Historic Club Del Cardo & CREATING LEAF Global

“Having elder hostess/ambassadors from that time to share with visitors what the Block was and be able to give a small history of it will be amazing. The Block meant so much to my African American community that giving this a chance to speak on it will keep the memory alive.”

A Collaboration of Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation and Mountain Housing Opportunities Overview

LEAF Global Campaign

Inviting donors & partners to be part of reaching the $1,250,000 goal. As of opening the doors on Valentine’s Day 2020, we are 3/4 of the way! Naming Opportunities are available for several experiences & exhibits. We welcome Corporate and Individual Giving conversations to find great matches! 

Come take a Tour Virtually or In Person!  
Contact Jennifer, Executive Director | Jennifer@theLEAF.org 

Shared Values & Commitments of this Historic Site

LEAF is located in a historic building that was many businesses over the years with the Club Del Cardo being the most well known. The history is held best by stories shared; however, not as much is written. During this process, it has been essential to the LEAF team to honor history, and to be part of building forward with the community. Our creative team has deep connections to the history of this place or their areas of cultural curation.


Owner?  Eagle Market Street Development Corporation (EMSD) in partnership with Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO)


What is the Shared Statement of Values between MHO-EMSD and LEAF?
LEAF Global Arts is honored to be working with Mountain Housing Opportunities and Eagle Market Street Development to create LEAF’s Global Headquarters at 19 Eagle Market Street and to bring to life common spaces with cultural arts programming. LEAF is dedicated to honoring the rich African American history, and working with elders, community leaders and youth for cultural preservation, being a resource hub as well as connecting the past to being part of building a vibrant future. LEAF’s mission of “connecting cultures & creating community through the music & arts” will come to life in this extraordinary historic space. Cultivating global cultural curiosity as well as an understanding of the rich historical past of the space is the essence of the vision. Engagement opportunities will be created to bridge local and global, young and old, past and future, and the local community with our city’s visitors. All three organizations have complementary missions, and are dedicated to the health and well being of our local community.  


What is LEAF’s commitment to the history of the space and The Block? 
LEAF is honored to be part of Eagle Street’s future, and being part of celebrating and remembering it’s rich past. As we step into this historic space, we are opening our platform to African-American community leadership. In the center, there is an area dedicated to the history of the Club Del Cardo curated by local elders, a kiosk connecting visitors to local partners and community resources curated by a local African American leader, and the windows are available for the YMI to curate to encourage visitors to step across the streets and discover more historical information at the YMI. Imagine a kiosk where people can share their stories and memories of the Del Cardo during its rich past. There will be a dedicated station for partners to share their offerings and resources as both a marketing and connection tool. Throughout this document and in your own learning journeys make sure to take time to learn the history of the neighborhood and the Club Del Cardo.

“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

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

"Hi! I was born & raised in Asheville NC. Eagle St played a role in my raising! The culture was so alive. I heard awesome music. Some of the best gospel music you could ever heard! Great stories of the old days. I tasted my 1st plate of fish skins. Awesome food- the best. Amazing place to get a good deal on anything. The 1st time I got to perform was on “The Block” as we called it. You didn’t need the local news, you could get the news right on “The Block” and it was way more accurate than News 13! I remember Eagle & Market Street being fun, full of life, great food, and I always got a history lesson. This was the street you could go and see someone who looked like you and they were a business owner.The culture and history of Eagle St or should I call it “The Block” will forever be imbedded in me. I am “The Block”!"

LEAF Global Creative Building Team

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.

Builder: Damian Davis Construction
*Damian’s Grandparents’ Gathering place was the Club Del Cardo. His mother came here as a young person to bring missives. He has take great care of building out the interior of this place for it is his in so many ways! Damian and his family have also been the Welcome Team at LEAF Events for since 2010. 

Project Manager: Miriam Gee – COEverything
Contractor: Satchomo & Company
LEAF Navigators + LEAF Board
Project Curators: Nex Millen, Roy Harris, River Guerguerian, Farhad Javidi, Claude Coleman, Adama Dembele, Juanita Jackson, Bob Doss, Mark Henegan, Jefferson Ellison, Paul Gallimore, Ben Ramseth, Helme Calfee, Megan Ashley Crow & superstar LEAFers.

So much GRATITUDE for these brilliant creatives who have been there to encourage and advise LEAF Global’s new path.

Judith Ann Abrams, NY, NY, Broadway Producer  • Alexandra & Don Clayton, Asheville, NC + St. Maarten, International Business Entrepreneur • Bootsy & Pepperminte Patti Collins, Cincinnati, Ohio, Masters of FUNK! • Charles Gwinn, Winston Salem, NC, Developer/ International Consultant • Darrell Rose, Charlottesville VA, West African Drum Master • Derek Andrews, Toronto, Canada, Mundial Montreal  + World Music Advocate • Gene Bell, Asheville, NC, AVL Housing Authority • Georgia Beasley, Peru, International Development • James Nave, Asheville, NC + Philippines, Poet • Kinobe, Kampala, Uganda, Dance of Hope • Kiran Singh, Jonesboro, TN + Scotland, Jonesboro Storytelling Festival • Lisa Ruberti, NY, NY, Bennetton, Fashion• Masankho Banda, Malawi, International Peace Builder + Educator • Natalia Clavier, NY, NY, Thievery Corporation • Tom Pryor, NY, NY, Music Journalist + Media Consultant • Greg Lucas, New Orleans, Preservation Hall • Leah Song, Global Artist & Activist • Jordan Robbins, Jane Goodall Institute-No Barriers & LEAF

#LEAFGratitude #LEAFLove

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.