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Deaf Cultural Festival

Join us for a free festival celebrating American Sign Language (ASL) during Kansas City’s Deaf Cultural Month. Explore ASL through live entertainment, hands-on art activities, storytelling, poetry and more! All are welcome. ASL interpretation, voice interpretation, and CART (live captioning) provided.
Program details subject to change.

Activity is presented in ASL.
 Activity will have an ASL/voice interpreter.
Activity will have real-time captioning.

PARKING: Garage parking $10, free for members.


Live Painting
10 am-Noon | Bloch Lobby
Repeats 2-4 pm
Watch Deaf artist Jorge Castillo transform a blank canvas to a lively outdoor scene. Say hello to Jorge and he just might put your name in this community painting!

ASL Poetry

10:30-11 am | Kirkwood Hall
Repeats 2-2:30 pm
Enjoy original poetry in ASL from Kansas School for the Deaf students. Morning performance will have real-time captioning.

Screen Printing with Jon Savage

11:30 am-12:30 pm | Rockhill Room
Repeats 2:30-3:30pm
Known for incorporating bold, colorful stripes in his artwork, Deaf artist Jon Savage will give a short presentation, then walk you through the process of creating your own screen print with an ASL-inspired motif.

Urban Jazz Dance Company

11:30 am-12:30 pm | Atkins Auditorium
Directed by Deaf celebrity Antoine Hunter in the genre of American Sign Language Dance, the Urban Jazz Dance Company from San Francisco—dancers Zahna Simon, Linda Steele II, and Marisa Head—interweaves ASL and innovative dance. In “Deaf Louder,” “Kiss Louder,” “Scream My Language!” and “Cold and Hot Dance,” the dancers explore Deaf issues related to identity, spirituality, wisdom, and communication.

Urban Jazz Company Workshop

2:30-3:30 pm | Atkins Auditorium
Join the Urban Jazz Dance Company on stage! The Bay Area troupe will share ASL dance stories and insight into Deaf culture in this interactive workshop. Come learn a short choreography—all levels of dance and sign welcome.

Tours & Art Walks

ASL Tours

1-1:30 pm | Bloch Lobby
Repeats 3:30-4 pm
Tour and discuss works from the Nelson-Atkins permanent collection. Presented in ASL with voice interpretation.
Limit 20 people per tour.

ASL Art Walks

12:45-1 pm | Bloch Lobby
Repeats 3:15-3:30 pm
Learn a few signs in ASL from a Deaf teacher, using the works in our collection as a guide. Presented in ASL.
Limit 20 people per Art Walk.

Art Making
10 am–4 pm | Kirkwood Hall
Explore your museum! Create your own sketchbook that will lead you on a scavenger hunt of the Nelson-Atkins permanent collection. Share a selfie with your finds and tag your photos with #DeafCulturalFestival!


ASL Storytelling

1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 pm | Spencer Art Reference Library
Watch familiar stories come to life in ASL with storyteller Stephanie Wilcox. Explore the library’s resource list highlighting the many contributions of Deaf and hard of hearing artists around the world, as well as titles from the Spencer Art Reference Library about individual artists and Deaf culture.

Story Slam

12:30–2 pm | Lens 2
Local residents take the stage to tell personal stories about the D/deaf and hard of hearing experience in Kansas City.

Food for Purchase
Rozzelle Court
11 am-4 pm
Rozzelle Court Restaurant offers self-service dining for lunch. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options are available.

ASL Café in Bloch Lobby
11 am-3 pm
At our ASL Café in Bloch lobby, learn simple signs to order menu items, with assistance from Museum of Deaf History, Arts, and Culture volunteers.

Resource Booths

10 am –4 pm | Sculpture Hall
Visit with our community partners – The Whole Person, Kansas School for the Deaf, and the Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture – and learn about available local resources from the Kansas and Missouri Commissions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Share Your Pictures

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View, share & print photos from this event! Available soon at flickr.com/nelson-atkins.

A special thanks to our community partners:
The Whole Person
Kansas School for the Deaf
Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture

Next Community Festival

Day of the Dead Festival & Community Altar
Sunday, November 3 | 10 am4 pm | FREE

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM