Wine and Sign at ASL After Five

A photo of a group of museum visitors at the first ASL Happy Hour

Attendees mingle in the Great Hall at the last ASL After Five event on November 2, 2018. Photo courtesy of Matailong Du.

What better way to kick off a weekend than enjoying happy hour refreshments, meeting new people, and exploring not one, but two art museums? On Friday, May 31st, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., SAAM and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) are jointly hosting ASL After Five, their second such happy hour event for the D.C. area’s Deaf community.

Deaf visitors and anyone else with an interest are invited to come socialize and enjoy a cash bar and light refreshments for purchase in the museum’s third floor Great Hall, with optional tours of artworks from both museums’ collections in American Sign Language (ASL) beginning at 6:00 p.m. Voiced interpretation into English is available so that hearing attendees may participate.

ASL After Five builds off of two existing museum programs for Deaf visitors – SAAM’s Art Signs, and NPG’s Portrait Signs – both of which offer twice monthly gallery talks in ASL led by Deaf guides. Eye Level covered the Art Signs program, now in its tenth year, in a 2017 blog post, At SAAM, Deaf Guides Take the Lead With Art Signs. ASL After Five happy hours were started last fall to create a more social experience, and another way for Deaf visitors to connect with both museums and each other. The first event in November saw over 100 people attend.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, and see the museum in a different way,” said Geoffrey Cohrs, SAAM’s Docent Coordinator who manages the Art Signs program.

If planning to attend, please RSVP by emailing NPGAccess@si.edu.

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