AWBW brings 30 years of experience in using art as a resource to anchor transformation and healing for individuals and communities facing violence and trauma. When change is embodied through art and carried over time, worlds transform.
Touchstone Journey is AWBW’s signature durational art incubator, inviting you to use art to ignite transformation in your own context and community. Each of us creates this “window between worlds” in our own ways. We invite you to envision what this could look like for you.
Anchoring our journeys:
Create: With a tangible creation, we locate and make visible our wishes. We own our leadership.
Carry: With our art we live into our wishes over time. Sustained action can become creative and doable.
Connect: Art becomes a way to hold our sense of connection. Journeying in community can fuel us.
The collaboration intentionally seeks to nurture, honor, record and interconnect the leadership of those participating in this journey, each an innovator in our own lives, circles, and communities.
Thank you to all who have explored touchstones so far. Your experiences and stories create this lived offering.
Watch this video to hear the voices of Touchstone Journeyers
At the heart of both individual and social change, we are called to find ways to “own” our leadership in the face of challenge, sustain action over time, and replace isolation with community. Touchstone Journey invites us to create art-anchored pathways for these essential layers of change-making.
Here is glimpse into some areas being innovated by Touchstone Journeyers:
Transforming Trauma in South Carolina Department of Corrections
“I see this as a method of change… There’s a different way to do corrections.”
—Ms. Thompson, SCDC Administrator
, created in partnership with Just Detention International, incarcerated people can share their #MeToo stories. With social media off limits inside prison, art anchors ongoing dialog and transformation.
Addressing Historical Trauma at United American Indian Involvement
“We reach those who are touched by multi-generational trauma, people who feel invisible, people who are hidden.”
—Susan Lee, PhD, Windows Facilitator at UAII
In the context of her work with families impacted by longstanding historical trauma and estrangement across generations, Dr. Susan Lee created Relationship Reset Stones as creative seed of change.
Destigmatizing Mental Health in LAUSD
“I feel like windows gives us space… almost a permission slip to be vulnerable… and to not shame those feelings.”
—Sally Stevens, MSW, PPS, LAUSD Psychiatric Social Worker & Windows Facilitator
works with students, staff and faculty throughout LAUSD, where trauma shows up as “smiling faces with broken hearts and unexplained symptoms and behaviors.” She sees creativity changing the culture: art makes help-seeking okay.
Act of Hate —> Activate: A Countywide Collaboration
“We nurture seeds of the movement and redefine our purpose in this uphill battle.”
—Grelia Vegas, Touchstone Facilitator at Campaign for Humane Immigrant Rights, Los Angeles
In the face of rising acts of hate, this cohort of community partners at LAvsHate
is innovating durational art practices to serve individually and collectively as a resource for healing and change.
Addressing Racism with Justice Journey Jars
“Touchstones are a powerful tool to anchor our learnings and ongoing conversations.”
—Jamie Escoto, Touchstone Journeyer and former AWBW board member
Jamie struggled with how to respond to her five-year-old son Lorenzo’s questions on the murder of George Floyd, race and racism. They created Justice Journey Jars to guide their discussions and anchor activism together.
Fix Your Side of the Feather: A Truth & Reconciliation Journey
“The work of listening to the truth and walking toward reconciliation is the work of EVERY day.”
—Nikki Crow, Windows Facilitator & enrolled member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of OK
Nikki’s grandmother survived Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the first U.S. Indian boarding school. With this art action, Nikki invites us, indigenous and non-indigenous, walking side by side, to honor the children, create space for truth, and actively commit to reconciliation.
Creating Daily Practices with Minimum Daily Stones
“I was experiencing depression for some years. This resource helps me stay on track.”
—Teresa Smith, Windows Facilitator & Founder of Being the Best Me
Minimum Daily Stones was created by Teresa to navigate depression. She invites others to create their own set of stones to support their well-being, anchoring the “minimum daily” practices that serve them.
To spark your ideas, we welcome you to listen to these journeyers share how their stones ground them.
La Shonda Coleman / Prioritizing Rest
Daniel Domaguin / This Seed I Plant
Opportunities to Participate
We welcome you to begin your own Touchstone Journey in whatever way feels best for you. You may want to begin a journey of individual change. Or, you may want to engage those around you — family, friends, co-workers, people in your community — in using art to anchor transformation. Currently, we offer resources and support through our Impact Journey Circle.
Impact Journey Circle:
When you join our Impact Journey Circle sustaining donor program, the impact goes both ways. You have access to Touchstone Journey tools to support your personal wellness and leadership, and you bring the impact of these tools to individuals and communities across the country and abroad. Explore more and join here
Circle of Creativity: Includes access to the Online Touchstone Toolkit with 10 Learning Labs sharing videos with worksheets exploring the use of touchstones in many areas: grounding, relational practices, family settings, mindfulness, social justice, and more.
Circle of Empowerment: Includes the Online Toolkit and access to participate in a hands-on Journey Pod via zoom, exploring and developing your own Touchstone Journey practice, with support.
Coming in 2023: We are looking forward to implementing future Touchstone Journey programming to support you along the way.
Touchstone Leadership Training: These one-day intensive trainings will introduce Touchstones as a resource to anchor transformation of trauma. The training supports participants to: 1) Experience Touchstones as a durational practice and method of change; 2) Incubate and prototype practices for the contexts and communities they serve; 3) Access resources developed by past, present and future Touchstone innovators.
Specialty Journey Pods:These small group vision incubators will offer hands-on opportunities to explore a specific Touchstone Journeying practice in depth with a circle of peers (eg journey bowls, durational muraling, mother/daughter journeying). Each pod will invite participants to identify a change they wish to seed in their life and use the pod space to incubate their path and practices via Zoom gatherings and peer support.
If you want to receive guidance through a customized workshop or training, are interested in future offerings, or have ideas for what you wish to innovate in your context and setting, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .