Salon Helps Bridge Gap Between Hearing and Deaf Worlds

Jeanne Meyers
Co-founder/Director The MY HERO Project
[email protected]


SANTA MONICA, CA – 5/12/15 – More than 90 people gathered at the Herb Alpert Educational Village in Santa Monica Friday evening to share information about two unique subcultures; hearing entertainment professionals and Deaf entertainers.  The event was part of a monthly Salon Series, put on by The MY HERO Project, to encourage community dialogue about relevant social issues. 

Panelists - Media Access Salon
Panelists - Media Access Salon

“I have been waiting my whole life for this discussion to take place,” said Bernard Bragg, the 86-year-old founding member of National Theater of the Deaf.  Bragg, an entertainer trained by the famous French actor and mime Marcel Marceau, is the author of Meeting Halfway in American Sign Language: A Common Ground for Effective Communication Among Deaf and Hearing People.  

Jo-Ann Dean and Kat Kramer chat with guests
Jo-Ann Dean and Kat Kramer chat with guests

“I’m grateful to My Hero Project for allowing me to showcase Deaf Talent, Culture and American Sign Language (ASL) in the arts,” said Jo-Ann Dean, one of the producers of the event as well as an ASL interpreter and member of Deaf Talent Guild.  “The event was an amazing bridge between two cultures separated by language not disability.”

Actress and producer Katherine (Kat) Kramer and actor Alan (Spo) Schwartz hosted the Salon, which included a live musical performance by T.L. Forsberg and her Deaf Boyz.  A candid panel discussion, which included representatives from Greater Los Angeles Association for the Deaf (GLAD) and California Association of the Deaf (CAD) in Entertainment, gave Deaf entertainers a chance to show clips of their work to the entertainment professionals in the audience and raise topics like non-traditional casting and the portrayal of Deaf characters by hearing actors. 

T.L Forsberg and her Deaf Boyz entertain the audience
T.L Forsberg and her Deaf Boyz entertain the audience

This event, “broke barriers,” said Dean.  “Audience and panel were engaged as seldom heard voices were given the space and platform for expression. The effect was profound.”

The MY HERO Project is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to sharing inspiring stories of heroes from around the world.  MY HERO’s award-winning, online resources are used by students, teachers and others in 194 countries.  Each year, the MY HERO International Film Festival showcases the best short hero themed films from around the globe.  For more information, visit:

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Last edited 5/13/2015 4:59:22 AM