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Bringing LEAF Schools & Streets to Pritchard Park


The Asheville Downtown Association has partnered with LEAF Schools & Streets to bring additional programming to Pritchard Park this summer. Performances by LEAF Schools & Streets teaching artists take place from 5:30-6:30pm and are open to the public.

LEAF Schools & Streets is a local educational outreach program matching artists with youth in schools and communities for hands-on workshops, residencies, interactive performances and mentoring that includes opportunities for youth to perform with the artists at LEAF and now in downtown Asheville.


Wednesday, July 24 – Dance Performance and Workshop with Christine Garvin

Christine teaches at the Children First/ Communities in Schools Woodridge site with LEAF Schools & Streets.  Children from the Woodridge site are scheduled to perform.  She is also a Hip-Hop and Bhangra/Bollywood dancer, Christine loves to combine the three forms for a unique experience. She is an exceptionally professional and self-employed business woman and her passion for dance is inspiring. She believes everyone can dance and love their bodies fully, they just have to let go of that ridiculous notion of perfection and fully embrace having a good time. She is currently teaching Bhangra, Jazz, and hip hop dance classes while living in the Asheville area. Find out more at http://christinegarvin.com.

Wednesday, July 31 – Circus Arts Performance and Workshop with Nina Ruffini

Nina teaches at two programs with LEAF Schools & Streets: the In Real Life after school program at Asheville Middle School and the Asheville City Schools Summer Plus program.  Students from the Summer Plus program are invited to come and share their circus skills at this workshop. Nina Ruffini graduated in 2000 with a bachelor in Art and a Theatre minor from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Shortly after she moved to Asheville, North Carolina where she pursued her career in the arts. After continuing her education in theatre and dance at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, she became a puppeteer with P. O’Connor Puppetry. She is currently a member of the Asheville based Runaway Circus, who she has performed with in Guatemala, Canada, and most of the United States.

Wednesday, August 7 – African Drumming with Adama Dembele

Adama is teaching at the Asheville Parks & Recreation Malvern Hills summer camp with LEAF Schools & Streets.  Students from the Malvern Hills Summer Camp are invited to perform with him for this workshop!  Adama Dembele is a master djembéfola (djembe player) from Ivory Coast, West Africa. Born into a family of musicians, he has toured several continents with various major acts such Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita, Affou Keita, Sogona Djata and many others. Adama has played in several drum and dance companies such as Yelemba d'abidjan, Ensemble Koteba, Congoba and many more. In 2002, in collaboration with Siriki Sanogo, Adama founded Djembeso CI Drum and Dance Ensemble. "Djembeso" in the West African dialect Bambará means "the house of djembe." Adama chose that name because his family has been playing the djembe for 33 generations and his native home was known as the house where the djembe is played. In 2005 Adama moved to the US to perform and teach the sacred art of West African drumming. Since then he has played in major cities all over America.

The Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program is a production of the Asheville Downtown Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation and improvement of the central business district.

More information about the Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found online at www.ashevilledowntown.org or by following through social media including Facebook (www.facebook.com/AshevilleDowntownAssociation) and Twitter (@AVLDowntown).

More information about LEAF Schools & Streets can be found at www.theLEAF.org.