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!

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.


Resident Teaching Artist Spotlight

Nadirah Rahman

Collaborating in the Community

 In the heart of the city of Asheville, LEAF Teaching Artist Nadirah Rahman teaches weekly African Dance Class at the YMI Center. Imhotep, LEAF Teaching Artist and New Orleans Drum Master, teaches drumming in conjunction with the dance classes. The two groups come together fabulously. With colorfully painted walls and live drummers, the atmosphere is perfect for a fun evening of stress relieving dance. This class is inter-generational; all ages are welcome and everyone is encouraged to join in on this inspiring hour of self expression and movement.

Many children and adults choose to wear traditional colorful African dance skirts called Lapas. These vibrant colored skirts add flair while dancing and are eye-catching. 11 year old, Adero said wearing a Lapa “makes movement fun,” swaying her skirt around to demonstrate the fluidity of it.

At this class, everyone is united in dance. 31 year old Ginger says that while everyone is moving at once, “the live drumming resonates with [her],” making the dance powerful.  15 year old Nyla said she enjoys the class as she has “made new friends” and feels “a strong sense of community” as a participant.  With smiles on their faces, the class moves together and creates beautiful art through African dance.Ginger likes learning the dance and exclaims that Nadirah is “a wonderful spirit and an inspiring dancer” to learn from. The group of students had the chance to show their talents in performing in the LSS Dance Showcase at October 2014 LEAF!

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