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LEAF Downtown AVL

SAVE THE DATE! July 28-29, 2023 In 2022, LEAF took our Summer Event Down by The River! Whether Downtown or Down By The River, LEAF is Happening!

LEAF Down By The River

LEAF Down By The River
Summer Finale At The Outpost was a great FAMILY fun day highlighting lots of local YOUTH talent!

Grateful for a great family finale summer celebration! All the LEAFy dance, music, arts, culture, eats, kids fun, crafts, auction, talent competition, Axe Throwing with Axeville, Gem Mining, bounce houses & River tubing & boats. Famous Hip Hop dancer Honey Rockwell & crew kick off the day at 11am and The Secret Agency with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo + Tik Tok Dance Party brought it homw.
It’s gonna be FUN!
Special Thanks to Asheville Adventure Company, Grey Eagle Events & Explore Asheville for making this special event possible!
Artwork by the amazing Trek6

LEAF's Down By The River Artists & Experiences! This is 2022...to give you a sense of LEAF life.
2023 will be announced late spring.

Jordan Scheffer

This lifetime LEAFer and amazing vocalist lights up our stage with her stellar ensemble!

Internacional Dance Academy

Be dazzled by this superb group of folkloric youth dancers from Greenville SC, representing Puerto Rico, Columbia, Mexico and Spain.



Throw Axes- why not! Providing a mobile unit for axe-throwing fun for the whole family!


River Activities

Rentable kayaks & canoes will be available for your river adventure on the French Broad!

Haviken Hayes

Get ready for a Tik Tok Dance party, presented by an outstanding festival and club DJ/Producer from Miami, Haviken Hayes.

Melissa McKinney

A songwriter, singer & youth mentor that uses her skills & love of music to change the world!

Carolina Diamond Divas

Carolina Diamond Divaz

This all-female groups of mini superstars come to ignite the stage, led by our own Kristal Woods!

Street Creature Puppet Collective

This roaming band of merrymakers & puppeteers will lift the mood and create a wonderous atmosphere!

LSS Global Camp Kids

LEAF's Summer Camp Champs!

The kids of all the LEAF summer camps return to show us what they learned!



Tubing is the ultimate chill in the river.

LEAF Schools & Streets Teaching Artists

Community leaders and stellar artists will be there to judge our competition & showcase their skills!

Talent Comp

LEAF Youth Talent Competition Finalists

Finalists from our youth talent competition go head-to-head for the $500 grand prize & custom sneakers by Sole82!

Mountain Circus Arts

These roaming circus arts masters will keep a smile on your face!

River Boats

River Boats & Kayaks

Lots of boat rentals- easy. and right there for you to get on the river and play.

A few of LEAF Down By The River Vendor Artists + Eats
See ALL at the event!

Quadre’ Stuckey with Gullah Geechee Family Foundation

Quadre’ Stuckey with Gullah Geechee Family Foundation

Meztli Designs

Meztli Designs

Franny's Pasta & Prana

Franny's Pasta & Prana

Grift Town Goods

Mtn Folk Lore

Mtn Folk Lore

Frozen Monkey

Frozen Monkey

Big changes for the LEAF Art Dash 5k. Join us on a brand new fast, flat and family friendly course in the River Arts District. Start and end at our host sponsor, Second Gear on Saturday August 20th at 8:30am! All ages and levels welcome to THE MOST unique 5k in downtown Asheville. Art and Music accompany your 3.1 mile run/walk through the city. It is a great race to run with family and friends. Costumes are encouraged. Pets are welcomed. LEAF Art Dash 5K helps support LEAF Schools & Streets.

Kick It Events

Registration for the upcoming Art Dash 5k on August 20th, 2022 is open now! REGISTER HERE+ Get Details.


All Ages




Get Involved at LEAF Summer Events

Interested in Being a Vendor? Are you a family/youth focused business? Applications are just $10! Get yours today!!
Hands up & Singing Gratitude to all volunteers!! Hope to see your there!!

Youth Talent Competition!
Win $500 + Sole82 Custom LEAF Sneakers

Youth Talent Poster 2022

This summer we are kicking off the festivities with LEAF’s first Youth Talent Competition happening at LEAF Global Arts in Downtown Asheville . The talent competition is for local youths of Asheville & WNC, for a grand prize of $500 plus custom LEAF sneakers provided by Sole82! What?

Open to ages 7-17. All Talents are Welcomed with a focus on music, dance and vocals. Judged by the stellar LEAF Schools & Streets Teaching Artists, who are all masters in their arts. This competition is for single individuals and/or duets only. No groups, No Fire acts or Acrobatics. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. There is a $5 cover charge per adult.  Preliminary rounds, Saturdays, 3-6pm. These are the days all competitors must come to sign up and compete. The other rounds will be semi-finals/final rounds.
Any questions? Email Otto Vazquez performers@theLEAF.org


A little bit more insight into the 2022 Changes For Those People Curious & Dedicated to Music in Our Community

LEAF Summer 2022 Taking it To The River

LEAF Summer 2022 will be happening in some new ways that continue to bring LEAF’s mission to life and give opportunities for our youth and families to come together in celebration through the arts. This summer, we’re heading to the River to an inspiring, NEW outdoor venue, “The Outpost” at 521 Amboy Road, Grey Eagle’s new venue at AVL Adventure Co. 

