Xpand Fest is proud to bring a unique feature to our event, The Interactive Arts Arcade.

This area represents the many nonprofits, healing arts and sustainable businesses that are focusing on addressing sustainable development goals identified by the United Nations in 2015.

Check out 2017’s participating Nonprofits and sign up to participate in 2018 on our main page!

Art Studio World


Hosts a C.H.A.I. LIFE ARTS program


An Interactive Community Arts Activity

One of the Art Studio World’s C.H.A.I. LIFE ARTS programs includes the interactive ‘TREE OF LIFE’ Community Arts Activity. The Tree of Life is a unifying symbol that represents our scientific understanding that everything life is made of is transmutable eternal energy. The ASWi’s Tree Of Life project, whether represented by a mural painting, puzzle pieces or one of our CHAILA Artist’s Sculptures, is always designed as a collaborative piece of assembled art. The base structure is installed providing empty branches for participants to engage in the designing of leaves, shapes, prayers and positive quotes that when completed provides a visual and energetic message defining our loving hope and intentions for ourselves, our community, our world and the universe. Through C.H.A.I. environmental sustainability themed lesson plans, the global theme of love, truth, and caring for each other as a connected community is conveyed via the visual arts and written word. Leaf by leaf, message by message, colors and shapes gradually fill the trees limbs as the interactive installation blooms with leaves of beautiful colors, messages and LIFE.

This year for Xpandfest Asheville, the Art Studio World’s C.H.A.I. LIFE ARTS project will include a complimentary ‘TREE OF LIFE’ Community Arts Activity open to youthful souls of all ages. We will provide all art supplies and lesson plans through out the day of the festival. Our tent area will host a variety of samplings of our C.H.A.I. LIFE ARTS programs. From creative arts projects to demos of holistic practices that include acupuncture with our partners at “Natural Pathways” and the “Art OfChiropractic” as well as nutritional wellness with Planet Kitchen’s “Pure Fire Elixir”, we plan to engage, educate, empower and collaborate with our amazing community of Asheville NC.

This year Art Studio World’s C.H.A.I. LIFE ARTS interactive ‘TREE OF LIFE’ Community Arts Activity will be a Wooden Tree Of Life SCULPTURE by Local Asheville NC Artist Ashley Spero, of SPERO ART who is a local painter & Sculptor.

Her works can be seen at http://www.speroart.org/.


About Art Studio World:

The Vision of Art Studio Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization, is to collaboratively advance the sponsorship and implementation of Creative-Holistic Art Integration (C.H.A.I) LIFE ARTS PROGRAMS in impoverished communities and schools, and through out the world. By utilizing all arts (creative) mediums & wellness (holistic) modalities we promote solutions that support HUMAN RIGHTS, LIFE SKILLS and PROFESSIONAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT. With creative thinking tools our youth have the opportunity to be guided out of systemic poverty, onto a path of “Cradle To Career”, creating lives of healing and success.

America is the richest nation in the world, yet 37 million Americans live below the official poverty line and millions more struggle to get by every month. In America today, our prison systems are filled with high percentages of young adults from impoverished beginnings. This is America’s pipeline to prison — a trajectory that leads to marginalized lives, imprisonment and often premature death; all of which costs our country far more in the long run than the educational solutions to fix it.

Art Studio, through creative holistic art integration programs, is committed to empowering at-risk youth with the tools needed to make their way off the path to prison. Our Art Studio preventative programs engage at-risk youth in solutions that reduce detention and incarceration, leading them out of poverty.

Earthshine Nature Programs


Xpand Fest Activity:

About Earthshine Nature:

Earthshine Nature Programs was founded in 2010 by naturalist Steve O’Neil.  Our mission is to provide a unique learning environment and opportunities for everyone that will foster a lasting interest, respect, love and hopefully greater conservation of wildlife, wild places, and the fragile environment that supports us all. We work to provide exciting outreach programming taking our wildlife conservation and renewable energy messages to local, regional and worldwide communities via schools, libraries, camps, churches, special events, festivals, and other public and private organizations and online via our website, Youtube channel, blogs and Facebook page.

We have created and maintain a one of a kind, partially solar powered/heated, nature and science education classroom that is open to our students throughout the week and to the public by appointment.

