Museum of Deaf History Arts and Culture Inc.
455 East Park Street
Olathe KS 66061-5436
Standing by our sign and new brick patio.
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 324-5348
Mission Statement
MDHAC's mission is to advance and preserve knowledge about Deaf people, their languages, cultures, and experiences in the United States and around the world.   
We visualize that visitors will be inspired with meaningful appreciations of a rich and vibrant culture-linguistic Deaf community, as well as be invoked with the truth of our struggles and resistance.  As a result of our mission, the values and endeavors of Deaf people will be embraced. 
CEO/Executive Director Chriz Dally
Board Chair Ms Chriz Dally
Board Chair Company Affiliation President, Board of Directors
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1988
Former Names
Kansas Educational Foundation
Deaf Cultural Center Foundation
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
We welcome everyone to become our Friend through the Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture (MDHAC) Annual Supporters program!  There are 3 main categories of annual support, which you can pick from and pay online through our website under the Support tab.  You may also print the form from our website or fill out our brochure then send a check in the mail or stop by and visit with us when you drop off your fiscal support with us.   Our categories of support includes one or more of the following:
  1. Memberships  (a donation of $60 or more by individuals automatically grants you membership);
  2. Annual Sponsors/ Partners for Businesses & Organizations (can choose from one of 7 levels); and/or
  3. Donations (amounts up to $499 will be recognized as Preservators of Deaf History, up to $2,499 as Celebrators of Deaf Culture, up to $9,999 as Benefactors of Deaf Arts, and $10,000 or more as Curators of William J. Marra Museum.)
Anyone is welcome to sign up for one, two, or all three categories of support.  All members, sponsors, and donors will be recognized through our Supporter's Listing on our website and Annual Report (unless requesting to be anonymous).   Please contact us if you are wondering about Legacy giving or other ways to provide support. 
In partnership with the Board of Directors and staff, our Volunteers are truly the backbone of this organization.   We would not have succeed as an organization without the amazing dedication and passion of our volunteers in ensuring all our programs/ museum operations continue to run as smoothly as possible in the past 15+ years. We welcome all interested or potential volunteers to fill our our Volunteer application form that can be found on our website. And, if you have any further questions about volunteering, please contact us.
 Thank you!
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
MDHAC's mission is to advance and preserve knowledge about Deaf people, their languages, cultures, and experiences in the United States and around the world.   
We visualize that visitors will be inspired with meaningful appreciations of a rich and vibrant culture-linguistic Deaf community, as well as be invoked with the truth of our struggles and resistance.  As a result of our mission, the values and endeavors of Deaf people will be embraced. 
Background Statement
When a highway sign was set up on I-35 showing the location of the Kansas School for the Deaf (KSD), people stopped by the school asking for information about former students, families, or former employees, as well as information about Deaf people or related topics.
When KSD found that they were not able to provide this service, their board members suggested setting up a separate group and space for the general public. This is where the origins of MDHAC was born.  The organization was incorporated in 1988, where planning and fund-raising of $1.2 million led to the purchase of land by 1995, and completion of the building in 2001.  The Museum inside the building was completed and opened to the public in 2005.  
Currently, we are the only independently owned public museum about Deaf people in the United States not affiliated with a school or institution.  
As our name indicates, our programs are split into three sections where informational and programming content about Deaf people are shared through History, Arts, and Culture.
  • HISTORY:  History is shared through our interpretive museum, called the William J. Marra Museum, that provides a wide range of information.  We offer monthly Docent Guided tours through our museum.  From this arm, we also hope to develop content within our website which can be accessed by members to access historical information through a virtual experience.
  • ARTS:  Our Chuck Baird Arts Gallery showcases a wide-ranging selection of arts created by Deaf people, many of which portrays the experience of what it is like being a Deaf person, living a Deaf experience. We will also run a variety of Arts-related programs such as the Youth DeVIA Arts Competition, through a strong partnership with the Kansas School for the Deaf.
  • CULTURE:  This arm include several wonderful programs that includes: 
  1. Hands-On which offers activities for boy/girl scouts and field trip opportunities for school-aged children
  2. Deaf Culture Series for adults and kids
  3. Deaf Cultural Day event in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City
  4. Other special activities/ events/ workshops for Deaf people and general public. 
Impact Statement
Accomplishments in 2018 include:  
  1. Maintaining no-cost, open hours 4-days a week (Wed to Sat) and one Sunday a month for visitors to come see MDHAC, 
  2. Establishing an online Donor Management System to help our operations become more efficient,
  3. Grand opening of the inspirational Chuck Baird Art Gallery showcasing the works of Chuck Baird and DeVIA artists, and
  4. Maintaining our popular cultural programs including Hands-On Workshop/ Tour for girl scouts, boy scouts and school-aged children as part of our Cultural program where youth of all ages can learn about Deaf people, American Sign Language and Deaf Culture and monthly or by appointment Docent Tours by Deaf Guides who presents historical and cultural information in American Sign Language as they walk through the William J. Marra Museum and Chuck Baird Art Gallery.
Goals for 2019 include:  
  1. Continue discussions on ways to devise a portion of our website to a "member's only" access where they (especially those who may live out of state) may be able to see inside our museum through a "virtual experience"  
  2. Perform our first Organizational Financial Audit which can help position us to apply for government or larger grants.
  3. Increase flow of monetary support from several avenues including donations, fundraisers, grants, and selling of goods, all of which will go back into supporting our mission. 
Needs Statement
  1. In order to hire uniquely qualified staff (including the Executive Director and Business Manager) and maintain our programming/ operations, our annual budgeted income needs to increase to $150,000 or more per year.
  2. We are currently on a search for additional board members with expertise in Deaf History, marketing and museum studies and we are also always in search for dedicated volunteers.
  3. Above and beyond daily operational costs, there is a need for additional monies to upgrade our museum. We would like to establish a national committee of Deaf History experts, and possibliy a paid coordinator, to work on making plans for what exhibitions need to be replaced or updated, and what new information needs to be added utilizing kiosks, then executing the plans after public input and Board's approval.
  4. We would like to improve the public's attention to our building's location, in addition to being across the street from Kansas School for the Deaf which is one of the oldest state educational institution in Kansas, by increasing the attractiveness of our property by adding numerous statutes made by Deaf artists as well as improving the usability of our property.
Service Categories
History Museums
Arts & Culture
Community Celebrations
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Our Board of Directors are proud to present MDHAC as a "debt-free" nonprofit corporation, where our building, contents of the museum, and land have all been paid for through a successful fundraising campaign at the beginning of MDHAC's timeline. We currently have no liabilities.  We are proud of our passionate volunteers and generous donors who have contributed to MDHAC's continuing success.   Since the opening of our Museum, we have maintained a steady stream of visitors who have come from close and far, wanting to satisfy their curiosities or gain information that they may be needing.  Now, with a newly revitalied Board, full of talented Deaf people from all over the United States, we are intent on making drastic upgrades and improvements internally and externally.  While MDHAC has been funded mostly from donations and sponsors to support our operating costs, we are working on expanding the diversity of our funding portfolio so we can further organization's mission and place in the world.  Finally, but not least, our programs are being refined to meet our new mission and new programs are being planned to expand a variety of ways we provide content through history, arts and culture, all with the bottom line goal in helping the public-at-large appreciate Deaf people's place and contributions world-wide. 
"They are facing not a theory, but a condition, for they are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye."
George Veditz, 1913 
Description Youth of all ages have the opportunity to learn information about Deaf people through lessons designed to meet the Kansas State Standards on Education and Benuchmarks for K-12.  Groups visit and are lead through the museum by Deaf volunteers. The tour includes the Living By the Eye exhibit room, a 12-minute video about Deaf Culture, and a scavenger hunt for information on the history of deafness in America and the Kansas School for the Deaf.  Students experience ASL Storytelling, a mini sign language lesson, and an art activity.  At completion of the tour, there is an option for participants to earn a "badge".
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Reaction from students and teachers has been extremely positive. Students are thrilled when they have actually been able to communicate with someone who is Deaf! Behavior from the student groups has been very focused on the information presented and questions from students and teachers indicates a genuine desire to learn about a community they may not have known much about. Students are eager to share what they have learned and are seen practicing their “signing” to each other.  Questions about additional resource information on equipment and services are often requested.
