Kennedy Center Partners in Education

Since 2018, LEAF Community Arts has teamed with Buncombe County Schools (BCS) in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Partners in Education Program. This is a national recognition is and only the 3rd cohort in NC to have done so. The shared purpose of LEAF and BCS as Kennedy Center – Partners in Education is to support teaching and learning. By modeling the value of the arts integration and global awareness in all areas of education, we seek to support lifelong, continued, and relevant learning. 

In the 2018-19 school year, BCS and LEAF coordinated 15 LEAF teaching artist residencies.  Of these, 8 were international teaching artists.  Eight schools hosted the residencies and served over 1,400 students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Our Partners in Education with the Buncombe County School system held 10 professional development opportunities with 30 BCS teachers. These educators became part of our first cohort.

Our cohort of 30 teachers represented elementary, middle, and high schools in 11 schools across the county.  Seven teachers attended the Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in Arlington, VA in June of 2019. Nineteen professional development opportunities will be offered in 2019-20 including a Global Arts Integration Strand for the STEAM Conference in August 2020. The STEAM conference supports strategies for teachers, centering on inquiry-based instruction.





“Today’s recognition ceremony touched me, being surrounded by the greater community with kids waiting behind us to go on stage. I saw several of my students, and that helped me contextualize the experience as well. Thanks for guiding us through this process. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn with y’all!”
– Katharine Zamarra, 2018-2019 cohort,
speaking about being recognized on stage at the 2019 LEAF Downtown

2018-2019 cohort:

Amanda Arrowood
Jolie Atkins
Andrea Bassett
Leslie Cox
Bill Feste
Kerri Hampton
Amanda Hoffman
Rebecca Howerton
Melody McGarrahan 


Rachel McKinley
Sara Moore
Lila Morel
Beth Myers
Michael Presson
Ashley Styles
Ellen Wharton
Katharine Zammara