The first recipient of The Association of Teaching
Artistsí Teaching Artist Distinguished Service to The
Arts In Education Field is Richard Lewis. The award is the
first in the nation to recognize an artist educator for
service to the field. The award was presented at the ATA
Reception, hosted by the Rochester Region Association of
Teaching Artists, at Common Ground 2002.
Richard Lewis is the Director of The Touchstone Center
for Children www.touchstonecenter.net, which he founded
in 1969 in New York City. The Touchstone Center is an arts
organization which works in the public schools of New York
- emphasizing the role of the imagination through
various long term explorations based on themes and images
of the natural world. Richard Lewis and his staff of
Teaching Artists have recently completed, as part of
the Center's thematic project, Speakings: The Many
Voices of Language, a series of school gardens and murals
highlighting the art and writing of students. In
addition to its work in schools, The Touchstone Center,
presents a variety of workshops for teachers and artists;
and produces and distributes through its Publications
Program, books, videos, and tapes on the imaginative
and poetic life of childhood.
Richard Lewis has also edited and written a number of
books for children and adults, among them being, Miracles:
Poems by Children of the English-speaking World;
In A Spring Garden (illustrated by Ezra Jack
Keats); All of You Was Singing (illustrated
by Ed Young); and Each Sky Has Its Words
(illustrated by Gigi Alvare).
Richard Lewis has written extensively on the
imagination of children, and these writings have
been collected in his books, When Thought Is Young
and Living By Wonder.
His latest book is In The Space of the Sky.