Background and History

In Minnesota's deaf community, the Deaf Culture Salon has been a tradition since 1992 and Roberta Cordano was instrumental in creating the first salon event. Today, salons are currently hosted two to four times a year by the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC). See below for more history on salons.

Roberta Cordano brought this very concept to Gallaudet when she became the university's president. It's called Gallaudet Conversations Across Nations and it is the manifestation of our university's broader mission to serve our institution, our country, and our world through engagement. The first CAN event was hosted in 42 cities all over the world, on October 1, 2016, as part of the week-long events surrounding the inauguration of Roberta Cordano as Gallaudet University's 11th president.

Salons have been around since ancient Greece, when people gathered in private homes with rooms built for the purpose of conversation. These events included people from all walks of lives, from the powerful elite to ordinary citizens.

Salons became popular in high society throughout large cities in America in the early 1900s, often with women often at the helm. The concept was resurrected again during the 1960s and 1970s. Then a renaissance in the 1990s saw more than 20,000 people form 325 salons around the country.