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The main entrance of Chapter in the distance, with some plants in the foreground.

SAVE THE DATE: Deaf Gathering Cymru – A Deaf-Led Festival for Everyone!

  • Published:

5-8 SEPTEMBER 2024

DEAF GATHERING CYMRU is a deaf-led festival in Cardiff led by Chapter Arts Centre, deaf artist, practitioner and creative access consultant Jonny Cotsen, and deaf access consultant and artist Heather Williams. Open to everyone, the four-day celebration builds on the success of last year’s Deaf Together and offers a dynamic programme of culture and conversation with deaf perspectives at the centre.

This event is by and for deaf people, but hearing people are also warmly welcomed. The programme is supported by BSL, live captions and simultaneous translation from BSL to English.

DEAF GATHERING CYMRU brings you four days of events, activities, conversations and performances, with everything from yoga to theatre, a symposium to open mic comedy night! Most of the events are free to attend as we want to keep this festival accessible and welcoming to everyone!

On Thursday 5 September, we kick off the celebrations in the evening with a drumming performance in our caffi bar. Following last year’s sell-out show we’re also delighted to welcome back comedian Gavin Lilley who’ll deliver his hysterical stories about language, life and culture through the beauty of sign language. With live captions and voice over interpretation, Gavin’s cheeky humour can be enjoyed by deaf and hearing audiences alike.

On Friday 6 September, we’re hosting Deaf Gathering Symposium, providing an opportunity to share conversations about why inclusion matters, deaf wellbeing, the importance of Welsh deaf role models and more. Key notes will be presented by Sara Rhys Jones, Ruth Montgomery, Shaun Fitzgerald and Levi Slade. This day of conversation will be followed by our very own Deaf Dragons’ Den with the chance to pitch your business ideas to a panel of ‘expert’ judges including Gavin Lilley, Jonny Cotsen, Shaun Fitzgerald, Rubenna Aurangzeb-Tariq and Sara Rhys Jones, hosted by Heather Williams.

Day two also features Chapter MovieMaker, a showcase of short films made by deaf filmmakers and, in our Seligman Theatre, The Rest of Our Lives by Jo Fong & George Orange, who’ll be negotiating middle-life together with humour, tenderness and outlandish optimism. This performance features integrated BSL interpretation with Katie Fenwick.

Saturday sees a busy day with our deaf-led marketplace, audiovisibility workshop with Ruth Montgomery, BSL led gallery tours with Our Visual World, Gavin Lilley comedy workshop, Deaf Cinema Club hosted by Heather Williams, and your chance to try your hand at live comedy in our Open Mic Night. We’ll round of the evening with DJ Tyler in our caffi bar.

Sunday takes a mellow approach with the chance to participate in a range of relaxing, creative activities including Sarah Marsh’s book club, Deaf Yoga with Emma Callaghan, art workshops with Emily Rose and Vicky Barber Crimes and much, much more…

Tickets go live soon! To stay in touch, please follow us on socials @deafgatheringcymru or sign up to Chapter’s newsletter here: https://www.chapter.org/

DEAF GATHERING CYMRU is generously supported by Arts Council Wales, SignHealth, Cadwyn, CCHA, Eversheds Sutherland, Linc and Tai Pawb.


Image credit: Mareah Ali

  • The main entrance of Chapter in the distance, with some plants in the foreground.