LEAF Global Arts Retreat


LEAF Global Arts RETREAT: May 8-11, 2024
Tickets on sale June 1 for LEAF Festival (Oct. 17-20)

WORLD CHANGERS: One Story, One Song, One Step at a Time

Thank you for an extraordinary LEAF Retreat! We danced, we sang, we came together in community to learn and grow and have FUN! We celebrated global arts and cultures, we celebrated family and friends, we celebrated each other. Thank YOU for bringing your best LEAF self and for being part of a magical weekend!

“Thanks for so much goodness. It was a beautiful time.”  ~David L.

“My girls are having a blast growing at LEAF.” ~Chinobay

“LEAF is all the reasons we moved here. We have gained a community.” ~Sergio

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating this magical space that continues to overflow the leaf love into unexpected yet serendipitous places.” ~Jean A.

“When you walk in your dream, you let other people find their dreams.” ~Amy C.

Revisit our 2024 LEAF Retreat Program

Artist Sir Tom Foolery (Tommy Lee) created the artwork to guide the spirit of Retreat and inspire us. “This piece is called ‘Dear Momma,’ inspired by 2Pac’s song,” he explains. “To me, she is the embodiment of renaissance. There are so many women who are not only world changers, but give birth to world changers every day. I created this image while driving through the mountains going into the city. One Love Spirit!”

2024 LEAF Global Arts RETREAT Performing Artists

Headshot of musician Chinobay.

Chinobay of Uganda

Ugandan music, dance, and culture

Adama Dembele of Ivory Coast

LEAF Schools & Streets Master Teaching Artist & Ivory Coast Culture Keeper graces LEAF with his immaculate rhythm!

LEAF International Ivory Coast

West African drumming and dance

David LaMotte

world-changing folk music

Andre Lassalle & The Sagittarius Project

soul and funk

Dr. Rico

jookin' dance

Swingbillies of Boonetown

Appalachian and international folkfusion

Tribe of Love & Eagle Condor Council

sacred healing and earth-centered spirituality

Luna Ray

downtempo yoga

RAWtools South and Forging for Peace with Scotty Utz

peace forging and blacksmithing for nonviolence

Marilyn Ball of Speaking of Travel podcast.

Spealing of Travel podcast with Marilyn Ball

Live recording of Speaking of Travel podcast


community healing through artistic expression

Sun Soo Martial Arts

Center for Conscious Living and Dying with Dr. Aditi Sethi & Jay Brown

Quadre Stuckey

Gullah Geechee culture and art

Elder Roy Harris

This esteemed community leader is one of our amazing Master of Ceremonies!

Sir Tom Foolery

visual art and mural painting

Alex Krug

Alex Krug & Blacksmithing

heart-driven rock/Americana and Blacksmithing

Playing With Fyre

Playing With Fyre

Contra Dance Band


A true powerhouse vocalist and bassist, a LEAF resident teaching artist and daughter to the magnificent Melissa McKinney.

Monika Guerra

Amazing dancer from Miami teaches Salsa & Latin dancing at LEAF!

Chief Shaka Zulu & Zulu Connection

West African stilt dancing

Ronna Dragon

family-oriented songs and storytelling

Amanda Lucidon

author of 'Chasing Light: Michelle Obama through the Lens of a White House Photographer'

Agustín Palomo Ramos

healing through drums and music

The Wandering Swordsman

padded swordplay

Cathryn The Grateful

minister ofmovement

Beloved Asheville

innovative community solutions

Flamenco Appalachia

Flamenco dance

Haviken Hayes

Legendary festival and club DJ/Producer from Miami brings his signature blend of Funk music to LEAF.

Annie Wenz

multicultural roots music

Keith Shubert's Toybox Theater

Keith Shubert returns with his hilarious and wildly entertaining puppetry slam to Retreat!

Doug Orr & The Southern Highlanders

traditional highland music

EarthShine Nature Programs

environmental conservation education

Meet our media partner,
Asheville Multicultural!

This is LEAF Retreat...

An intimate festival — only 1,500 tickets sold!
Super family-friendly
So many magical moments
Workshops, classes, discussions, & more
Room to boogie!
Global music & art
Performances that stir the soul
Fostering connections
Inspiring natural beauty

LEAF Retreat, May 2023

Feel the music! Steve Atkins' photos capture the moments

LEAF Retreat, May 2023

More magic! Tia Nicole's photos refresh our LEAF love

LEAF Retreat, May 2023

Unforgettable moments captured by Matt Spence

LEAF Retreat for All Ages

All of LEAF is family friendly with activities spread throughout the magical setting. Watch performances, create, play, discover whimsical puppetry shows, sing, dance, and LEARN! Enjoy children’s crafts, hoop and flow, and play boffer games. Immerse in cultural creative arts in Easel Rider with LEAF teaching artists. Swing in the Jelly Dome. Play sports with a global community.

If you have little ones, Elfhaven Childcare in Buckeye Lodge is a world of wonder and time for parents to go play. 

Handcrafts & Folk Artists

LEAF Love to amazing Artists who artfully inspire the LEAF experience! LEAF Festival’s Juried Handcraft Art Fair exhibits 50+ national & local artisans. More artists coming soon….

drawing | painting | fiber | furniture | glass | jewelry | metal work | mixed media | photography | printmaking | ceramics | apparel | wood

Browse and shop the colorful booths, meet the artists, and visit the Global Interactive Outpost to win artful donations from fabulous artisans at LEAF Art Raffle benefiting LEAF Schools & Streets. Check out & shop these amazing LEAF Festival Handcraft Artists! You can support artists online now and buy gifts at LEAF Retreat & Festival.

Culinary Arts

LEAF Cafe in Eden Hall and various Culinary Booths throughout the festival grounds provide gourmet, international fare from local chefs. All the food is freshly prepared on site, and there is something for almost anyone from vegetarians to BBQ fans. We have a good diversity and long hours to keep everyone happily fed. { Gluten Free & Vegetarian Options Available }

Want to save time & money? Want 5 World-Inspired Meals for $60?

Culinary Food Booths
LEAF Festival hosts various local culinary artists that represent many cultures and cuisine options to make your LEAF life delicious. A few change from time to time; however, many culinary booths are longtime LEAF Traditions. Click on images below to see the various culinary booths throughout the festival. 

Need to revive your festival spirit? Visit their eateries in Asheville area.

Love to All our LEAF Family & Friends

Come see us at LEAF Global Arts Experience in Downtown AVL — Open Year-Round

Celebrating 51 Festivals & Counting!
Connecting Cultures & Creating Community Through World Music & Arts

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.