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Announcing the LEAF Love Fund Campaign

Building a Legacy for LEAF

Today, LEAF is honored to announce Detroit Tigers’ center fielder and Asheville native Cameron Maybin is leading the effort for creation of the LEAF Endowment in support of community development through cultural arts education and preservation here in Buncombe County and around the globe. LEAF is pleased to announce the LEAF Love Fund Campaign to establish a $1,000,000 LEAF Endowment Fund to fuel long-term support of LEAF’s Cultural Arts Education programs! With enormous gratitude for your friendship and support, we invite members of the Western North Carolina community to join LEAF on this journey. As of today, Cameron Maybin and more than 60 LEAF supporters have joined the effort by pledging more than $777,000 of the $1,000,000 goal.  

“I believe in the power of African-American youth in Asheville and that through music and arts they have voice to change their lives. LEAF offers youth the opportunity to find this voice within themselves, and because of that I support the work they’re doing in our community.”  

~ Cameron MaybinAsheville Native & Professional Baseball Player with Detroit Tigers

As an arts non-profit with 21 years of experience, LEAF is creating the Endowment Fund that will act as a sustainable pillar of support for the communities we serve. LEAF provides cultural arts education to communities both locally and globally. LEAF weaves communities together to foster a sense of global citizenship, generate positive youth development, and preserve cultural identity. The Endowment Fund will give LEAF the ability to move beyond short-term partnerships, and commit long-term resources to programs serving the most fragile communities here in Buncombe County and across the globe.

“LEAF serves in our local neighborhoods as well as with our global partners. The LEAF Endowment Fund gives me great hope because we will be able to say to organizations like the Delta House in Buncombe County, residents of Southside & Burton Street neighborhood in Asheville, members of The Bribri First Nation indigenous tribe in Costa Rica, and many other partners that LEAF is committed to working with you to preserve cultures and empower communities through cultural arts for decades to come.”  

Jennifer Pickering, LEAF Founder & Executive Director

In 2014, six Vision 2020 Summits were held across the southeast – 350 participants, including volunteers, LEAF Festival attendees, LEAF Members, community leaders, board members, and former board members explored the power and impact of LEAF Community Arts’ programs and the opportunities for its future.

Out of these collaborative conversations came the core principles of the LEAF 2020 Vision: Growth and Stability, Transforming Lives, Connecting Cultures, and Generating Unity. LEAF Community Arts staff has crafted a plan for achieving these 2020 goals, while remaining true to its core values. LEAF is looking toward 2020 and the legacy we want to generate in the communities we serve. We see ourselves using music, art, and festivals to create welcoming places and spaces of possibility that embrace these core values.

“Thanks to LEAF for moving our World and making a place with no frontiers where our Ngabe and Bribri artists (young & old) can be whoever they want and look at an open horizon in the future, and a power heritage in their past.”

                ~ Luis Porras MoraLEAF International Costa Rica Coordinator with Ngabe-Bugle & BriBri First Nations

LEAF is dedicated to serving youth and families. The Endowment Fund will serve as an independent revenue stream separate of LEAF Festival ticket sales, or special events revenue. LEAF plans to shift from a historically fund-earning organization that cultivates support through proceeds earned from LEAF Festival, LEAF Downtown, LEAF Membership, and community events, to a culture of philanthropy that ensures LEAF International and LEAF Schools & Streets long-term success.

The LEAF Endowment Fund is held at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The purpose of the LEAF Endowment Fund is to support LEAF Community Arts, with a preference for LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International cultural arts programs. The priorities of these programs include: positive youth development, partnering to build stronger local communities, helping preserve global traditions, and connecting cultures.

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