Volunteer & WEX CREW

Your gift of service to LEAF Global Arts furthers LEAF’s mission of cultural connection!

"The community LEAF builds and maintains in this area is integral to sustaining our city. "

LEAF Global Arts is an internationally recognized non-profit organization with a mission of cultivating a thriving global community generated by the power of cultural curiosity, connection, and preservation through global music and arts education and experiences.

Work Exchange

Festival & Retreat

Festival Work Exchange (WeX)

LEAF Festival October 17-20, 2024

WeX Vols

WeX (Work eXchanges) help create LEAF Retreat & LEAF Festival each May and October!  We count on the service of 300+ WeXs to help make the events come to life! Opportunities include assisting the Boathouse crew to get people in canoes & kayaks, prepare yummy meals in Eden Hall, serving up local brews & beverages at Concessions, help people at First Aid, customer service with Zoom and much more that helps make LEAF happen!

Applications are Open!

Learn more...

  1. CLICK HERE to purchase your WeX, WeX PLUS, or WeX Star Application ($15 non-refundable fee).
  2. Your application link is emailed to you within 24 hours. (Double-check spam & junk folders)
  3. Application is complete when one of the following apply:
  • You are 21 yrs or over – have completed all fields and submitted no show fee via check or credit card (online).
  • You are under 21 yrs – have completed all fields; submitted no show fee via check or credit card (online); and submitted two references and a letter of recommendation from an employer or administrator.
  • ***BIG IMPORTANT NOTE!!!*** No Show fees are NOT charged in advance.

WeXs are accepted on a rolling basis, in other words until all roles are filled! Apply early to secure favorite roles.

WEx: Work 10 hours in exchange for a Weekend Ticket (Fri 9 am – Sun 7 pm) that includes overnight tent camping. Thursday access not included.

WEx Plus: Work 15 hours in exchange for a Weekend Plus Ticket (Thursday 6 pm – Sun 7 pm). Those that are completing WeX Plus hours must be available for a Thursday shift.

WEx Star: Work 20 hours in exchange for a Weekend Plus Ticket (Thursday 6 pm – Sun 7 pm) AND Culinary Passport or Guest Pass*. Star WeXs must have previously worked for LEAF and of course, be awesome. *Guest Passes are limited and first come first serve. We’ll cross it out when it’s no longer an option.

WeX applications open January 1st

We accept applications until all shifts have been filled. The team is always trying to improve to accommodate our growing organization, generosity of WeXs, and the needs of our fun crews! We look forward to working with you and thank you for your contribution to LEAF!

WeX ROCKs! LEAF counts on WeXs to help create each of our signature events. Below are the questions (with answers) to the most frequently asked questions we receive. We want to make being part of LEAF’s WeX as meaningful and easy as possible. If you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Take pride in being part of LEAF WeX by reading all the info. THANK YOU! 

What is LEAF WeX?

LEAF WeX is the LEAF Festival Work eXchange. It is a program that allows you to work 10, 15, or 20 hours in exchange for LEAF Festival tickets and perks.

Becoming a LEAF WeX 

How many WeX Members are accepted each year?

Approximately 400 WeXs are accepted for each LEAF Festival and 250 WeXs for each LEAF Retreat.

What is the deadline to apply to do WeX?
There are NO deadlines! We accept WeXs until all positions have been filled. We will announce on our website when there are no more shifts available.

How old do you have to be to do WeX?
To do WeX you need to be 21 or over. Those that are 18-21 may potentially be accepted as a WeX with a letter of recommendation from a teacher/employer/community leader/etc (not your parent) and two references (not your parent). Supporting documents should be emailed to WeX@theLEAF.org after applying to do WeX. You should send your 2 references with contact information and whomever is writing your letter of recommendation should send it with your name as the subject line of the email.

What do I get for doing WeX?

WeXs receive a ticket and additional perks based on their commitment level.

