Author Archives: Kristin LaBuz

  1. I’m an Open House New Yorker

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    Each December, Open House New York invites representatives from our community to share why our work matters and what it means to be an “Open House New Yorker.”

    Reality Curry

    Hometown:  Albany, New York
    Neighborhood: Sunnyside, Queens
    Occupation: Project Manager, Amie Gross Architects

    Describe New York in three words: Beautiful. Oppressive. Uplifting.
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … 2015. My roommate insisted I get involved and that we volunteer together. They did not volunteer, and I went on my own. I am happy I did because it has been a stimulating and rewarding experience.
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because … Architecture and infrastructure impact every aspect of our daily lives but, we have limited access if any to our built environment. I enjoy being a part of an organization that demystifies our city and makes it accessible to all.
    Favorite OHNY experience? The OHNY Zoning Scavenger Hunt in 2016! Running around the city deciphering clues based on the zoning resolution was a magical experience.  We jammed an OHNY weekend into a few hours. My team did not win but I now have a fashionable Zoning New York t-shirt.

    Julie Raskin

    Hometown:  Chicago, IL
    Neighborhood: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
    Occupation: Executive Director, Sanitation Foundation (official non-profit partner of NYC’s Department of Sanitation)

    Describe New York in three words: One crazy place!
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … 2008, when I started my first job in NYC government at the Parks Department and learned that we were opening the doors of our headquarters, the Arsenal, to Open House New York
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because …  OHNY Weekend is like Christmas (for us agnostic, non-religious urbanist nerds)! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
    Favorite OHNY Weekend site? I’m super proud of the OHNY Weekend site we hosted for the first time in 2019 at the NYC Sanitation Department’s industrial composting facility on the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. We were all set to do it again in 2020 and then….

    Diana Zuluaga

    Hometown:  Bogota, Colombia
    Neighborhood: East Harlem
    Occupation: Freelancer

    Describe New York in three words: Magic. Opportunity. Reinvention
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … 2003, when I heard they were offering a sneak peek at the site that would become the High Line.
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because … I want to be involved with and included in the places in my city that go unnoticed or are inaccessible.
    If you could “unlock” any site in NYC what would it be? I am waiting to be invited to photograph from the eagles on the Chrysler Building like Margaret Bourke-White.

    Bob Gelber

    Hometown:  Brooklyn, New York
    Neighborhood: South Street Seaport
    Occupation: Retired/Licensed tour guide

    Describe New York in three words: Amazing and inspiring.
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … As I was getting ready to retire from my career in December 2006, I was told about an amazing OHNY Weekend event by a friend who thought I should become involved. It was the best advice I was ever given! I have been active in every OHNY Weekend for the past 16 years, either as a Volunteer, a District Coordinator, or a Site Partner.
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because …  it has given me the opportunity to be a part of an event that opens the City up to everyone. I have visited places that I never would have experienced if not for OHNY.
    Favorite OHNY Weekend site? The Woolworth Building! (That might be cheating since I was the guide in the building for the Weekend for five years, prior to it being closed to the public due to Covid-19.)

    Albert Tan

    Hometown: Suburban Chicago
    Neighborhood: Rego Park, Queens
    Occupation: Finance

    Describe New York in three words: Chaotic, changing, challenging.
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … 2017, I got to visit the cupola on top of the Municipal Building and I was hooked!
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because … I love the access to buildings and the architects/designers that build them as well as learning about this city.
    If you could “unlock” any site in NYC what would it be? City Hall station!

