Waking Persephone: A Celebration of the Queer & Magical

Waking Persephone: A Celebration of the Queer & Magical April 21, 2021

Winter is starting to fade. You can smell the promise of Spring in the air.  Persephone is rising from the Underworld once again…

On Saturday, April 24th, 2021, join us for a journey of transformation as we celebrate the queer and the magical. Partake in a day full of live lectures, workshops, rituals, and performances that will stimulate you – body, mind, and spirit. Be moved by poetry, dance, and song. Find-like minded folks and be inspired by the possibilities. Recognize the magic within you.

What is Waking Persephone?

Waking Persephone first began in 2012 as a festival celebrating exploratory, darkly-inspired, and unusual dance while also crafting community through education and performance. It became a home for many who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. In both concept and execution, the event crossed borders and honored diverse artistry and experience, bringing many like-minded folks together to share in the vision.

In 2021, we are ready to wake Persephone again, but in a new virtual format that expands that vision even greater, and happens twice a year. Our goal is creating an experience that embraces queerness as inherently sacred and magical – in body, mind, and spirit.

For our first event on Saturday, April 24th, we have gathered 8 presenters whose work we feel illuminates that vision, guiding our transformation. There will be lectures, workshops, ritual, discussion, music, poetry, and dance. Our virtual festivities feature an amazing cast of creative and magical minds to guide your soul:

Dame Wilburn
Juliana Finch
Jynx Vervain
Laura Tempest Zakroff
Lee Harrington
Michelle Belanger
Misha Magdalene
Find out more about these amazing folks here and check out the schedule as wellRegistration closes at the end of April 22nd! Details are on the website or go direct to eventbrite to get your ticket!

Our Vision for the Virtual Event

Our in-person events from 2012-2016 spanned 4 days. It kicked off with “Motif” – a special experience that merged ritual, meet-and-greet, and dance.  Then we had 3 days of lectures and workshops with 3 tracks happening concurrently, along with vending and other experiences. In the evening we had gala shows with live music and performances. We then wrapped everything up with a celebratory Ball.

After a year of experiencing all sorts of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided for the very first event, we would focus on having one main event day, with one track of experiences, so that no one thing is in competition with another. There are breaks between each presentation so you can take a short break , reflect, and refresh. This cuts down on attendee screen fatigue while giving undivided attention to our presenters. To help foster a community festival experience, we have set up a private Discord channel, will have a special Motif on Friday evening for ticket-holders, and there is a live chat feature during every section.

In the future, we may add additional days and tracks, but our goal is continue to focus on crafting a quality experience for both attendees and presenters. We also plan to accept applications to present for our Fall event, in addition to having invited presenters, much like how our original events were done.

Why Persephone?

The myth of Persephone is an ancient tale that embodies the themes of transformation, the loss of innocence, love, the cycle of life and death, the changing of the seasons, and family dynamics – and this myth is still very relevant today.

Sometimes we are reviving Persephone, bringing her back into this world. Other times, we mourn her as she journeys down into the Underworld. In turn, we become every aspect of the story, exploring our own cycles of magical transformation and the roles we play in the world.

Benefiting the Community

Community is a word that gets tossed around a lot without a lot of meaning or focus. We believe functional community isn’t just a collection of people – it’s something crafted together from root to flower. It is ever-changing and growing, diverse and inclusive, supportive and collaborative.

What this means for Waking Persephone
– All of our presenters and performers get paid for their participation.
– 10% of every ticket sale is donated to a national queer non-profit organization.  Trans Lifeline is the beneficiary for this first event.
– We offer youth and financially need-based scholarships for our attendees while also giving a sliding scale for ticket fees so that attendees can also help others attend the event.


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