FROM: Rubin Museum of Art (RMA)
Contact: Karen Kedmey
Phone: (212) 620-5000 x331
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Contact: Adrianna Montague-Gray
Phone: (212) 502-7675

Visually Impaired Children Experience Himalayan Art Through a Special Multi-Sensory Tour at the Rubin Museum of Art

New Database of Events from AFB and NAPVI Offers Similar Activities for Visually Impaired Children in New York City

NEW YORK, NY (May 8, 2008)–Blind and visually impaired children from the New York City area will learn about the culture, history, religion, and arts of the Himalayas at a special, free tour at the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) on Saturday, May 10 at 12:00 pm. This event is one of many being featured in a new online database of events for children with visual impairments located at FamilyConnect™ is a national multimedia web resource from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) that features events, resources, message boards, and more for parents of children with visual impairments.

Saturday's tour will focus on the RMA's recently opened exhibition of art from Nepal, From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley. RMA guides will provide the attendees with close, careful descriptions of images and sculpture, helping them to form visualizations of the pieces. Participants will be invited to touch objects—including sculpture, art materials, wood blocks, and ritual implements—and experience some of the sacred sounds and smells of the Himalayas through incense and traditional music.

Blind and visually impaired visitors can book a Verbal Imaging and Touch Tour at any time by contacting the RMA at (212) 620-5000 ext. 345, or emailing

WHEN: Saturday, May 10 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

WHERE: Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street (between 6th Ave and 7th Ave)


About RMA

RMA houses an esteemed collection of Himalayan art. The paintings, pictorial textiles, and sculpture are drawn from cultures that touch upon the 1,800 mile arc of mountains that extends from Afghanistan in the northwest to Myanmar (Burma) in the southeast and includes Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, and Bhutan. The larger Himalayan cultural sphere, determined by significant cultural exchange over millennia, includes Iran, India, China, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The rich cultural legacy of this region, largely unfamiliar to Western viewers, offers an uncommon opportunity for visual adventure and aesthetic discovery. For young and old alike it is an environment in which to encounter the unknown and find meaningful dialogue. It requires actively bringing to bear one's previous experience, looking closely at the material at hand, discriminating carefully, and shaping the imagination. The fundamental aim of the museum is to provide this adventure in learning through art.

Working to foster connections between visitors and the art is RMA's diverse team of knowledgeable and professional guides who are always available on the gallery floors to answer questions, engage in discussions, and help explore the art at any level. The guides work in concert with RMA's ambitious schedule of exhibitions, education, and public programming, designed to provide multiple entryways to delve into Himalayan art.

About FamilyConnect™

FamilyConnect is an online, multimedia community created by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI). This site gives parents of visually impaired children a place to support each other, share stories and concerns, and link to local resources. The site also features a mom-authored blog, inspiring video testimonials from families, and articles authored by parents and experts in the field of blindness on multiple disabilities, technology, education, and more. From the personal to the professional, families will find all the resources they need to raise their children from birth to adulthood. FamilyConnect is generously supported by grants from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Inc. and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Morgan Stanley.

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