    Margot Jacqz

    Hometown:  New York City
    Neighborhood: Bloomingdale, Manhattan
    Occupation: Recruiter

    Describe New York in three words: Greatest city (in the) world.
    I’ve been an Open House New Yorker since … 2003. A friend of a colleague was on the Board and he thought I might be interested. I didn’t have much cash to spare, but volunteering time and enthusiasm were what I could offer.
    I’m an Open House New Yorker because …  New York is my hometown. Cities, buildings, design … how they are made, grow, work, and change captivate me. Getting to share that with other people just as hooked or just getting introduced to the thrill is a great thing to be able to do. 
    If you could “unlock” any site in NYC what would it be? Just one? Ha! Over the years I have been particularly eager to get into infrastructure sites such as the [NYC DEP] Newtown Creek digester eggs and the DSNY Salt Shed; secret spaces like the clocktower of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian and above the dome of St John; and the High Line pre-restoration, which was both.

    Still, my favorite moment was my first time as a volunteer, when OHNY Weekend was new. It was pouring buckets and curious people were lined up outside the [NYC Parks] Arsenal. Who knew this crazy idea was going to be so popular!

  2. 2021 Weekend Snapshot

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    2021—a year unlike any other!

    On October 16-17, Open House New York Weekend offered New Yorkers and visitors nearly 200 ways—both virtually and in-person—to explore and experience the city. It was two days full of tours, talks, and self-guided walks across the five boroughs, and, for the first time, New Jersey!

    Specially curated series included Radical Knowledge, Neighborhood Anchors, OHNY@Night, Health of the City, and a celebration of the Centennial for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey among others.

    193 Experiences: 138 in-person + 55 virtual

    Thanks to nearly 150 Partners, OHNY Weekend offered a range of experiences fostering discovery and recovery:

    • 26 Self-Guided Tours
    • 78 Group Tours
    • 1 Bike Tour
    • 2 Running Tours
    • 17 Talks
    • 3 Panels
    • 10 Walking Tours
    • 1 Neighborhood Spotlight
    • 12 Virtual Tours
    • 17 Exhibitions
    • 4 Films
    • 5 Performances
    • 3 Photography 
    • 12 Podcasts

    “We were so delighted with the smoothness of our Perine House tours that we are inspired to open the property up to the public more.”

    Luke Boyd, Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House, the oldest standing building on Staten Island
    Billion Oyster Project tour with Ashley Davis, photo courtesy of Ben Helmer
    OHNY on the Run with John Gendall, photo courtesy of Albert Tan
    Newark Liberty Airport Administration Building Tour with the Port Authority, photo courtesy of John Ng
    Little Island @ Night tour with Fisher Marantz Stone, photo courtesy of Ben Helmer

    Weekend Participation by the Numbers

    In years past, approximately 80,000 New Yorkers and visitors joined OHNY Weekend annually. This year, we piloted a new approach—using QR codes—to track participation. This enabled us to identify the number of unique “check-ins” across the city, and also provided a means to conduct conduct tracing, which thankfully, was not necessary.

    Close to 10,000 Weekend Participants checked in through the QR codes and we asked them to share their stories and experiences this year. Nearly 200 respondents to our survey, providing a snapshot of who attended OHNY Weekend, where they came from, what was memorable this year, and more. (Please note the below numbers are specific to the 200 survey respondents.)

    While 83% of participants this year were returning Open House New Yorkers, 17% experienced their first OHNY Weekend!

    An impressive 16% have been avid Open House New Yorkers for over 10 years, while just over a third have attended OHNY Weekend between 5 and 10 years.

    Of those who joined an in-person experience, 70% participated in more than one.

    Edwin’s Place tour with RAMSA, photo courtesy of Peter Jakubowski

    We had a tour with the director of the Tenement Museum and it was amazing! She is so engaging, energetic and friendly, I specifically liked when she asked thought-provoking questions about the experience of Black New Yorkers versus Irish or German in that time period…OHNY is one of the best kept secrets of New York. It is very special to have all of this access one-weekend long.”

    Weekend Participant for 2-4 years

    “I moved to NYC a few months ago and it’s been exceptionally difficult to meet people due to the pandemic… I made friends with a volunteer my age. We are planning on getting together soon! Thanks for making me feel more connected with my new home and introducing me to my first new friend in the city.”