Long-Term Success It is the mission of MDHAC that when students and teachers have the chance to learn about this diverse culture and have the opportunity to interact with members of this culture, they will begin to foster an understanding and appreciation for Deaf people and can become better allies who adknowledge ways to live, work and communicate with Deaf people.
Program Success Monitored By The program is monitored by the Board Vice President of Internal Affairs.  Immediate measure of success is from two sources. A ‘feedback form’ is given to both teachers and students as a means of assessing the impact of the tour experience. Written comments in our guest book also provide a source of information about the visit, along with verbal comments. Long term success is measured by the number of times we have return visitors or referrals from these visitors. Phone calls and emails requesting information about services, sign language classes, etc, are indication that materials presented in the tour had an impact on visitors.
Examples of Program Success Our first large tour group was three 3rd grade classes totaling 58 students and 8 adults. The group participated in both the general education tour as well as all of the activities in the Hands-On Workshop. The students were actively engaged in these morning activities for 2 ½ hours. The teachers commented that the students were used to eating lunch at 10:45 and they did not complete their tour until 12:30. Though a few of the students commented about being hungry, they all remained very well focused on the task at hand! Comments from the adults were very positive and several mentioned that this experience was one of the best they have ever had a chance to be involved with. The students practiced their signing skills with the Deaf volunteers and were all smiles at realizing they really were communicating! It was especially encouraging to see the hearing adults also trying to communicate with the Deaf adults. An email received recently sums up the impact of our program: "You have no idea what you have done with our group. On our ride back home to Michigan, the hearing kids kicked my other staff and I out of the back rows on the bus so that they can be with the deaf kids. About 5-7 hearing kids were with our 5 kids. They made new friends. They were basically talking, texting, laughing and all of that! Did that for about 12 hours straight on the bus."
Description Each month we invite people to MDHAC for a couple of hours of appetizers, beverage and to hear a story about Deaf people or explain an artifact from our museum.  
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success We are beginning to see that more and more of our community members are attending our Patio Parties on a regular basis. We have heard positive comments about the programming and more of our volunteers are offering to provide programs of their interest.
Long-Term Success Developing an appreciation for history and culture can be difficult to measure. However, by providing information to all of our community members, it is our hope that a common bond of understanding and respect for each other can be fostered.
Program Success Monitored By Our success is monitored by the DeafTHAT! Cultural Coordinator with oversight by the Board Vice President of External Affairs.  We guage the number of people who attend each month and how many of these individuals attend on a regular basis.
Examples of Program Success When this program first began, it was facilitated by our staff. The program is now facilitated completely by our volunteers with many different individuals offering to provide programming. 
Description A docent guide provides visitors with a 2 hour tour of the museum, highlighting tidbits of historical importance.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served US& International
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success By the end of each tour, 85% of participants will be able to identify the meaning of DeVIA art and/or be able to describe what are cultural descriptors of things that are representative or of importance to Deaf people.
Long-Term Success 90% of docent tour participants will come away with a heightened understanding and/or senstivity about the past and current lives of Deaf people.
Program Success Monitored By The Docent Tour is mointored by the Docent Tour Coordinator, with oversight by the Board Vice President of Internal Affairs. 
Examples of Program Success A docent tour participant will have expressed a better understanding of who Deaf people are and can better act as allies in support of our values and endeavors.
Description Annually, MDHAC works with the Kansas School with the Deaf to organize and run a national Youth Art Compeition among schools or educational programs for the Deaf in the United States.  Winners of three grade groups are selected, with one grand prize gaining the honor of being represented at MDHAC.  De'VIA is short for Deaf View/Image Art which represents a form of art that are based on the Deaf person's perception and experiences on what it means to be Deaf.   This uses formal art elements with the intention of expressing innate cultural or phyusical Deaf experience using Deaf metaphors, Deaf perspectives, and Deaf insight in relationship with the person's environment.  
Program Budget $0.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success By the end of each competiion cycle, 85% of students who participate in the competition will deliver a competed art project to be judged on whether it meets De'VIA expectations, expressional content and skills.
Long-Term Success This competition provides the opportunty for Deaf students to learn more about their Deaf heritage feel empowered/ emboldened to express themselves as a Deaf person.  This, in turn, has valuable impact on their sense of self-worth and self-esteem.  
Program Success Monitored By This program is monitored by the Board Vice President of Internal Affairs and Vice President of External Affairs, with oversight by the President.
