Apollo Education- Apollo Theater Academy

Career Panel: CHAMP

Apollo Education Apollo Career Panel Champ. BASL sign for Champ graphic on the right with brown hands.

Deaf Artists of Color Redefining the Performing Arts

Don’t miss this in-depth panel discussion with today’s leading Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing performing artists, creators, and musicians. Attendees will gain insight, advice, and have the opportunity to network, learn, and engage in an inclusive experience. Join us for this inspiring deaf BIPOC panel. 


About Apollo Career Panels

Presented by Apollo Education, The Apollo’s Career Panel series provides a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known careers in arts and entertainment and shines a spotlight on people of color working in creative industries. Part panel discussion, part live demonstration, these informative events provide tangible takeaways and insightful resources to empower the next generation of creative minds in these fields.

RSVP Information

Meet the Panel

Zavier Sabio in a white T-shirt wearing a gold chain sitting on a blue suede couch.

Zavier Sabio

Zavier Sabio

Zavier Sabió is a proud graduate of Gallaudet University and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He’s the host of ASL Slam NYC, and he’s a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Museum. He worked on several plays as the Director of Artistic Sign Language. His DASL credentials include A Soldier’s Play, Merry Wives, Trouble in Mind, The Three Musketeers, and BAOBAB. He interpreted for Almost, Maine, FAT HAM, and The Harder They Come. He also acted in Redbird Pictures’ mini-series, Witty Little Girl, presented by Sorenson Communications, and New York Deaf Theatre’s Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. When he’s not too busy, he enjoys reading fashion and sneaker blogs, visiting art exhibitions, dining, shopping, traveling, and a glass of cognac. He currently lives in Brooklyn, and he hopes to become a full-time creative in the art, fashion, and entertainment industry.

DJ Hear No Evil in a white T-shirt and black bomber jacket.

DJ Hear No Evil (HNE) “The Silent Assassin” a hard of hearing/deaf DJ out of Mt. Vernon, New York. A city that lies on the border of the borough of the Bronx, that produced notable people such as Heavy D, Doug E. Fresh, P. Diddy, Denzel Washington, Dick Clark, Ben Gordon, Ray Williams, Gus Williams, Shooter McCray to name a few. DJ HNE, a rising star, has overcome a lot of obstacles to rise to the top where he can show the world how much passion he has as a DJ/Producer. Even though his rise to the top, DJ HNE still encounters a lot throughout his life. Although his down may try to keep him low his up always lift him high. He lets his hands speak to express himself on a deeper level through the turntables that allows him rock the beat and be able to seize the opportunity to change the game by storm! 

Jade Bryan sitting in a directors chair wearing a director's cap and in all black clothing in the middle of an empty tree-lined road.

Jade Bryan is an award-winning filmmaker and activist. She is the first Black Deaf woman filmmaker. Jade has been producing, directing, and writing films for over 25 years. She is a member of the ARRAYCrew, New York Women in Film and Television, and Women of Color United.

Jade is a multi-hyphenated artist and entrepreneur with a BFA degree in film production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Jade founded DeafVision Filmworks, Inc. and Jade Films and Entertainment, LLC in 1991 to produce her work. In 2021, she founded Deaf Talent® Media & Entertainment Consulting (DTMEC) to collaborate with producers, writers, directors, and executives to ensure cultural representations of Deaf and Disabled characters, unique insights, storylines, and distinct viewpoints are multi-dimensional and authentic and launched Deaf Talent Casting (DTC), a database and talent resource for industry and casting professionals. The list has more than 150 deaf actors/creatives. DTC also manages deaf actors. The goal of DTC is “to push for more BIPOC Deaf actors cast in roles in Hollywood film and TV and amplify Black Deaf Stories.” 

This year in 2023, Jade produced a new TV pilot, “What Somalia Wants” which she wrote, produced, and directed. 

Jade believes in promoting inclusion and representation of BIPOC Deaf Talent® in front of and behind the camera. She is the creator of the #DeafTalent® Movement, to amplify BIPOC voices and creators. 

Fred Beam smiling in front of a neutral background

Fred Michael Beam is an internationally acclaimed dancer, actor, poet, educator, director, ASL director and choreographer for numerous stage, film, and television productions. He was  highly recognized as a member of first Black Deaf play, ” I Didn’t Hear that Color.” He was also the first Black Deaf to perform a lead role “Othello” in any production.  He also was the first deaf to choreograph for any equity theater production, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  He also lead two dance companies, The Wild Zappers (all deaf male dance company) and National Deaf Dance Theater (mainstreamed dance company) . He received the top Individual Artist Award of the 2006 Maryland State Arts Council Solo Theatrical Performance, the Lowes Leadership Award, and was named one of Essence magazine’s “Real Men of the Year.” His one-man show, Black Deaf Male: Who Am I?, features a dramatic and provocative vision of his life experience. His work was selected as a finalist for the Media Access Awards. He is executive director of Invisible Hands Inc., which promotes deaf awareness through the performing arts. He is currenty Outreach Coordinator of NTID Sunshine 2.0 (a deaf educational touring theater troupe.) 

Jeremy Stone wearing a grey sweater.

Jeremy Lee Stone

Jeremy Lee Stone

Jeremy Lee Stone is a passionate activist, actor, and consultant, born and raised deaf in East Harlem and educated at a Deaf school. His unwavering dedication lies in transforming the entertainment industry’s perception of Deafness and advocating for inclusivity. Through his powerful performances, he shatters barriers and inspires others to embrace diversity, while his consultancy work focuses on educating corporations about the importance of accessibility. Jeremy’s ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing communities, fostering understanding and acceptance, as he continues to make a profound impact on the entertainment industry and beyond empowering individuals to embrace their uniqueness and challenge societal limitations.

Beautiful the artists in a black shirt and camouflaged jacket. with one finger to her mouth and the other signing

Beautiful the Artist

Beautiful the Artist

Briana Johnson was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of four, her mother told her pediatrician at Scottish Rite Hospital that she was deaf. This was devastating news to most of her family but not to her mother. She instead told her that being deaf was a “Beautiful” thing and that she was created in the image of God and that all things are possible for her. That’s where her stage name “Beautiful” comes from. Her mother formed a children’s gospel group called “Dear Children” where she taught children to sing, dance, and the Word of God. “Dear Children” was a local children’s gospel singing group that performed throughout Georgia. She earned a full academic scholarship and earned a BA degree in Government/Law from Gallaudet University. She was crowned Miss Black Deaf America 2009-2011. She uses her platform to advocate for her “Beautiful” deaf culture. She has been blessed with the opportunity to travel to several states to perform for DeafNation Expo events, Apollo in NYC, National Black Advocates Banquet and much more. In 2018, she formed a dance company called Signdance with the motto that states “Let’s Groove to the Beat and Learn Sign Language.”  It’s through her music and her dance company that she continues to spread awareness about the deaf community as well as bridge any gaps between the hearing and deaf community as well.

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