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A Family Outing, a Kind Artist, and a Story That Will Melt Your Heart

A Family Outing, a Kind Artist, and a Story That Will Melt Your Heart


Chavi Karkowsky, her husband, and their four kids will be spending the next two years living in Israel. The day before leaving New York, the Washington Heights mom took the time to post this amazing story to Facebook. We are publishing this version of it with her permission.

Several months ago, we went to the Sugar Hill Children's Museum in Harlem. We met their artist-in-residence, Derek Fordjour, who made a huge impression on the kids. Derek spent a ton of time with my kids, in particular going through the preparations for his upcoming show, called Parade.

My oldest son, in particular, was taken with the show. He has us put it on the calendar, and asked almost weekly if we could go see it. Parade opened July 27. We planned to go yesterday, July 31, since we had no work, no camp, and no furniture, because we’re all packed for the move.

I went with all four kids yesterday. They were so excited and so helpful! However, we got to the museum—and it was closed. Closed! Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, it turns out, is open Thursday through Sunday. But we are getting on a plane Wednesday.

My son was heartbroken; I was upset that I had misread the website.

Yesterday, I tweeted and emailed at the museum. I found an email address for Derek Fordjour and wrote him a plea. At midnight, he answered me. He invited us to come today for a special showing of Parade.



He wrote: "Promises are promises."

We went today, and they opened the exhibit for us! We had a great time, and Derek met with the kids again in his studio. He seemed thrilled that his artwork had made such an impression on my guys.

And I'm thrilled that the world still contains such kindness.

NYMetroParents reached out to Fordjour, and he emailed us the following:

"I know all too well the feeling of making it to an exhibit when the museum is closed or the show is down. It hurts! Also, the fact that [Chavi's oldest], who visited my studio weeks earlier with his family, showed such interest and actually remembered the show weeks later was reason enough to invite them over. I am on residency for a year at the museum, so I actually work on-site everyday. It was a no-brainer. They made my day."

And here at NYMetroParents, this story made our day—and we hope you feel the same way!

Like us on Facebook to see more great stories about local kids' activities, or read more about Parade and Forjour's work on the Sugar Hill Children's Museum website. 

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