Luck: Evocation & Bliss
Jenny Pickens: Self Love, LEAF, & Footsteps
Darrell Rose: Zangbeto – Benin’s Keeper of Dreams
Proyecto Jirondai- Luis Porras: Siböcté of Bribri First Nation
Kimi Leger: ONEmic Tiger
Tommy Lee: Trailblazer
Jenny Fares: Celebrating NOLA
Julia Mcdowell, Just Folks & Tarah Singh: The Block 

Did you discover? Rwandan Dancing Bells 

Curator: Marsha Almodavor


To share & Preserve the Culture to promote understanding, global citizenship, and cultural preservation.

Artist in Residence and Company in Residence create opportunities of engagement and learning that promotes the preservation of cultural traditions and arts, proximity to understanding and learning other cultures from culture keepers, and create opportunities that elevate perspective by people of all ages and backgrounds through authentic learning experiences. These experiences and classes build understanding, disrupt “isms”, and expand participants’ view of themselves as Global Citizens.

Artists are available for private and group workshops, school residencies, field trips, Cultural Experiences or other special events.

Contact Education@theLEAF.org to reserve or connect.


Adama Dembele

Artist: Adama Dembele +  Adama’s Tailor Shop
Art Form/ Cultural Connection: Ivory Coast & Mali Cultural Traditions featuring Percussion, Drumming, Clothing and Languages of Bambara & French
Residency Started: June 2021
Online Teaching Experience Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyhhyFUsTMo&t=5s
Learn more @ the Artist’s work:www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069304925905 & facebook.com/lesamisasheville

Artist: Ersel “Garfield” Bogan +  Save Our Brass Culture Foundation
Art Form/ Cultural Connection: New Orleans Brass Music & Culture 
Residency Started: July 2021
Honoring NOLA Culture Vintage Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2VGQ8RVK0g
Learn more @ the Artist’s work: www.facebook.com/saveourbrassfoundation

Scope of Engagement & Opportunities to Learn and Connect at LEAF Global Includes:

LEAF Global is a main hub that you can find these artists weekly as their headquarters. Adama may be designing clothes or on his sewing machine doing repairs or playing his new Balafon he just got on a recent trip to Ivory Coast. This is An Ancient West African Musical Instrument. Garfield may be down in the Underground Sound expanding the Instrument Petting Zoo, working in the ONEmic Recording Studio or practicing with his new Band, Funkin’ Around with Garfield which is funky and fabulous! Otto may be teaching, working on his film and book project “The Rebirth of Kool” set during the Zoot Suit Riots or curating the upcoming artists for festivals and events.
  • LEAF Schools & Streets Classes Weekly
  • Artists are a regular part of the Welcome Team, bringing the Instrument Petting Zoo &  Underground Sound to life
  • Artists Create Monthly shows & special events highlighting their culture and art

ONEmic Recording Studio

Music & technology come together in real time as visitors make songs, record stories & connect with ONEmic Studios around the world. ONEmic artists educate on recording & writing music, Hip Hop Culture and Intro to DJing.

ONEmic Studio is available for private classes and rentals.

Partners: Echo Mountain Studio and The Ben Gradison Memorial Fund
Curator: Nex Millen

LEAF International Cultural Immersion Exhibit

Transport yourself to another place by stepping into this unexpected nook featuring exhibits by LEAF Culture Keepers. Feels like a secret hideaway leading you on a cultural expedition, and is a door into another culture. The first exhibit, curated by Chief Shaka Zulu, features the history of resilience & growth for Black Masking Indians in New Orleans. Immerse yourself into the heart of a unique global tradition.

Did you discover? • The Owl  The Door

Curator: Chief Shaka Zulu

Instrument Petting Zoo

A hands-on discovery station for exploring instruments through play, touch & fun. Instruments and rhythm tools are core ingredients to music and tell the history and story of cultures. This is an introductory passport to the vast world of instruments which allows you to discover sounds and what it feels like to hold and play something new and unique. As Shaka says, “Pick up the drum. Come Together.”

