In an ongoing partnership with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Touchstone has recorded an audio book telling our local Canal History through eyes of a child. “Tales of the Towpath is a children’s book about a man’s return to his childhood, a journey back to an age when anthracite coal was fueling America’s industries and canals were the country’s highways. Let Finn Gorman guide you back in time on this interactive website.”
Touchstone had the honor of being the voiceover actors and recording/sound artists for Bethlehem’s new Heritage Trail. “With the use of handheld audio devices, the Heritage Trail allows participants to walk, run, or bike through three centuries of Bethlehem history. Stops along the trail include two National Historic Landmarks, Victorian-era homes, and Bethlehem Steel buildings.” For more info visit Historic Bethlehem Museum & Sites.
Touchstone took its “community-based theatre skills” into a new community when the City of Tamaqua hired us to help them create a performance that would propel their city in a positive direction. Beginning in early 2014, Touchstone guided the Tamaqua team (artists, city officials, business leaders, etc.) through story-gathering in the form of one-on-one interviews and “Dear Tamaqua” letters written to the town about memories past, current loves and frustrations, and hopes for the future. These 500+ submissions, from a town of roughly 7,000, were then incorporated into a production concept designed and directed by Touchstone and performed by the Tamaqua residents on August 4, 2015, throughout the town streets. Event attendance was over 1,400 and the positive effect, even months later, was palpable. The Tamaqua team has continued to evaluate success and note changed community perceptions. An attitudinal study comparing results from 2011 and 2016 (six months after the project was completed) showed marked increase in residents’ positive feelings towards their town, their neighbors, and their impact on making their town a better place.