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LEAF Turns Old Town Lafayette Into an Electronic and New Media Arts Spectacle

Free Events April 17 – May 4  |  Ticketed Experience with LARAAJI and Lisa Bella Donna on May 3

A dazzling electronic and new media arts display of creativity, community and music, the 2024 LEAF (Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival) will have a big presence in Old Town Lafayette starting April 17. “Fruiting Bodies” is the underlying force behind this year’s event, which revolves around the acknowledgement and cultivation of the many communities in the region involved in electronic and new media arts. 

Snapshot: LEAF and Curator David Fodel

Founded in 2016 by David Fodel, LEAF is a composite of a lifetime of audio/visual artistic passion and experience. Growing up in Baltimore, MD, David got his start in the visual elements that supported musical acts and bands, including live visuals for concerts. After moving to Colorado, he eventually took up teaching digital art and had an installation/performance at a Denver gallery that was seen by the director of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), prompting a desire for a similar event at BMoCA. This led to David c0-creating the first ever MediaLive festival. After a few years of curating this event he was again approached, this time by the director of the Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette, to help create something that supported their mission for teaching and sharing music with the community.

LEAF is an ode to wide-ranging interests in experimental music, art, audio and visuals. And as technology evolves, so does this progressive medium of sound, light and engagement.

“LEAF is the culmination of years of immersion within this artistic community,” said David Fodel, director and curator of LEAF. “I have developed a wide-reaching and rarified network of artists that represent different strains and approaches to electronic and experimental music, visual arts and live media. Curating this taps into a whole life of interest in this creative space.”

FREE to Explore LEAF’s Musical and Visual Arts in OTL

The framework of the festival is to curate free events that are quite experimental, pulling from up-and-coming artists who are doing interesting and great work but aren’t well-known. And it allows people from all walks of life, backgrounds, interests and ages to be exposed to a new and exciting art form that perhaps is unfamiliar.

This will be a particularly exciting LEAF for Old Town Lafayette as several free events and pop-up installations will be peppering the community, including:

-April 17 – May 4: Six pop-up video projection installations throughout Old Town Lafayette, including a video cube, exterior projections onto buildings and window projections. Catch a sneak peak of some of the window projections here (or wait to be surprised!). 

-April 26: SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is a film screening at The Collective Community Arts Center about the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers. Due to limited seating, please register in advance for this free event.

-April 30: A panel discussion titled “Radical Economy; How local artists have leveraged web3 for sustainability” at The Collective Community Arts Center.

-May 4: A pop-up workshop at Odd13 Brewing where you can try your hand at VJing (the art of mixing video live like a DJ does with music). These visuals will be projected onto the Arapaho Center (formerly Mary Miller Theater) across the street!

For a full list of free events happening in Old Town Lafayette and surrounding areas, visit the LEAF website. 

May 3: A Memorable Evening with LARAAJI and Lisa Bella Donna

In addition to the free events, LEAF is hosting an intimate ticketed event with two legends of modern music. On Friday, May 3, at The Arts HUB, LARAAJI and Lisa Bella Donna will take attendees on a musical and visual adventure.

LARAAJI is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in piano, zither and mbira. After studying composition and piano at Howard University, he spent time in NYC pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian and actor, as well as playing Fender Rhodes electric piano in the jazz-rock band Winds of Change. In the early ‘70s he converted a zither he purchased at a local pawn shop into an electronic instrument and began experimenting with his sound. One day while busking in Washington Square Park he was encountered by Brian Eno, who dropped a note in his hat saying, “I want to make a record with you.” Eno went on to produce LARAAJI’s most widely recognized release, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance. His ethereal and transformative performances have enchanted audiences worldwide. 

“LARAAJI’s music is simply beautiful, and his performance with LEAF may be one of the last chances to see him perform live,” said Fodel. 

See our March interview with LARAAJI

Lisa Bella Donna is an internationally acclaimed recording artist, composer, modular synthesist, sound designer, educator and clinician releasing more than 50 albums over her career. Her performances are described as “instant compositions,” which indicates a very improvisational style and ensures any live event will be a one-of-a-kind experience. Working with Christopher Short on visuals, Lisa’s musical set will be rhythmic, spontaneous and avant-garde. 

See our March interview with Lisa Bella Donna

Tickets for the event will sell out and can be purchased online now. 

Upcoming Events

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