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Deaf community sharing their world at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats

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Sean Forbes (Credit: MyFox Detroit) Sean Forbes (Credit: MyFox Detroit)

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (MyFox Detroit) -- So much to see, so much to do and so much to chew!

What is Britney Stoney's favorite part?

"I would like to say the food.  The food is pretty good, but I like the arts, too."

Under the hot summer breeze, thousands of people were flocking to downtown Royal Oak Friday for the 15th Annual Ford Arts, Beats and Eats festival.

To one community, this festival is so much more than beer, brats and burgers.  It's a chance to share their world.

"We want to be able to educate people that are unfamiliar with the deaf culture," Nancy Rourke, an artist from Colorado, said through an interpreter.

She is showcasing her artwork as part of the Deaf Arts Festival exhibit.

"I only paint with the primary colors, red, yellow and blue," she said.  "It really is to me deaf art.  It expresses the compassion and the emotion and the sign language and the beauty of the language."

And sharing their language in a way so many never thought possible was Sean Forbes, the Motor City's own deaf hip hop artist.

"There were so many people that told me I couldn't go into music and I'm doing it."

He's doing it and succeeding.  After traveling the country promoting his new album, Forbes is back home performing on the big stage and telling his story the way he wants to through music.

"The first song that we wrote was "I'm Deaf", and after that song we just kept going.  All these songs kept coming out."

Does he have people that tell him that he is changing their lives?

"I have that all the time," he said.  "Inspiring other people, you couldn't ask for a better job than that."

For more information on the Ford Arts, Beats and Eats festival, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.

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