  • “WeX Crew” work a total of 10 hours in exchange for a Weekend Ticket (Fri-Sun)
  • “WeX Plus Crew” work a total of 15 hours in exchange for a Weekend Plus Ticket (Thu-Sun)
  • “WeX Star Crew” work a total of 20 hours in exchange for a Weekend Plus Ticket (Thu-Sun) and a Culinary Passport  –OR– a guest pass. WeX Stars must have been a previous WeX and be in good standing. WeX Star Guest Passes are LIMITED and first come first serve.
  • Tent camping is included in with all WeX tickets. 
  • Vehicle Camping is not included but may be purchased online or by calling the office. Regular Parking ($10 per car in advance or $15 at check-in) is in general parking Gate 6 (The Moon).  Pack light & simple. 

How do I apply to do a WeX?

  1. Purchase a WeX application, this can be done online or over the phone. *The $10 application fee is non-refundable.*
  2. You will then be e-mailed the link to the online application (this can take up to 48 hours).  
  3. Once you have received the link, complete the application and give your give your no show fee (formerly called deposit) via check or credit card. 
  4. Submit the application.
  5. Review it for accuracy and Submit again.
  6. Email the WeX & Volunteer Team any supporting documents.
  7. Once your application is received it will be reviewed and you will be scheduled or emailed for additional information.

When is an application considered complete?
An application is considered complete when we have received it with all information, supporting documents for those 18-21, and no show fee information.

What is the difference in the application fee and the now show fee (formerly called deposit)? Will my no show fee be cashed?

The application fee is what you paid to get the application. It is NON-REFUNDABLE. 

The no show fee is your ticket cost plus an additional fee and is not charged in advance. You can opt to use the credit card you used to purchase your LEAF WeX application for your fee -OR- you can opt to mail a check.  Please note that we do NOT place any holds on your credit card you are simply authorizing us to charge it should you not fulfill your WeX commitment. Your check is not cashed only held until your WeX commitment is completed.  If you don’t have a checking account, and want to mail a check you can use a friend’s and put your name on the check in the memo line.  

How do I know that I have been accepted as a WeX?

You will receive an email with your confirmation or a request for additional information within 10 days of us receiving your application.  Make sure your email accepts email from WeX@theLEAF.org & Volunteers@theLEAF.org and does not see it as spam (adding us to your address book/contact list is an easy way to ensure you get our emails). If you have not heard from us 10 days prior to the festival please email and let us know. 

How are WeXs scheduled?

The WeX Team will review  applications and assign WeXs with completed applications  to their shifts based on the WeX applicants availability, preferences, qualifications and shift availability.  Once you have been assigned to shifts, please try to fulfill your commitment. If something does come up, please email (WeX@theLEAF.org) us as soon as possible so that we can work to fill your shifts!

What is the acceptance process?

We accept and schedule on a first come first serve basis. 

Will I be accepted?

The answer is yes 97% of the time. Unless one of the two things listed below happens you will be accepted.

You won’t be accepted *IF*

–You do NOT fully complete and submit the application
–You have previously been accepted as a WeX or Volunteer and did NOT fulfill your commitment. You will have been notified at that time that you are no longer eligible and will NOT be accepted.

Can I cancel my commitment?

If you cannot fulfill your commitment, notify WeX@theLEAF.org ASAP!! Cancellations made at least 10 days prior to the start of the festival are without deposit penalty. (It will still be noted in your file.) Cancellations made less than 10 days prior to the festival are considered No-Shows and your fee is considered forfeit.  ALL cancellations must be done in writing–over the phone is not acceptable notification.

Big Deal Notes:

  • ONLY WeX Plus and Star may arrive and/or work on Thursday.
  • NO camping or reserving campsites prior to 4:00pm Thursday.
  • Dogs and other pets are not allowed at any time at LEAF. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • WeXs must vacate festival grounds by 7pm Sunday unless otherwise noted.

Your Role as a LEAF WeX

How early/late do WeXs have to work?

Before and after the Festival you can expect to work starting at 9am up to 6pm. During the Festival, shifts begin as early as 7:30am and end as late as 2am. 

