Meet our Current Resident Teaching Artist Team!

LEAF has the opportunity to impact youth beyond the festival experience. Support from LEAF artists and festival-goers allows LEAF to provide resources where art and culture are needed in schools and communities. We are thankful for our talented artists.
These classes meet 1 – 2 times weekly throughout the school year!

Resident Teaching Artist Spotlight

Katie Oaks

Making a Positive Impact on LEAF Youth


Katie Oaks embodies what it means to be an exemplary Resident Teaching Artist for LEAF Schools & Streets Programs:
She is consistently available for every student when they are need of help — whether their needs are related to LEAF Delta House Jazz Band, or if she is simply serving as a model of positive support in their lives.

Katie has seen immense growth in the Jazz Band students instrumental performance skills and is extremely proud of how far they have come. She has had conversations with the middle school Band Director who has said that, “if it were not for what you are doing over at LEAF, these would be the kids who would fall through the cracks.”

Not only is Katie Oaks a determined teacher at the Delta House Learning Development Center every Tuesday and Thursday, but she and her Resident Teaching Artist partner, Gary Bradley, combined their resources to provide one student with a life-changing opportunity. Together, they split the bill for the entrance fee for a student to compete in the all-district competition. They motivated her to work hard, and that student’s efforts landed her the position of 6th chair in the second band! Katie said that it was one of those proud and happy moments where she found herself jumping up and down with joy for the outcome of all the hard work of the student, the Resident Teaching Artists, and the entire LEAF program at the Delta House.

“This is a the kind of thing that really drives me as a teacher,” Katie said about the success, “this is when you talk about your intrinsic rewards and what makes you get out of bed; its working with children like we have here and making a positive impact in their lives.”

When Katie Oaks is not working with the LEAF Delta House Jazz Band, she is teaching over at the Asheville Music School and is also the scholarship manager. She volunteers with CarePartners and the Veteran Community Learning Center, where she specializes in playing for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 Through Katie, LEAF Schools & Streets is connecting CULTURES & creating COMMUNITY through music & arts!

In Memory Of 

Several LEAF Schools & Streets teaching artists have devoted their lives to inspiring youth through the arts.  We are blessed and thankful to have known and worked with these beloved artists before they passed.  Visit their pages to learn more about their life’s work and ways you can continue their mission.