    1st time Weekend Participant
    Morningside Park tour with the President of Friends of Morningside Park
  3. Citywide Festival Invites Public to Experience and Explore New York

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    Open House New York Weekend on October 16-17 features 200+ in-person and virtual experiences to renew the city and spur its recovery.

    October 4, 2021 – On Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, 2021, Open House New York presents Open House New York Weekend, a FREE citywide festival of design, culture, and infrastructure that offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the city functions and who it serves. The full lineup is now available.

    Now in its nineteenth year, Open House New York Weekend invites the public, whether seasoned New Yorkers, newbies, tri-state neighbors, or out-of-towners, to embrace the power of place—from neighborhood anchors and bridges and tunnels to historic landmarks and modern skyscrapers. This year, the OHNY Weekend lineup offers in-person, virtual, and self-guided experiences including tours, talks, and self-guided walks across the five boroughs.

    “Open House New York was founded in the wake of 9/11, when access to Lower Manhattan was suddenly highly restricted. Today, at a time when residents across the five boroughs are struggling to reconnect with each other and the city, OHNY Weekend provides a much-needed impetus for discovery and exploration,” said Rob Rogers, President of the Board of Directors for Open House New York. “OHNY is expanding our lens to the myriad of issues that define quality of place and quality of life, for better and worse, in New York. The through line of this evolution is the power of place—whether a single room in a building, the waste and water treatment systems of an entire borough, or the pylons beneath the shoreline surface of the Harbor,” explained Pamela Puchalski, Executive Director of Open House New York.

    While the majority of OHNY Weekend sites are free and open to the public, select experiences require Advance Reservation tickets ($5) due to security, social distancing, and space limitations. Reservation Day is Thursday, October 7; tickets become available at 11:00am.
    2021 Weekend highlights include the public’s only behind-the-scenes look at: 

    • BookOps Sorting FacilityDiscover how tens of thousands of books in the circulating collections of Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library find their way to eager readers across the city.
    • EWR Airport Building One: OHNY goes to New Jersey this year and unlocks the story behind the airport’s original 1934 terminal, an art deco gem cut in three and stitched back together just 3,700 feet from its initial location.
    • SUMMIT One VanderbiltExperience midtown from 1,200 feet, the highest vantage point in Midtown Manhattan. From transparent elevators to glass sky boxes, take in panoramic views of New York, sidewalk to sky.
    • Brooklyn Navy Yard: Nanotronics: Industrial development takes off at Nanotronics, a new state-of-the-art center for the AI and robotics innovations driving advanced manufacturing in New York and beyond.
    • Northeast Bronx YMCADecades in the making, this new community anchor is set in a three-acre urban forest and blends indoors and outdoors to promote the health and wellness of residents and surrounding neighborhoods.
    • Little Island @ NightExperience the blending of nature and art through luminance at the newly repaired and renovated Pier 54 on the shorelines of West Chelsea.

     2021 Weekend series highlights include: 

    Photos for the highlights are available here; additional photos available upon request. For additional information, email press@ohny.org.

    Covid-19 Note: OHNY Weekend is designed to engage wide audiences while protecting the public’s health and safety according to local and New York State guidelines. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination with ID and mask will be required for in-person experiences.

    Open House New York promotes broad, unparalleled access to the city—to the places, people, projects, systems and ideas that define New York and its future—and fosters civic dialogue about how the city functions and who it serves. Through year-round programming and the annual OHNY Weekend, which ranks among the largest public design festivals in the nation, Open House New York offers a citywide platform for public education and engagement. For more information, visit www.ohny.org.

    The 2021 Open House New York Weekend is made possible in part by generous support from PSEG and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties.

    Public support is provided by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

  4. 2021 OHNY Weekend: Partner FAQs

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    Thank you for your interest in partnering on the 2021 Open House New York Weekend! The 2021 Weekend is taking place October 16-17 and we look forward to working with you to showcase and celebrate hundreds of wonderful and interesting places that define our city’s past, present, and future.

