LEAF has been connecting cultures, people and creating community since the idea of LEAF started to grow in 1995. In our fast moving world, we want to make sure to give gratitude, embrace and celebrate our successes. The life-changing moments are abundant, and we see people from so many places and walks impacted by their LEAF experience and passing the magic forward.
LEAFis simply AMAZING what you have done in the past years. The sheer amount of lives you have changed for the better is mind boggling. Whether it is with the many festival goers, performers from all over the world, staff, volunteers, children and families, organization and schools, or the many communities in other countries that are deeply connected to LEAF and who have traveled to the USA to experience another place and culture; all are exposed to a depth of joyful healing. You will never know the depth of change and connection you have made. I do know you have effected so many lives here at Children First/ CIS. The pride, knowledge, talent , skills, and self esteem of so many children (and people) grow each year because of you, your staff and volunteers. Thank you is not anywhere near adequate to express to you and our gratitude.
Barbara N.Children First Communities in Schools
In many ways, LEAF is the beautifully pure and vitally beating heart of the Asheville scene, and certainly shines bright in my own personal story of Asheville. Being there with my daughter after bringing her there for more than a decade and a half, being able to rock onstage with my old friends like Debrissa and my new friends like the Bboys, all of it is overwhelmingly awesome to me. Not to mention the kids we got to teach and hang out with, and the teachers,principal and the whole crew at Estes! It was all really great, powerful, and memorable."
Cactus, Agent 23 SkidooTeaching & Performing Artist
Making meaningful connections across diverse cultures through the arts is at once the most simple concept and one of the most complex. Making those connections locally and internationally for multiple generations is the most noble (and, in my mind, most important) mission I have ever seen a group of people undertake. This literally is a path to world peace. Any normal group of persons would find this mission too overwhelming. Too impossible. It is a good thing that this LEAF family of our is NOT normal - - not even close. We are the dreamers, the creatives, the makers, and the visionaries. This is important work. This is our work.