Can WeXs request certain shifts?

Yes. On the application form you can identify your preference for job areas and tell us what shift times work best for you. We will work as hard as we can to make sure everyone gets a shift they will enjoy. The sooner you send in your application the more likely you will get the shifts that you have requested.

How do I know when to work?

You will be notified whether you are working prior to, during, or following the festival when you receive your confirmation email (the one with your ticket). We also send out a copy (subject to change) of the WeX schedule ahead of time. If you are working prior to -OR- following the festival your confirmation email will also let you know which day and where to go. If you are working during the festival you will receive your final schedule upon checking in with the WeX Team at the Boathouse after you arrive at the festival. Please do not try to change your shifts. We work around your availability and do our best to meet your requests. Coordinating nearly 500 WeXs twice a year is a considerable task and sticking with your original shift helps the festival run smoothly. If for some reason you MUST change your shift please notify us as soon as possible at WeX@theLEAF.org and we will do our best to work with you.

When do WeXs get their work schedule?

A copy of your WeX schedule will be emailed to you. When you receive it will depend on when you apply, however, they begin going out in March for May Festival and August for October Festival. Final schedules will be available upon arrival. Typically you receive a copy within 2 weeks of your confirmation once they start being sent out. Please do not call the office with schedule questions; you can email WeX@theLEAF.org

What are the different jobs?

We need strong people for Set Up, Tear Down and Clean Up; good hosts for VIP and Concessions; safe drivers for our Zoom Team; and all around LEAF lovers to work in all the venues on the Festival grounds. For more detailed information, please review WeX Roles & Opportunities.

Where do I park?

WeXs park in general parking Gate 6 (The Moon) unless they have purchased a Vehicle Camping Permit or are a LEAF Member that receives VIP Parking.

When do I need to be there?

Please plan to be on-site with enough time to check-in with the WeX Team 15 minutes prior to the start time of your first shift. If you need to set up your campsite, cabin, etc. please arrive an hour and a half before your shift begins—Keep in  mind that NO camp site can be set up BEFORE 4:00pm on Thursday. Please indicate what time you will be ready to work on your application.

How and where do I check in?

Your check in process is in two parts:

  1. First, WeXs will go through Drive Thru Check-In at the Owen Pool (Drive Thru Check-In times are:  Thurs: 6:00-10pm, Fri: 9am-11pm, Sat: 9am-11pm. Do not come early–there is no temporary/holding lot. Do not come late–the gates close) *Please Thursday check-in and arrival is ONLY for Plus and Star WeXs. Here you will check in your ticket & get your parking pass. Parking $10 per car at drive-thru and in advance online. 
  2. Once you are parked, drop off your camping gear, and come to WeX Headquarters to check in with the WeX Team. Here you will get your schedule card and information pertaining to your shifts.

*Please Note:*  If you have a shift outside the normal festival hours, you will be told where to go to check-in in your confirmation email.

How do I get my wristband for admission to the Festival?

When you check in at the Drive-Thru Check-In you receive your wristband for admission to the Festival. (See previous question for further details.)

Who is in charge of WeXs?

The WeX staff is made up of LEAF Staff. Throughout the year we plan for each Festival, coordinate meetings for our WeX Team to set policy, etc. Our most intense period of work is one month prior to the Festival and the month of the Festival itself. During the Festival we will be in and out of the WeX Headquarters. Please do not hesitate to find us should any problems arise.

Can my child accompany me on my shift?

Unfortunately, no. It is important you are focused first on your WeX work and are fully present during your shift. We request that you make childcare arrangements for the times you will be on shift. Childcare is available at the Festival in Elfhaven ($).

Can I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, no. It is for the safety of all festival patrons, WeXs, staff and performers. 

When are deposits cashed?

  • You don’t turn in your WeX card.
  • You turn in your WeX card without sufficient signatures from you shift supervisor(s) for EACH and ALL SHIFTS.  
  • You turn in your WeX card with bogus signatures.
  • You don’t show up to the festival.

