The folks at CityLore are presenting what looks to be an interesting and fun event this Saturday at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York. Even if you’re not able to attend, I wanted to pass this announcement along because I think this is a fabulous idea that will raise awareness of poetry, performance and the different ways we can all support and participate in the arts.
DeAf Jam: spoken word meets ASL (American Sign Language) poetry
When: May 28, 2005, 8:00pm
Where: Bowery Poetry Club, NYC
Admission: Adult $10, *Students FREE*
Join us for DeAf Jam, sponsored by City Lore and Urban Word, directed by Judy Lieff, where spoken word meets ASL poetry! The event features some of the most acclaimed Deaf poets in the United States – the Flying Words Project with Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner, and Ayisha Knight, whose poetry and signing was recently featured on HBO. DeAf Jam brings these ASL masters together with the Urban Word NYC slam poets, the 2005 National Champions!
DeAf Jam highlights the remarkable poetry and storytelling of the community of the Deaf, as they perform their poems in American Sign Language (ASL). In this dramatic visual language, body language, rhythm and movement create a visual equivalent to oral poetry.
DeAf Jam also showcases the students of Lexington School for the Deaf, JS47 (The American Sign Language and English School), and Murray Bergtraum High School. DeAf Jam (a play on HBO’s Def Jam) features a Hearing/Deaf duet by Aneta Brodsky and Tahani Salah; a special presentation by Hinda Kasher, involving members of her Deaf family; and poets Danny Biland, Aneta Brodsky, Mandy Gonzalez, Robert Haughton, Hinda Kasher, Aron Moses, Kenneth Montanez, Wanda Nivol & Tremaine Parkinson.
The evening closes with an open dialogue between performers and audience, moderated by Dirksen Bauman, Associate Professor of the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University.
Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, NYSCA and NEA, DeAf Jam — a cultural initiative and documentary film project –highlights the beauty and expressiveness of American Sign Language by giving deaf teenagers a chance to express themselves in ASL poetry, while opening the lines of communication between the worlds of the hearing and the deaf.