CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (September 2000) –, a publishing company serving families in Charlottesville/Albemarle, invites you to experience the magic of a very special AlbemarleKids Care Art Exhibit! Children will create a huge Harry Potter inspired sculpture at Foxfield Family Day September 24, with the help of UVa art students. The sculpture will be photographed for a virtual reality exhibit in our online Kid?s Museum then exhibited at Fashion Square Mall October 6th-12th. The Opening Reception for the KidsCare Exhibit at the Mall is tentatively planned for October 7 at 10am. It will include a special program of performances especially creted for an audience with visual impairments. The sculpture, created by children for children who have visual impairments, will be given to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton for their Tactile Center. The creation of this KidsCare Exhibit is a true community effort involving dozens of volunteers from many different local organizations and businesses.

 Foxfield Family Day 

The Creation of A Hippogriff A team of students from the UVA Art Department have volunteered to build our newest KidsCare Exhibit, a six-foot hippogriff sculpture! A hippogriff is a part bird and part horse mythological creature well known in the popular Harry Potter series. Local children who attend Family Day at Foxfield on September 24 will help to cover the hippogriff with a variety of textured pieces of cloth and feathers. The six-foot tall sculpture is designed especially for touch so that children with visual impairments can “see” and experience it with their hands in honor of this Fall?s beneficiary of the Foxfield Races, The Recording Center for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD), a local non-profit organization. After the hippogriff is complete it will be exhibited and then given to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. There will also be a hands-on activity table at Foxfield Family Day where children can learn about visual impairments. Magician David Grahm will provide a show and magic lessons from 12:30-2 when we will hold a prize drawing for a ?Grand pony Package? from Party Ponies and Photography. The grand finale will be a Harry Potter storytelling performance from Peter Jones of WTJU?s Kid and Kaboodle Radio Show.Our work on this project is a part of our commitment to volunteering in ways that will benefit all children in our community.

 The Hippogriff Becomes Virtual Reality

After the hippogriff is created at Foxfield it will go to RealitySmith Studios where it will be photographed by Joel Smith. He has generously volunteered to develop a virtual tour for our online Kid?s Museum which will allow visitors to rotate the hippogriff in 3-D space and ?walk? around the sculpture.

 The Opening Reception for the KidsCare Exhibit

The hippogriff is scheduled for exhibit at Fashion Square Mall?s Center Court October 6th thru the 12th. There is an Opening Reception tentatively planned for Saturday October 7 at 10am. At the reception we will have a presentation ceremony followed by a special program of entertainment geared towards children with visual impairments that will include storytelling by Peter Jones of WTJU?s Kid and Kaboodle Radio Program, a performance from Magician David Grahm, and a special collection of children?s tunes performed by the Senior Center Band. We will also have an activity table arranged by the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped (VDFDH) and the RFBD that will allow children to read braille, play with specially designed toys, and try out a tape player used by children who have low vision. All performers and the VDFDH and RFBD are volunteering their efforts to make this event extra special! Guests at the Reception will include the families of the children who helped to create the sculpture, children and adults with visual impairments from around the state as well as other interested families and individuals in our community.

The Hippogriff Raises Awareness

Alongside of the sculpture at Foxfield Family Day, in our online Kid?s Museum, and at the Fashion Square Mall Exhibit we will display an information sharing the special story of Charlottesville?s own hippogriff and how he was built by children for children who are blind. and how the hippogriff will be used at Virginia?s School for the Deaf and Blind (VSFDB) in Staunton in their Tactile Center after the exhibit ends. We will also have hands-on activities for children at Foxfield Family Day and at the Opening Reception to help them better understand what it is like to have a visual impairment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about AlbemarleKids publications, please call (434)984-4713, or email us, or visit our virtual offices at

Press follow up:

This was a very widely covered media event, please refer to The Buzz” section for articles.

Cville Weekly September 19, October 3
“Catch A Star” Family Calendar from Piedmont Council of the Arts Fall 2000
Daily Progress September 20, 21,25
Real Estate Weekly September 21
The Daily News Leader November 9
The Observer September 19, October 3 and 11
WHSV TV 3 Interview evening news Sept. 24