Turn in your signed WeX card once you have completed your shifts.  If you do not drop off your card at WeX Headquarters before you leave the festival you must send us your signed work card! You can send it in the mail–within ONE WEEK (arrive by the following Sunday’s mail)–or you can send us an email with it scanned as an attachment. All DEPOSIT CHECKS will be torn up after we receive your signed card and successful completion of your shifts according to our WeX Policy. 

What if my availability changes?

Please email as soon as you know there is a change in your schedule. We appreciate your timeliness on this issue, as your shift is very important and we will have to work to find someone to fill it. 

THANKS for WeXing AND taking the time to read!  We hope we answered all of your questions, if not please email WeX@theLEAF.org. See you at LEAF!


Available: Festival

Location: Elfhaven in the Family Lodge

Job Duties: Work with the childcare staff to provide a safe and friendly environment for the kids. Playing games, coloring and reading stories to the youth are just a few activities you will be required to do. 

Special Requirements: Friendly, patient, and good with children of ALL ages.


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Ship, Meadows (Main Stage), Barn, or Eden Hall

Job Duties: You will be selling a variety of drinks to the festival goers including sodas, beer and wine. 

Special Requirements: Must be detail oriented and good with numbers, handling money and dealing with crowds of people in a pressure situation.  Must be 21 or over.


Available: Festival

Location: Upper Barn 

Job Description: Work with our Development Team to assist our LEAF Members with purchasing/renewing their membership, answering questions, and letting them know what benefits their membership level entails.

Special Requirements: Must be friendly!


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Lower Barn

Job Description: Host our LEAF VIPs & Artists at the Lower Barn! You will be responsible for checking credentials (proper wristbands & IDs), pouring beer, keeping the space tidy, and answering questions.

Special Requirements: Must be 21+ and friendly!


Available: Festival

Location: Kids Villages around the Festival grounds 

Job Duties: Wide variety of Job Opportunities. Kids market, assist with face painting, managing crowds / waiting lines, blowing bubbles, playing with shaving cream, many other games and crafts, helping children play with instruments, stage / kids area setup /takedown, stage hand duties, performer hospitality and general maintenance of Leaflet Kids Village areas. 

Special Requirements:  MUST like kids, use APPROPRIATE language and be able to work shift with minimal supervision AND unaccompanied by dependent children. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: WeX Headquarters

Job Duties: This is the open slot where you could end up doing just about anything. We have floaters to help in case someone does not show up for a shift or if we need extra help in an area. 

Special Requirements: Flexible and willing to help LEAF with whatever necessary. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Eden Hall

Job Duties: Food preparation and serving food. 

Special Requirements: Must wear closed-toe shoes & a hat. Food service experience helpful. Food safety certification helpful, but not required. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Varies

Job Descriptions: LEAF Schools & Streets off site Check-in, assist in the Global Outpost, assist around the festival with LEAF Schools & Streets performances and performers, and raffle assistance. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to selling raffle tickets, answering questions, survey administration after performances with both youth and adults, checking youth performers in at Gate Check-in, taking donations, welcoming groups upon arrival to festival grounds and checking in participants.

Special Requirements: * Be able to lift up to 15lbs, be familiar with the goals of LEAF Schools & Streets. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Meet at WeX Headquarters

Photographer & Videographer: 

Job Duties:  This role involves capturing photos, videos and other visual stories from LEAF. This is coordinated with LEAF Marketing &  Creative Director for shot lists and specific details.

Special Requirements:  Must have own equipment, a link to professional portfolio and prior approval from Marketing & Creative Director

Job Duties: This role involves capturing quotes, vivid narratives of experiences and special moments of LEAF Festival.  


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: Meet at Gate 3 

Job Duties: You will be helping with our traffic control and keeping people going in the right direction. 