Did you discover? •Kenya’s Kora

Partners: Togar Rugs, Echo Mountain, Harmony Interiors Curator: River Guerguerian

LEAF Love  & Connections

Exhibit opening windows to the world through LEAF’s initiatives and partnerships. Speaking of windows- these are all salvaged from the historic original building. 

Experience the magic of LEAF, explore history since 1995, remember your LEAF memories. traditions and highlights and connect. What is your LEAF story? If this is your 1st LEAF connection…welcome!

Curator: Megan Ashley Crow

Huichol Indigenous Art Stairs

Look up and of course hold on the rail, and experience the most vibrant stair bottoms we’ve even seen in the world! The Huichols are an indigenous people who mostly live in mountains of Jalisco and Nayarit in north central Mexico. Their numbers are estimated at 50,000. Huichol is derived from the word Wirriarika, which means soothsayer or medicine man in the Huichol language.

Did you discover? • The Rainbow

Curator: Ponkho Bermejo, co-founder of BeLoved, from Mexico is a community responder, activist, photographer, & artist. 

Easel Rider Art Bar

When kids arrive at Global, the Easel Rider creative crafting station welcomes them– self-guided or with a LEAF Teaching Artist. This dynamic experience reflect themes of cultural traditions, festivities, holidays around the world and FUN! Inspired by the Easel Rider Mobile Art Van out doing community work. 

African Talking Sticks, Mud Cloth, Aztec inspired Rain-sticks, creative passports, and Join hands with Nelson Mandela’s  handprints & more.

Did you discover? •The Feather

Curator(s): Marsha Almodovar, Miriam Gee
Art Mural: Tommy Lee

Sound Underground

Entering this sound chamber feels magical with designed lighting, sound and a mystical Turkish sensibility. Snergy of modern and ancient instrumentation. Concerts, sound meditations, open mic, poetry, comedy and workshops for up to 50 patrons. Rentals for performers to practice/record or special events. Togar Rugs available for purchase.

Did you discover?  • Morrocan Lantern •The Gong

Partners: Togar Rugs, Asheville Rhythm & Percussion, Echo Mountain Studio, Skinny Beats
Curator: River Guerguerian

Cultural Dive-Ins

LEAF International Kiosks echo the importance of global citizenship and cultural exchange. Fostering a community that celebrates cultural expression & connectivity, while bringing awareness to the global responsibility of preservation. Go a journey  to see where LEAF works, learn more about our culture keepers, and discover partners that help guide our mission.
Did you discover?  A LEAF Culture Keeper 

Curator: Schree Chavdarov


Madiba is a South African a title of respect for Nelson Mandela, deriving from his Xhosa clan name. An intimate nook for inspiration in Mandela, who is celebrated worldwide for his anti-apartheid revoluntionary leadership. As the 1st black head of state, his government fostered racial reconciliation and dismanteled apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism. He received hundreds of global awards including Nobel Peace Prize (1993) and Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Did you discover? • Mandela’s Hands

Curator: Mark Hennegan from South Africa & owner of landmark Madiba Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.

Adama’s Tailor Shop

Adama Demnele, known as a master djembefola (djembe) from the Ivory Coast, shares his passion and extraordinary skill of creating artful clothing design & repairs. Adama will help you design your clothes then bring to life, and bring his vibrant fabrics to your vision. While the kids play, you can collaborate with Adama in this fantastic global nook.

Curator: Adama Dembele


Photos create the memories of our lives. Grab a fun costume element or just a smile and snap away with your phones to remember this moment. We encourage photos throughout all of LEAF Global – for there are so many elements of culture and art in the creative place making.

Did you discover? • Gold

Mayani is a Maasai boy from longido Arusha. He went to boarding school at 6 years old and lost his Maasai language and tradition. Since joining the LEAF program, he has learned to sing Maasai songs, practiced the ‘jump’ tradition and wear Maasai shukas (traditional clothing). Mayani is extremely happy and is currently teaching other youth the culture.