Deaf Jam comes to Red Hook

The Waterfront Museum screens Deaf Jam, followed by a sign language workshop with star Aneta Brodski Besecker and director Judy Lieff on Sept. 30, 2018.

Deaf Jam comes to Red Hook

Waterfront Museum | Red Hook

In celebration of Deaf Awareness Week, the Waterfront Museum invites you to a screening of the PBS Documentary, Deaf Jam, followed by an interactive sign language workshop with the film's main character - Aneta Brodski Besecker and director Judy Lieff - on Sunday, September 30, 2018, at 2pm.

Aneta Brodski is an Israeli-born teenager living in Queens, New York. She is passionate and driven and well liked by her high school classmates. Unique among her classmates, Aneta longs to fully participate in the hearing world.
While she is proud of her deafness, she does not want to be defined by it. She longs to be understood by everyone around her in the bustling city. Some of her classmates feel that Deaf culture is — and should be — claimed by a fierce embrace of deaf identity and respect for the unique beauty of its language.

At her school, Aneta joins an extracurricular program to learn American Sign Language poetry. She and her fellow students gradually find their inner voice in the poems they create. Aneta’s world opens up as she is tantalized by the possibility of competing in a poetry slam with mostly hearing competitors.

With ties to rap and hip-hop culture, the U.S. National Poetry Slams for youth have gained momentum across the country, highlighting a highly verbal and rhythmic form of self-expression. Aneta is one of the first deaf youth to participate in a major slam event, and despite some initial anxiety about how the deaf performers might be received, she courageously takes the stage.

In a remarkable twist of fate, Aneta meets and then collaborates with Tahani Salah — a hearing Palestinian slam poet. They create a hearing/deaf duet touching on their shared personal and cultural experiences — generating a new form of slam poetry that crosses boundaries, cultures, and languages.

The Filmmaker

Judy Lieff is a filmmaker and teacher. After a career as a professional dancer, she earned an MFA in dance and experimental film/video from the California Institute of the Arts. She began her relationship with the Deaf community through the making of an award winning experimental film Duties of My Heart, featuring Terrylene Sacchetti, one of the poet mentors featured in Deaf Jam.

Judy is a six-time grant recipient for dance/media projects including a National Dance/Media fellowship from the Pew Charitable Trusts.



"DEAF JAM" screens at 2pm and the workshop starts at 3:30pm. Come to one or both events.

Open to all ages. No experience necessary.

$5 - $20 pay what you can.


The Waterfront Museum, founded in 1985, is located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It is housed aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its mission is to:

  • provide free and low-cost opportunities for education, exhibition, and the performance arts;
  • promote historic preservation and our maritime heritage and an understanding of the importance of our water highway for commerce, carrying commuters, culture, and recreation;
  • provide public access to waterfront piers, their unparalleled vistas and recreational opportunities;
  • be an active voice for public waterfront access issues up and down the river.

Come aboard! The Museum offers free Open Boat Tours every Thursday 4-8pm and Saturday 1-5pm. In addition, we are open year-round for school and group tours by appointment and feature many performances, art exhibits, and other special events throughout the year.

Our Red Hook homeport, across the street from the Fairway Market, is also home to a wonderful pier, garden and unbeatable views of the sunset over Lady Liberty.


Beyond Brooklyn

Frank Manzi's Magical Mystery Tour at Wayne & Tonja Smith's Magical Backyard Forest in Morganton, NC. ©Mark D Phillips

There’s nothing like a magical night under the stars listening to music. When that experience includes one of my favorite artists appearing in one of my favorite places in the world, it’s at the top of my bucket list.

It all came to be with a simple Facebook post.

50 years ago, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon.

On July 20, 1969, humans walked on another world for the first time in history, achieving the goal that President John F. Kennedy had set in 1961, before Americans had even orbited the Earth.