DeaFestival - Kentucky 2004 was a great success as we returned to Louisville, the Kentucky Center and the Belvedere, for the first time since 1998. Many thanks go out to all the sponsors, performers, visual artists, exhibitors, volunteers, and hard working KCDHH staff, who put in countless hours to ensure that the sixth DeaFestival-Kentucky was the best EVER! In case you were unable to attend here's a glimpse..........
September 5th, as you arrived through the main doors of the Kentucky Center, the HORSE was your first vision of DeaFestival 2004. It stood outside, in the corner of the front steps near the front doors, proudly displaying works of art painted by deaf artists during 2002-2003.
Inside, the Visual Artist Studio catches your eye where 28 well known and emerging visual artists displayed their works, including oil and water paintings, mixed media, masks, stained glass, photography, woodworking, sculpture, batik and graphic design. Miss Deaf New York even gave a performance that awakened our senses visually and brought us a youthful perspective regarding the importance of De'VIA (Deaf View Image Art).
As we moved through the lobby videoconferencing, a means of talking through a computer allowing Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals' equal access to communication, demonstrations took place while prominent sponsors demonstrated and sold emerging communications equipment and providing information on accessible events.
Exiting the lobby doors you moved onto the Belvedere and were transported into medieval times as the castle appeared on the Great Lawn and the Children's Program presented "One Ring Unites Us All". Inside the castle lived a dragon, king, queen, magician, storyteller, spirit of the forest, hobbit, and two jugglers who led the children.and adults alike.through stories stressing education and the diversity of the world, along with an emphasis on improving reading skills.
Next to the castle stood a house set up like a home that demonstrated hearing assistive technology (HAT house). Technology is used by deaf and hard of hearing individuals to meet the challenges of daily living. Next door, inside the Culture & Traditions tent, performers explained old time photographs, ASL and ABC stories, Folklorist tales and KSD students' view of technology advancements. Five hard of hearing individuals also gave us their perspective on losing their hearing, which they considered an event to mourn rather than celebrate. Some of these individuals were surprised by a deaf man's comment that his community was jealous of their ability to function in both worlds. These kinds of discussions bring the deaf and hard of hearing worlds closer together.
Looking down the Belvedere toward the City Stage a sea of blue tents appears each containing craft artists, vendors and exhibitors with a wide range of goods for sale. Many of these exhibitors also participated the previous day in the Mayor's World Fest which gave us a glimpse of many diverse cultures, languages and native attire.
As you slipped back inside the Kentucky Center and climbed the staircase to the Bomhardt Theatre to watch the SpotLights program, you may have overheard discussions about earlier performances. Perhaps you heard about feeling the vibes of the dance groups, seeing the ASL storyteller or the four professional magicians. Perhaps you enjoyed the theatrical skit on marriage or the perspectives of a Black Deaf woman or maybe it was the expressive storytelling which also produced a piece of art. Regardless of your perspective.if you attended you couldn't help becoming part of DeaFestival 2004 and we hope you felt the impact the festival has on the entire community.
DeaFestival Kentucky 2004 has come..and gone, but the results remain.