Examples of Program Success Seeing the results of Art competitions has been hugely inspring to the particpants, their famililes, teachers, and judges.  
CEO Comments

We have been overwhelmed with the successes of our programs. The new programs have been a wonderful addition to our growing list and truly fit well with our intended mission. One of the best indicators of success have been the groups that have returned on an annual basis to participate in programs and events. We are always pleased to see "new" faces, however.

Our greatest challenge with our programs is keeping our ideas manageable. We do recognize that we are not able to 'do it all' due to the challenge of our programs are run by volunteers, not paid staff. There is a belief that once we are in a position of generating additional income, we will be in a better position to expand to more areas of need.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Chriz Dally
Former CEOs
Sandra KellyFeb 2008 - Apr 2017
Bette RogersSept 2005 - Dec 2007
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Paid Contractors 15
Volunteers 30
Retention Rate 80%
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
  • Olathe Chamber of Commerce 
  • Olathe Medical Center
  • Olathe Public Library
  • Olathe Public School District
  • Kansas School for the Deaf
  • Kansas Association for the Deaf
  • Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Deaf Professionals Networking
  • Freedom's Frontier
  • Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri
  • Hearing Loss Association of America - KC
  • InterUrban ArtHouse
  • Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm
  • Mid-America Alliance for Access
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Shawnee Mission School District
  • Telecommunication Access Program - Kansas
  • The Whole Person
Certificate of RecognitionOlathe Public School District2016
Valued Member Investor - Valued Member for Over 14 YearsOlathe Chamber of Commerce2015
Participation in the Museum Assessment Program - Organizational AssessmentAmerican Alliance of Museums2014
Humanitatian Award - Sandie KellyOlathe Human Relations Commission2014
President's AwardKansas Association of the Deaf2011
Outstanding ServicePersons with Disabilities - The City of Olathe2008
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Chriz Dally
Company Affiliation President, Board of Directors
Term Nov 2016 to Nov 2019
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Ms Lorrie Shank
Company Affiliation Vice-President of External Affairs, Board of Directors
Board Members
Ms Kim AndersonThe Purple O
Ms. Luanne BarronKansas School for the Deaf
Ms. Liz Brading
Ms. Amelia Dahl
Ms. Chriz DallyDeafhood Foundation
Ms Suzanne DennisSynergy Counseling
Mrs. Jeanne EwaldRetired
Ms. Lorrie ShankDepartment of Defense
Mr. David WilcoxCommunity Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 Deaf - 9
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments
Unique to our board has been the use of videoconferencing for our meetings. Board members live across the country and meeting via videoconferencing has helped expand our presence in additional communities.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $104,200
Projected Expenses $80,350
Form 990s
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$81,176$94,952$92,568
Administration Expense$21,425$24,083$29,835
Fundraising Expense$2,467$3,154$8,481
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.760.881.46
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%78%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$1,182,642$1,208,538$1,222,293
Current Assets$148,569$124,125$87,482
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$3,903$4,545$3,824
Total Net Assets$1,178,739$1,203,993$1,218,469
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities38.0727.3122.88
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose Construction of a new addition to the current structure. This would include a small auditorium, classrooms, meeting space and cafe.
Goal $2,000,000.00
Dates Jan 2019 to Jan 2021
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
We are aware that depending on partnership dollars alone for our revenue is not enough. Though we have seen a steady increase in our partnership and friends levels in all categories, our resources are being stretched. The board has been exploring opportunities for developing revenue streams that can be steady and reliant. We have had the chance to talk with several of our collaborative partners and look forward to putting additional programs into place.
We have been humbled by the number of individuals who have set up legacy plans to assist the MDHAC in the future. It is apparent that many in the community see the value of our mission and pledge to support the continued operation of MDHAC.  We also recognize the importance of an annual audit and we are actively seeking resources to complete this project during the next calendar year. 
Other Documents
Organization Name Museum of Deaf History Arts and Culture Inc.
Address 455 East Park Street
Olathe, KS 660615436
Primary Phone (913) 324-5348
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Chriz Dally
Board Chair Ms Chriz Dally
Board Chair Company Affiliation President, Board of Directors
Year of Incorporation 1988
Former Names
Kansas Educational Foundation
Deaf Cultural Center Foundation