A Celebration of Deaf Culture
A brand new event will take place in Lakeland, Florida on Saturday, September 30th! We’ve all enjoyed DeafNation Expo, we’ve heard about Deaf United Expo coming in December 2017. “It’s A Deaf Thing” will be something completely different! Will it be just another Expo with many vendors and a stage with some entertainment? No, it will be much more! How can it be much more than that?
Well, we are accepting applications to be included in a Deaf Art show/competition. We’re also accepting applications to be included in a Deaf Craft show/competition. How many of you have gone to the State Fair or in the Tampa area, the Strawberry Festival? You’ve looked at the artwork, the crafts and thought, I could do that. GREAT! Come show it off! Let the rest of the state of Florida see what you can do!
We will be having a stage available for entertainment during the day of the event, but that evening, we will be having a talent show. We want YOU to shine! Yes, we will have some professionals there performing, but we want the local Deaf community to shine…and not just a collection of church choirs. We want YOU to do something! What can you as a Deafie do? I don’t know, make people laugh? Drama? Dance? Signed songs, poetry do magic? What CAN you do?? Let us know!!
We are also planning to have some activities for kids age 5 and under during the day. We are also negotiating a contract with a mobile video game studio to come for the day as well!
So why is this being done? We’ve all loved DeafNation and it not happening this year has left us all wishing there was someplace to gather together. We feel that DeafNation did a wonderful job at getting the Deaf in Florida together. We want to build on that idea and make it a wonderful event that we can all enjoy!
Is the show Deaf-owned?
No, we are not “Deaf Owned”, we’re something better! The event is being sponsored by ProjectDEAF, a registered 501(c)(3) agency in the state of Florida. We were founded by members of the Deaf Community who wanted to promote Deaf Community and Awareness. All key event positions are held by Deaf. We also felt the void left by the absence of DeafNation and we decided to step into the gap.
How many attendees are you expecting?
Since this is our inaugural event, it is difficult for us to predict attendance. However, interest is already high and we have not begun publicizing. Our event, registered with EventBrite, has already seen registrations for our free tickets from Tampa to Miami since our soft opening on Thursday, June 1st.
How many exhibitors are you expecting?
We have a signed contract with the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, FL. The 27,000-sq. ft. facility gives us plenty of space for 50 vendor booths and the ability to expand up to 75. In addition, we will be hosting three different competitions to showcase Deaf talent: Art, Craft, and Stage. We are scheduling workshops and entertainment throughout the day on the stage.
We look forward to seeing you in Lakeland in September!