Arts at Oakland Presents Persephone (Re-Schedule) F.A.Q.

What is Arts at Oakland?
Historic Oakland Foundation’s Arts at Oakland event pairs HOF with local artists who interpret Oakland Cemetery’s unique history and natural beauty through art. The event began in 2015 with The Cryptophonic Tour, a sound art installation produced in partnership with ROAMtransmissions. In 2016, Arts at Oakland returned with artist and gardener Cooper Sanchez producing Illumine: An Evening of Art & Light in the Gardens.

Now in its third year, Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone will be held on Friday, June 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is rescheduled from the original date on Saturday, May 20, which was cancelled due to inclement weather.

What is Persephone about?
Visitors to historic Oakland Cemetery will find the Victorian gardens at the height of springtime bloom and accentuated with installations from artist Sanithna Phansavanh. Phansavanh’s life-size acrylic on canvas works reflect themes of spring and rebirth, utilizing a vibrant palette of pinks, blues, purples, and yellows that contrast with Oakland’s natural hues.

Music and movement collective Flight of Swallows accompany Phansavanh’s installations with aerial, dance, and musical performances at the Bell Tower. Flight of Swallows will perform at the Grey family plot just adjacent to the Bell Tower porte-cochere.

Is Persephone a guided walking tour?
No, unlike Oakland Cemetery’s tours, Persephone is a self-guided experience in the gardens. The art is centralized in Oakland’s Original Six Acres and Bell Tower Ridge.

Who benefits from Persephone?
Proceeds from Arts at Oakland benefit the participating artists and Historic Oakland Foundation’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery.

As a historic site, Oakland Cemetery is not configured for nighttime events, which are a rarity given the high production costs and complexities. While we are unable to fully re-stage Persephone as it was originally intended, your attendance will help us recoup some of the losses from May 20. Arts at Oakland was created to both support Historic Oakland Foundation and the participating artists who lend their time and talent to Oakland Cemetery.

Flight of Swallows. (photo courtesy Flight of Swallows / Rob Skipworth)

Who are the participating artists?
Sanithna Phansavanh is a fine artist working and living in Atlanta, with a focus on examining the human condition, particularly the dynamic between creation, existence, and permanence. His work, ranging from small, intimate drawings to large-scale, public murals, has exhibited nationally and internationally, with notable showings at the High Museum of Art, on the Atlanta Beltline, and through the City of Atlanta’s Public Art programs.

Flight of Swallows was established in 2010 when co-founders Deisha Oliver-Millar and Sadie Hawkins began to explore collaborative improvisation: music and movement working together. Since then, they have invited an ever-evolving group of musicians and physical performance artists to join in creating moody, magical one-time-only experiences in venues ranging from traditional theaters, to galleries, to non-traditional public art spaces. Flight of Swallows has performed at 7 Stages Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the BeltLine, and Atlanta Fringe Festival.

How much are tickets?
General admission tickets are available in advance at Advance tickets are $18 (plus taxes and fees) and gate tickets are $25.

Attendees who purchased tickets for the May 20 event and are unable to attend on Friday, June 9 receive complimentary entry to Tunes from the Tombs on Saturday, June 10. Present your unscanned Persephone ticket at the gates at Tunes from the Tombs for entry.

Patron Pass ticketholders receive Rock In Peace (RIP) tickets to Tunes from the Tombs, which includes:

  • Complimentary food from Republic Social HouseDoc Chey’s Noodle House, and Mediterranea; indoor restrooms; air conditioning
    • Two drink vouchers for beer, wine, cocktails, or soft drinks
    • Tunes from the Tombs 2017 T-shirt
    • Free parking and transportation to stage areas provided by Mezcalito’s Cocina & Tequila Bar Stage Shuttle. Shuttle pickup is at the Bell Tower, MailChimp stage at Lion Square, and Creative Loafing Stage at North Public Grounds.

For further questions about ticketing, please contact

I purchased Persephone tickets for the May 20 date, but can’t find my tickets. What should I do?
General admission and Patron Pass tickets will be reissued through Tickets will be sent to the email address that you originally used to purchase tickets.

How do I get to Oakland Cemetery, and where should I park?
Click here for directions to Oakland Cemetery. We strongly encourage attendees to utilize MARTA or a rideshare service, walk, or cycle to get to Oakland.

Public parking is available in the gravel lot at Oakland Cemetery’s main gate, at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Limited off street parking is available on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and surrounding streets.

Be sure to lock your vehicle and remove any valuables from sight, as Historic Oakland Foundation and Oakland Cemetery are not liable for theft or damage. Limited off street parking is available on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and surrounding streets.

Is Oakland Cemetery closed on June 9?
Oakland Cemetery will be open to the public as usual until 4 p.m. During Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone, only ticketed attendees will be allowed into the cemetery.

Sanithna Phansavanh’s “Bloom” will be available for purchase, as well as other select prints.

I want to purchase the artwork displayed at Persephone. Can I do that?
Yes. All of Sanithna Phansavanh’s installations will be available for purchase on Friday, June 9 as well as during Tunes from the Tombs on Saturday, June 10.

Posters and fine art prints of Phansavanh’s “Bloom” will also be available for purchase:

11×17 poster – $9.99 (plus tax)
Fine art print – $24.99 (plus tax). Giclee on 80 lb. matte paper, using archival inks on archival paper. Attendees purchasing an art print receive 20% off framing at Artifacts Art Framing.

Is it OK to bring my kids to Persephone?
Persephone is a family-friendly event. However, please be advised that children’s ticket pricing is not available for this event.

Is it OK to bring my dog?
With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted at Persephone. Because this is a evening event, and with large crowds expected, please leave your four-legged friend at home.

Can I bring food and drinks to Persephone? 
Outside food and drink will not be permitted during Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone. We encourage attendees to make an evening of it in the Grant Park neighborhood. Select restaurants near Oakland Cemetery have special offers* for Persephone ticketholders, including:

Pick up the gift card of your choosing at Oakland Cemetery’s main gates on your way into the event, or as you leave. *Limit one per attendee. Available while supplies last.

Snacks, soft drinks, beer selections from Orpheus Brewing and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a selection of red and white wines from Sycamore Lane will also be available for purchase.

Limited edition screen printed tees on Sanithna Phansavanh’s Persephone are available for purchase on June 9 & 10.

Where do I get a Persephone t-shirt?

Limited-edition Persephone t-shirts will be available for purchase at the art sales area during Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone on June 9 and at the artist market at Tunes from the Tombs on June 10.

Patron Pass ticket holders can pick up their gift back on Friday during Arts at Oakland, or on Saturday in the Rock In Peace ticket holder area at Tunes from the Tombs.

Is Persephone cash only?
Cash and credit cards are accepted at the event.

Can I photograph the artwork and performances?
Yes, photographers are welcome to enjoy the experience at Persephone.

Thank you to our sponsors!