1 09, 2021

New Team Members

By Samantha Duckworth In August, Touchstones welcomed two new members to its staff: Brittany Usiak and Samantha Duckworth, the second being myself. Brittany is a former teacher, and I am a rising junior at St. John’s College. Brittany joins the staff as our K-12 & Adult Programs Manager. She has been teaching for the past

1 09, 2021

Exploring Identity & Belonging

By Olivia Braley At Touchstones, we are always looking to expand awareness of and access to our programs, and we strive to engage students and teachers in inclusive and discussion-based education models they may not otherwise know about. In the past, some community initiatives we’ve launched to reach new audiences included Touchstones Week, Frankenreads, and

1 09, 2021

An Invitation to Veterans

By Leith Daghistani Over the Summer, Touchstones revitalized its efforts to expand access to Completing the Odyssey: A Journey Home, a discussion program for veterans on the transition to civilian life. Program development was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and before the onset of the pandemic it had been

1 02, 2021

An Artist’s View: An Interview with Stacey Turner

Elliot Zuckerman’s, Figuration 13 (1997), oil on canvas with charcoal. By Olivia Braley From late November into early December, Touchstones held an online art exhibition showcasing the dynamic work of Elliot Zuckerman. As part of this exhibition, Touchstones hosted a number of online discussions and panels featuring artists and members of the community

1 02, 2021

Beyond Curricular Expectations

By Greg Hodges The importance and value of collaborative, civic discourse has been pronounced in many of the organizations to which I have belonged. In this past year, one marked by changes and challenges, the conversations inspired by the Touchstones Discussion Project provided essential avenues for connection. Trinity College School (TCS) has benefited from a

1 02, 2021

Why there are always poems and sometimes even poets

By Olivia Braley, Stefanie Takacs, and Howard Zeiderman For more than 25 years, Touchstones staff ran executive programs in-person in Washington, DC and New York. Although highly customized in many ways, most of those programs had one characteristic in common: none of them featured contemporary texts. In the past seven years, though, we’ve shifted to

1 02, 2021

Exploring American Perspectives

A Shady Nook, by Loïs Mailou Jones, graces the volume cover. A Uniquely Touchstones Publication By Touchstones Roving Reporter Exploring American Perspectives is a Touchstones volume first published in 2012. It is a four-unit volume focused on developing critical thinkers and collaborative leaders. Where it differs from typical Touchstones volumes is in its

1 11, 2020

My (Re)Introduction to Touchstones

By Olivia Braley Coming to Touchstones has been a fruitful experience, one of personal growth that I couldn’t have anticipated prior to joining the staff. My first experience with Touchstones was almost ten years ago when I was at Annapolis High School. We had a day of English class where we put our desks in

1 11, 2020

Honoring those who bring the Touchstones Mission to Life

By Howard Zeiderman Someone once said that the first time you do something, it’s a revolution. The second time, it’s a tradition. Here at Touchstones, it has become a great annual tradition to honor volunteers and teachers whose time and talents help bring Touchstones—the organization and programs—to life. Each fall, Touchstones staff, volunteers, Board members,

1 11, 2020

Growth In Time of Uncertainty

By Jenn Macris I think we’re all done hearing about “these unprecedented times,” but the truth is, few nonprofits know what to do in “these times” to continue to set and reach important goals. COVID has forced all of us to become even more flexible. Touchstones’ flexibility actually allowed us to surpass our previous goals

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