We provide a rescue, rehabilitation and conservation based wildlife facility for the continued conservation and study of our native wildlife.

We function as a collaborative entity seeking to work with other like-minded organizations with the goals of wildlife and nature conservation, education and exploration, nature and science awareness, and the promotion and expansion of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, micro-hydro, and electric vehicles and their infrastructure.

Dogwood Alliance

Xpand Fest Activity:

About Dogwood Alliance:

Dogwood Alliance is a nonprofit that works to protect Southern forests from poor industrial logging practices. For over 20 years, Dogwood Alliance has worked with diverse communities, partner organizations and decision-makers to protect Southern forests across 14 states. We do this through community and grassroots organizing, holding corporations and governments accountable and working to conserve millions of acres of Southern forests. You can find out more about our work and how you can get involved at dogwoodwoodalliance.org! Stand for forests!


Xpand Fest Activity:

About CompostNow:

We are CompostNow, a doorstep collection service who make composting easy! After realizing how difficult it was to manage a home compost receptacle, especially in small backyards, apartments, and condominiums, we set out to create a service that would allow anyone to compost at home without the hassle and maintenance of a compost bin. We started by collecting and composting food scraps just from friends and family. Today—still a small team–we service homes and businesses throughout Asheville. We are very excited to bring the efforts of our members full circle by helping them share compost with local community gardens and urban farms, keeping this natural resource circulating in our community. We hope to see every household and business composting and diverting their food scraps from landfills and into compost for gardens. We are working hard everyday to help make that happen and invite you to join in the movement!

We’ll be chatting with interested people about the beauty of composting as well as giving away our “Dirt Bags.”

Asheville Farmstead School


Xpand Fest Activity:

About Asheville Farmstead School:

Nestled at the back of a quiet cove just 20 minutes from downtown is Asheville Farmstead School, a play-based, farm and forest outdoor school in Candler. The school serves preschool children, summer camps, school groups, other large groups, and nature-loving families in a variety of programs in which students are encouraged to use their imaginations, bodies, and curiosity to interact with the Earth.
The school itself sits on 25 lush acres and days at the farmstead are spent both in a field setting, on three acres offering room for gardening, running games, and more; and in a forest setting, with a mixed hardwood cove forest offering a logging road, trails, and a ridgeline. Some other unique features of the property include a stone-built schoolhouse, forts, a creek and spring, and a schoolyard always filled with rotating loose parts, natural items, and objects for exploration. This setting as a whole lends itself to teachable moments, discovery, and kinesthetic learning.
Director of Asheville Farmstead School and educator Lauren Brown says that her school “offers the chance for the next generation to make connections to their food, each other, and the Earth in ways that were part of our ancestors’ daily routines.” She and the school embrace the values of our collective conscious and history by leading children on an exploration for timeless knowledge and not-quite-lost skills. These skills taught at the farmstead include permaculture, homesteading and camping, and plant and animal identification and care. Through the school’s programs, students will sprout into confident and capable producers and consumers in the food chain by unearthing the connections between people, food, and nature.
Richard Louv, American author and journalist who is perhaps best known for his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, says too many of our youth suffer from nature-deficit disorder as they are glued to their screens and immersed in organized competitive activities. Outdoor schools like Asheville Farmstead School allow for a reconnection to nature that so many families, particularly in the Asheville area, are once again beginning to crave in today’s modern climate. One Asheville Farmstead School parent shares insight on her children’s experience at the farmstead: “I can see how much their minds and bodies have grown as they have been encouraged to explore, create, and problem-solve in natural habitats.”
If the farm and forest are calling to you, you can join Asheville Farmstead School on June 17th from 10am to 12pm for the school’s monthly free family discovery day event.   For more information about this event, or to learn about any of the programs at Asheville Farmstead School, visit www.ashevillefarmstead.org.
Community Roots

Xpand Fest Activity:

About Community Roots:

Community Roots is a grassroots non-profit based out of Asheville, NC dedicated to helping communities protect the planet and dismantle corporate rule.We believe communities have the right to make decisions about what happens to our water, air and soil over for-profit corporations.We stand for the rights of nature and people over those of corporations.

We are working with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to enact a Community Bill of Rights in Buncombe County. This will enable citizens to prohibit the activities of corporations that pollute our water, air and soil and allow us to make ongoing decisions that affect us without interference from the State.

