Monday, February 17, 2014

Success of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 6

On February 15th Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 6 presented deaf/hard of hearing and hearing performers at Lovin Cup. The turn out of the audience was packed. This is the 6th year event that provides two cultural worlds: the deaf world and the hearing world. Deaf/hard of hearing and hearing performers took turns on stage, which English spoken words and American Sign Language (ASL) were available. This is an unique performance arts that occur once a year. John Roche, a poet and professor under RIT's Liberal Arts program, and I (Eddie Swayze) coordinated this extravaganza.

Besides the show, DEAAF (Deaf Education and the Arts for African Families) was there to encourage the audience to donate that would help the deaf/hard of hearing children get the education that they need, which is located in Zambia, Africa. Jonathan Rosenfield, one member of DEAAF, stood on stage and explained what DEAAF is about to the audience and took care of the suggested donation among the audience during the show. The donation result is almost $200.00, which will go toward books, pencils, shoes, and other supplies at the school for the deaf/hard of hearing children.

I shall thank the owner of Lovin Cup for providing the performance space for free for 6 years. I shall tip my hat to two interpreters who voiced the deaf/hard of hearing's work into English for the hearing audience and translated the hearing's work into ASL for the deaf/hard of hearing audience: Miriam Lerner and Denise Herrera. All in all, the performers were fantastic and they are: The deaf/hard of hearing - Hinda Kasher, Eric Epstein, Vicki Nordquist, and yes, myself as well, and the hearing - Paulette Scwartfgazer, Kitty Jopse', Nick Eckrerson, Catherine Faurot, and yes, John Roche, too. 

Here are the photos of the event.

Miriam Lerner (interpreter) and Paulette Scwartfgazer 

A packed crowd

Vicki Nordquist

John Roche

Denise Herrera (interpreter)

Hinda Kasher

Eric Epstein

The owner asked me to sign my name on Lovin Cup's wall as a "Hall of Fame".

John Roche, Miriam Lerner and Kenny Lerner chit chatting after the show.

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