This year we are focusing on the youth, by showcasing their talents and giving them a platform to express themselves. There will be cultural youth performances, dance classes, roaming artists, bounce houses, youth competition finalists and activities like renting kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. So make sure you save the date for LEAF Down By the River, Saturday August 20th!


We have LOVED creating LEAF Downtown since 2015, and it is our hope to be back in Pack Square Park one day.

The big challenges which included:
1. Date Conflict. Being given a Date that conflicted with Downtown After 5 which is a partner & we share many volunteers, board & sponsors. We tried many efforts to trade, swap, move dates.
2. Funding. Funding Loss of City of AVL Strategic Partnership Funding that supports foundational services of any event.
3. Process & Support. Changes in process, rules, fees, dates and guidelines have been shifting in ways that are not welcoming or 

LEAF Downtown since 2015 has been a beautiful journey. The LEAF team has been grateful and proud to create “one of the BEST FAMILY events in downtown AVL that brought together our community” and featured some of the best music legends nationally and locally. 


YOU are RESPONSIBLE. There are inherent risks associated with being at LEAF or a LEAF event. By participating in LEAF (LEAF Global Arts) in any way (ticket purchaser, volunteer, staff, performer, vendor, etc) YOU are fully responsible for your physical and mental self, your belongings, your vehicle, your actions, injuries, accidents, illness, property damage, or other occurrence arising in any manner whatsoever out of your participation in activities sponsored by LEAF. In addition, all persons attending this event, by their presence, may be photographed, videotaped, or broadcasted and, waive any claim related to the use of their image for promotional purposes for LEAF. BE RESPECTFUL, KIND & RESPONSIBLE.

Since 2014, LEAF Downtown AVL over 100,000 people, families, and friends of all ages and walks of life came out to enjoy 960 performing artists from 19 countries in our downtown.

Flashback to LEAF Downtown AVL

LEAF Downtown Poster

What is LEAF Downtown AVL?

LEAF brings downtown to life for families and  our local communities.

LEAF Downtown connects our local communities and cultures while celebrating creativity and diversity in the heart of downtown Asheville! This special event works to further the city’s goals of equity, partnerships, and economic vitality in the greater Asheville area. The priority audience is our local families and friends of all ages & all neighborhoods coming together in a way that builds positive connections and allows locals to feel that downtown is theirs. This event also creates platforms for voices often unheard as we connect people to the world, each other, and themselves. LEAF’s vision to create a thriving global community starts right here in our own backyard. 

LEAF Downtown AVL invites, celebrates and appreciates YOU! | LEAF Downtown is dedicated to honoring the diverse and rich culture of Asheville. We seek to ensure every neighborhood, race, ethnicity, and culture has a voice and gathering space at our event. LEAF supports healthy expressions of progress featuring diversity and inclusion in all its signature events and LEAF Downtown gives us the unique opportunity to support local Asheville interests, honor heritage and share history. 


Stages are created for a variety of engagement experiences from Main Stage, ULEAF Community Stage, Voices of Asheville, Cafe Stage, Busker Corner., and Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab. The park is artfully curated  with local artists, vendors, family adventure, and opportunities for kids to elders to share their stories and  arts. 

See Photos by Steve Atkins + Other LEAF Facebook Downtown Photos

LEAF Downtown Experience & Stages

Family Fun!

Local Business Partners

LEAF Downtown AVL showcases dynamic musical talent, immersive cultural arts performances and local handcraft & culinary artists. At this special event, 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 as core principles at the heart of the event.

Ehren Cruz, Artistic Director, 2014-2019

We are so grateful to create LEAF with our community!

LEAF Downtown Main Stage

Featuring a dynamic range of local, regional & national talent spanning a diversity of genres and artistic lineages that uplift, empower, and inspire!


Connecting and celebrating LEAF Schools & Streets youth performers, local arts education partners, community elders, and voices of leadership.

LEAF Global Experience

This is the hub of all things LEAF! An immersive artful place with the rich music history of Club Del Cardo, engaging presence of music traditions as we grow as Global Citizens together.


Roaming artists, arts experience, installations, and Buskers are a vibrant part of the arts in the streets. Get to connect with local buskers in fun ways

The Voices of Asheville

Featuring a dynamic range of local, regional & national talent spanning a diversity of genres and artistic lineages that uplift, empower, and inspire! The Voices of Asheville is designed to be a safe space where all the voices of local Ashevillians can be heard and honored. We have community organization and additional local non-profit information here as well.

We are proud to have the following handcraft vendors in attendance at the 6th Annual LEAF Downtown!
We are proud to have the following healing arts vendors in attendance at the 6th Annual LEAF Downtown!
We are proud to have the following culinary vendors in attendance at the 6th Annual LEAF Downtown!