Now in its 11th year, the time-honored tradition of Persephone's Masquerade was held at the Hilton Hotel in Silver Spring. The night featured a live DJ, silent and live auctions, and performances by local musical artists. The theater ministry of Ecumenicon Fellowship - A Company of Strangers - performed selections from the rock opera Passion of Persephone. Elena Rhiannon Stark performed an enchanting array of melodies on a harp, really setting the stage for a luxurious DC black tie affair. Features like this are what keep attendees coming back year after year.
As the main fundraising event for the now-open DC Pagan Community Center, the feeling in the air at this years ball was a little more celebratory than anticipatory. Last year we covered the event and its importance on opening the center's doors. The focus at this year's event certainly seemed to be centered around keeping people excited and engaged - surely a prime key to keeping the doors of the center open. Iris Firemoon, Chair of the Open Hearth Foundation said it best when she yelled at the start; "we did it!" During his speech, Vice Chair of the OHF Sean Bennet mentioned that the foundation is currently living off a decade's worth of savings and that consistent membership contributions are what's really needed to make the center survive and thrive long-term.
Much like Persephone's emergence into a new spring world, the Pagan community in the capital region seem to be greeting 2012 with a renewed sense of hope and excitement. There is a buzz of encouragement in the air as DC once again raises the bar for what professional Pagan infrastructure can look like.
For more information on Persephone's Masquerade and the Open Hearth Foundation, visit OpenHearth.org.
Photo credits: PNC-DC