Welcome to the Museum of Deaf History, Arts and Culture and the William J. Marra Museum! If you are curious about what it is like to be Deaf or want to learn about our rich heritage, you have come to the right place!
Through these webpages or through the doors of our facility located in Olathe, Kansas, you will be exposed to the historical experiences of being Deaf and our numerous contributions to the world around us. The educational opportunities here are limitless! Learn more about the legacies of Paul Hubbard, Luther “Dummy” Taylor and Charles Baird while you’re here for starters.
Come in, browse around, learn more about our cultural enrichment programs, participate in our many events, and best of all, volunteer your time with us! You will walk away inspired by what the Deaf world has to offer!
Our Mission & Vision
Mission Statement: The Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture® (MDHAC) will advance and preserve knowledge about Deaf people, their languages, cultures, and experiences in the United States and around the world.
Vision Statement: Through MDHAC, we will inspire visitors with meaningful appreciations of a rich and vibrant culturo-linguistic Deaf community, as well as, invoke the truth of our struggles and resistance. As a result of our work, the values and endeavors of Deaf people will be embraced.
Deaf people includes all individuals who share similar experiences and realities throughout their life journey.
Culturo-linguistic highlights a group of people who associate with a minority culture where the language and values differ from majority culture. This includes individuals who are bi-cultrual and/or bilingual, tri-cultural/ tri-lingual and so forth.
A Rich History
When a highway sign was set up on I-35 showing the location of the Kansas School for the Deaf (KSD), streams of people stopped by KSD asking for information about others associated with the school in addition to information about Deaf history, arts, and culture. This inspired a group of Deaf and Hearing Kansans, along with the City of Olathe's strong support, to come up with the idea of establishing a center across the street from KSD to meet this need.
Grand opening, when doors first opened to the public, took place on September 29, 2001 (with museum exhibitions following in 2005).
Founded as Kansas Educational Foundation on March 25, 1988, renamed later as Deaf Cultural Center Foundation (2009), and is now the Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture, Inc. (MDHAC) as of 2017.