LEAF - Lake Eden Arts Festival

>> Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These are the first words in the Spring 2004 brochure for the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). Since 1995 this semi-annual festival has nested around Lake Eden in Black Mountain, North Carolina on the site of the historic Black Mountain College (now the site of Camp Rockmont).
Hundreds of tents reflect off the placid surface of the Lake Eden, and young ones, laughing and barefoot, run around the lake's swimming area or play with gigantic hula hoops on a grassy knoll adjacent to it. Chess players maneuver two and a half foot pieces in an eternal clash as colorfully dressed belly dancers jingle by. A woman, dressed in full white with angel wings, stands on a white box, her still face, painted white, gazes skyward while in a circle behind her, the African-Brazilian martial dance of capoeira is being played and the sounds of a performance happening on the main stage echo distantly off the surrounding mountains.

Music was all around here at LEAF. Impromptu jam sessions of fiddle, banjo, and acoustic guitar sprung up during the day and bonfire-lit African drum circles ruled the night, Apollo-like ushering in the rising sun. The buffet of musical offerings from the 5 stages at LEAF was enough to sate the appetite of many a music lover. Celtic harmonies, Venezulean rhythms, roots Reggae, Cajun melodies, hip hop beats, jazz tunes and folk grooves. the array of music available was matched only by the stunning skill of the performers themselves.
The creative spirit was in full frolic at this festival with dozens of booths featuring the unique craftwork of selected artists. There were over 40 workshops for festival attendees to enjoy- from dance and craft design to meditation and music. For those who want a little more adventure, how about a climb on the rock wall, or braving the zip line?
Bodywork was also available to help those who had a hard day of "festivaling." After a massage be sure to experience some delicious culinary treats from the LEAF Café or any of the "on the grounds" eateries.


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