Rochester Deaf Festival recap

[Transcript] Last Saturday was the 10th anniversary for Rochester Deaf Festival (RDF). It was hosted at Genesee Valley Park and there was over 1,000 attendees. RDF’s media team captured various moments at the festival and made a video to share with us.

[Video: Aerial view of Rochester Deaf Festival at Genesee Valley Park]

Arlene: Hi! I’m Arlene Sankey, the President of Rochester Deaf Festival.

Chad: Hi, I’m Chad Ludwig (the founder of Rochester Deaf Festival). Our team founded this festival 10 years ago.

Arlene: Wow! 10 years!

Chad: Yes, that’s right, wow. It’s been 10 years since then. Our goal has been to gather the Deaf community to celebrate sign language, identity, and culture. We want to continue providing that sense of community. I moved to Rochester, NY, from Washington state years ago. There was already a deaf festival in Washington that I operated with Kay Amos. So, I felt there was a need for one here in Rochester. I reached out to community key players and established the first one in 2009. Ever since, it has been running and it has passed down to Arlene.

Arlene: Look around here! Over 50 vendors/booths, children’s activities, petting zoo, ice cream and food trucks. Isn’t that cool?

Chad: Yes! A lot of things here to check out, especially vendors.

Roc That!’s Doug: Rochester is known for being signed, “That! That!” How many times have you heard people in Rochester saying, “That! That’s Rochester. Yes, that’s Rochester.” People are amazed at the Deaf community here. That’s Rochester!

Father & son: Rochester. Deaf. Festival!

Greg: I’m a Deaf firefighter here.

[Video clip of Sunshine 2.0 performance at the Roundhouse Shelter]

[Video of Avi (CODA Cirque performer) with LED circle]

[Video of Heidi & Hedy show opening]

Hedy: I’m stuck in the screen!

[Text with Credits to RDF’s media team:

Youmee Lee (Rochester Deaf Festival’s media coordinator)

Hunter Luther (Rochester-based filmmaker)

Moises Tobias (RIT student)

Spencer Ragona (Student video editor)

Stacy Lawrence (Media consultant)]

Renca: Thank you, RDF media team, for sending in the video. Seems like it was a fun event!

Youmee Lee, RDF’s media coordinator, mentioned that RDF collaborated with Roc That! team to host Heidi & Hedy show with a special cirque performance by Avi who is a CODA and was a former Cirque du Soleil performer. Chad Ludwig (the founder of RDF) was the MC. That event had 300 people show up to watch.

RDF said that they are proud to support Deaf Rochester Film Festival that will happen next year, April 2020.

RDF happens bi annually so the next RDF will be in June 2021. Mark your calendars!


Supported by:

Convo []

Gallaudet University: []