Peaceful Way Massage

Xpand Fest Activity:

About Peaceful Way Massage:

Gary Lloyd is a massage therapist and Usui Reiki Master.  His massage sessions are an integrative treatment, depending on his client’s goals. Treatments may include techniques from Swedish Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Thai Foot Massage, and Reiki, an energy healing modality. He is also trained in Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage, which he offers as a stand-alone treatment.

Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner. To relieve fatigue from post-polio syndrome, she learned Reiki. This complementary technique led her to explore other alternative modalities. Her personal journey, along with life lessons learned along the way, is detailed in her book, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons.

They offer massage and Reiki (sessions and training)  at Peaceful Way Massage & Reiki in Asheville, NC. www.peacefulwaymassage.com  Phone – 828-423-3978.

At the festival, Gary is offering chair massage and Reiki. Both will increase your sense of well-being and leave you feeling relaxed! Deb will be selling her book as well as other body-mind-spirit books from her publisher.

GreenHands Healing Center

Xpand Fest Activity:

About GreenHands Healing Center:

We are a local chiropractic office (located in East Asheville) specializing in Applied Kinesiology.  We see patients of all ages and love to see people heal from back pain, neck pain, headaches, etc through all-natural chiropractic care.   Dr. Greenspan focuses on the big picture, often helping people lose weight and eat healthier in order to reach their true health potential.

At our booth, we will offer free spinal screenings using a Spinal Analysis Machine.  This device detects postural imbalances in the neck, shoulders and pelvis, and helps Dr. David determine what issues he can help individuals with through Chiropractic treatment.  We will have lots of helpful information to give out, including stretches, exercises and product samples.  We will even offer folks a free exam in our office if they make an appointment at Xpand Fest.
We are not a non-profit, but we do try to be as green as possible in our office, using recycled printer paper and compostable spoons at our tea station… we also use a company called Shred It that shreds all of our used paper and makes it into paper towels.
Blue Ridge Pride


Blue Ridge Pride’s mission is to advocate, celebrate, educate and serve on behalf of the Western North Carolina LGBTQ Community.

Well, we certainly know how to celebrate!  We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2017 Blue Ridge Pride Festival, to be held in downtown Asheville on September 30th.

But we are sharpening our focus on the other three parts of our mission: advocacy, education and service.  There are more than 35,000 LGBTQ people in western North Carolina.  Many of them are in desperate need. They need equal rights, health care, education, jobs, and services.  They need safety.  They need friends.  They need to feel loved for who they are.

We are currently planning to expand in several areas:

  • Community Service Partnership Programs & GrantsWestern North Carolina is blessed with many wonderful community service and social justice organizations.  They could use our support. This fall, we plan to set up a community service fund to support groups that provide critical services to the LGBTQ community in western North Carolina.
  • Community-Building: While most LGBTQ people praise Asheville’s welcoming atmosphere, many express concern that our community has grown too fractured. Race, age, income, and identity divide us. Needy groups remain underserved, especially those living far from Asheville.  We are in the process of designing a Virtual LGBTQ Community Center, a web-based platform that will enable WNC residents and visitors to find LGBTQ-relevant services, support groups, social groups, classes and events – all in one location.
  • Advocacy, Outreach & Allies: We plan to expand our advocacy and outreach efforts.  We will continue to partner with and fund organizations that are outspoken, political, and aggressive. We certainly need them!  But we plan to steer our own efforts in a complementary direction.  In the long run, hearts and minds are won through quiet, thoughtful conversations.  Allies are drawn to warmth and positive reinforcement.  An example of our approach is our planned campaign, “WNC: A Welcoming Community”.  We hear a lot in the media from churches and businesses that want nothing to do with us.  Why not give voice and visibility to those who welcome us? Why not celebrate our allies?  We also plan to pursue conversations with groups that are not yet welcoming but interested in dialogue.
  • Education & Research: Frankly, we were surprised to find how difficult it is to learn about the LGBTQ community in western North Carolina.  We are setting up a fund to support student research that focuses on our community.  We plan to work with the universities and social service groups in western North Carolina to improve information-sharing and access to educational resources.  We also hope to use our virtual community center to make it easier for organizations interested in expanding their horizons to find appropriate educational resources and speakers.