The Touchstone Center for Children is a nonprofit educational organization founded in New York City in 1969 by its present director, Richard Lewis. The Center was established in the belief that all persons have natural creative, imaginative and artistic capacities, which when encouraged and allowed to develop, find unique expression in each individual.Through its Arts and Educationprojects, the Center creates interdisciplinary arts programs in classrooms that explore the role of the imagination and poetic thought, particularly in relation to the natural world, as pivotal to all learning.In addition, the Center conducts Workshops and Seminars for adults on the role of the imagination, the play of imagining within the learning process, and how at all levels of education, the use of elemental themes and images based on natural phenomena can strengthen and awaken our human relationship to the natural world.The Center’s Publications Programhas been concerned with documenting and reflecting upon the imaginative efforts of children and adults who have participated in the Center’s activities, as well as publishing original books of poetry and myth and bringing existing books back into print, from a wide spectrum of cultures.The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble is the Center’s ongoing theatre company dedicated to exploring for and with children and their families, the themes and images of the natural world in relation to the imagination, through the integration of poetry, myth and stories.The Archival Project, as part of the Center’s publishing program, is an extensive collection of original children’s writings and artwork – as well as audio and video tapes, photographs and documents related to the history, philosophy and work of the Center since its founding in 1969. The Archival Project also maintains an Overview of Activities of The Touchstone Center from 1969-2012, as well as a list of the Center’s Sources of Funding and Support. Biographical information about present and recent participating staff members of the Center is included in Staff of the Center.



Join Us in Celebrating Our 45th Year

The Touchstone Center for Children is pleased to invite you to a group of special events at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as part of the Center’s 45th Anniversary Project, Towards A Democracy of the Imagination: Celebrating the Possibilities of Childhood. 


Art Inspires Art: How Does a Bird Imagine? What Does a Tree Know?

An exhibition in the Museum’s Everett Children’s Library, that will highlight two large participatory sculptural works by Kathy Creutzburg, along with accompanying banners of children’s original writings, inspired by and based on the poems The Bird of Imagining and A Tree Lives by Richard Lewis – both of which grew out of the Center’s arts and education work with children in New York City Public Schools. March 1st to August 31st, 2014


The Nature of Play and The Play of Nature: A Day of Imagining the Universe at Play

A day-long event centered around the Center’s new book Play, Said the Earth to Air by Richard Lewis, who will host a morning discussion from 10:30 to 12 PM for teachers, parents and those interested in exploring the inter-play between the natural world and the nature of play – particularly as they relate to education and childhood development.In the afternoon, from 1 PM to 3 PM ,The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble, will give a performance for children of Play, Said the Earth to Air – to be followed by an art and writing workshop for all audience members. Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

145 Brooklyn Ave.

Brooklyn, New York 11213


There is no charge for the day, but if you wish to attend the morning conversation in which seating is limited, please email the Touchstone Center at rlewis212[at]


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