Special Requirements: Must be able to give directions to public and stand in all weather conditions. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions and good shoes (no sandals) 


Available: Retreat & Festival

Location: WeX Headquarters

Job Duties: Assist the WeX team with answering of questions, directing festival attendees, and keeping WeX shifts organized

Special Requirements: GREAT customer service skills and a prior WeX


Available: Festival

When: Monday before LEAF Festival (9am to 6pm)

Location: Meet at LEAF Office, 377 Lake Eden Rd, Black Mountain 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-).  Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Food is not provided, so be sure to bring your lunch with you. Not for those with back problems. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

When: Monday–Tuesday–Wednesday–Thursday BEFORE LEAF Festival (9am to 6pm)

Location: Meet at LEAF office, 377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC. 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-). Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Be sure to check the weather report and dress appropriately. Food is not provided, so be sure to bring your lunch with you. Not for those with back problems. 


Available: Retreat & Festival

When: Tuesday–Wednesday BEFORE LEAF Festival (9am to 6pm)

Location: Meet at LEAF office, 377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC. 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-). Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Be sure to check the weather report and dress appropriately. Food is not provided, so be sure to bring your lunch with you. Not for those with back problems. 


Available: Festival

When: Monday after LEAF Festival 10am to 7pm

Location: Brookside Dance Hall 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-). Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Not for those with back problems


Available: Retreat & Festival

When: Monday (10am to 7pm), Tuesday (9am to 6pm), and Wednesday (9am to 6pm) AFTER LEAF Festival 

Location: Meet at LEAF office, 377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC. 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-). Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Be sure to check the weather report and dress appropriately. Food is not provided, so be sure to bring your lunch with you. Not for those with back problems, this is lots of moving things breaking down the festival


Available: Retreat & Festival

When: Monday (10am to 7pm) and Tuesday (9am to 6pm) AFTER LEAF Festival 

Location: Meet at LEAF office, 377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC. 

Special Requirements: Must be available for the entire time period and able to handle heavy lifting (50lbs +/-). Bring work gloves if you have them. Wear good shoes, no sandals please. Be sure to check the weather report and dress appropriately. Food is not provided, so be sure to bring your lunch with you. This is cleaning up around the festival grounds. Not for those with back problems


LEAF Global Experience


LEAF Ambassadors (volunteers) help bring the LEAF Global Arts center to life each and every day! We depend on our community for support to fill our space with light and laughter while accompanying visitors on their journey of cultural exploration. Opportunities include assisting our welcome team at the front desk to greet and register visitors, provide guided tours through the space–special request for those who speak multiple languages including sign language and those with experience working with handicapable individuals and those who exist on the autism spectrum. We also have need for volunteers during specialty events where you can help create an atmosphere of LEAF Love and gratitude by serving local brews and beverages, assisting with event set-up and break down as well as generic customer service.

Community Member

This is the perfect level for those who have limited free-time but a drive to serve their community. We will put you on our mailing list for special volunteer request and you are free to join in whenever and however you can. You will work with LEAF to organize, promote, set-up, monitor and/or clean special events at the space with no volunteer minimum.

Docent Program

LEAF Docents give tours through the LEAF Global Arts experience primarily for school-aged student groups as well as tourist, community members and those looking to dive deeper into the world of cultural arts.

Program Support

Do you have a special skill? This is the perfect way to put it to good use! Our Program volunteers assist our Teaching Artist and community engagement staff on planning , creating and executing cultural arts programs geared towards families, educators and youth.

Internship Program

LEAF Global offers internships for current undergraduates and graduate students as well as high school juniors and seniors with signed parental consent.

Complete THIS FORM to apply as a Community Member supporting Special Events or a Docent.

Program Support Volunteers should email Volunteers@theLEAF.org with an overview of their skills, which program they’d like to support, and a resume if available.

Those interested in a LEAF Internship should complete THIS APPLICATION and return it to Info@theLEAF.org to be considered.

Awesome HUGE LEAF LOVE to all of our LEAF WeX and Volunteers!!! YOU help weave LEAF together & keep the mission flowing.

Want to know other ways to give?

No matter how big or small, your contribution makes an impact!

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.