    This year, OHNY Weekend brings two jam-packed days of in-person and virtual experiences for tens of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors. Whether self-guided or in a group, outdoor or indoor, masks will be required for all in-person experiences. We will also require proof of vaccination for visitors participating in Advance Reservation tours and most Open Access sites. This year’s Weekend is designed to make it as easy as possible for Partners to engage wide public audiences while also protecting the health and safety of your staff and Weekend volunteers and participants.

    TARGET DATES
    September 15: Submission deadline
    Submit final descriptions, photos, and access to all virtual content links (recordings, live streams, etc.)

    September 24: Virtual content deadline
    All content for videos or other pre-recorded content must be submitted.

    September 27: Press previews
    Line-up shared with Press.

    September 30: Members and Partners preview
    Line-up shared with Members and Partners.

    October 4: Public release
    Line-up shared with the general public.

    October 7: Reservations open
    Reservation links shared for in-person sites.

    LEARN MORE
    Information Session Recording
    OHNY shares tips, tools, and best practices for the Weekend via Zoom.

    Partner Orientation Sessions
    Confirmed Partners will learn more about participating in the 2021 Weekend line-up, including COVID-19 protocols, volunteers and more. Sessions held via Zoom. RSVP to join.

    • Tuesday, Sept 14, 12:00-1:00pm – Register
    • Tuesday, Sept 21, 12:00-1:00pm – Register

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Q.What is OHNY Weekend?
    A. OHNY Weekend is New York City’s largest annual design festival, when hundreds of places across the five boroughs—many of which are not typically accessible—open their doors to the public for a behind the scenes peek at what makes the place special or noteworthy. A significant virtual component of online talks, tours, and podcasts complement in-person experiences. OHNY Partners and Volunteers make the Weekend possible. Partners are organizations and individuals that create or provide access to experiences designed to help the public connect with places that are significant to the past, present, or future of New York City. The event has been an annual fixture on the city’s cultural calendar since 2003. It is organized by Open House New York, a non-profit organization that advocates for a more open and inclusive city and greater civic participation in the forces that shape New York.

    Q. What distinguishes OHNY Weekend?
    A. Since its founding, the Weekend has provided access to thousands of places with architectural, historical, and cultural significance. It also provides an inside look at the city’s infrastructure and systems, both manmade and natural, to spotlight how nearly 9 million people live, work, and move across the five boroughs and beyond. More recently, OHNY has expanded the lens to racial, ethnic, community, civic, economic, and environmental issues that define quality of place and quality of life, for better and worse, in New York. The through line of this evolution is the power of place—whether a single room in a building, the waste and water treatment systems of an entire borough, or the pylons beneath the shoreline surface of the Harbor.

    Q. What is expected of Partners?
    A. As a Partner, you will be sharing your site with a broad audience of New Yorkers and visitors united by a curiosity and love for the city. Partners organize a range of experiences during the Weekend, including leading in-person or virtual group tours, storytelling sessions, or talks, creating self-guided tours or producing various formats of online content, either live or on demand. By creating experiences, Partners are the key to the openness, access, and exploration that makes the Weekend so special!

    Q. Why become a Partner for OHNY Weekend?
    A. Partnering in the Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to reach new audiences, educate the public about your organization or a special place in the city, be a good civic neighbor, and remind the world that openness and access are defining characteristics of New York City. All partners are identified and promoted as part of OHNY Weekend, directing tens of thousands of visitors to your organization or a place in the city that deserves to be better known. During the six weeks preceding the 2020 Weekend, OHNY.org received 1.5 million page views!

    Q. How is the Weekend promoted, and how are individual experiences publicized?
    A. Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers and visitors participate in the Weekend. OHNY also organizes an extensive press and marketing campaign to promote OHNY Weekend, including media partnerships and weekly updates to 65,000 subscribers. All experiences, whether virtual or in-person, are featured on a dedicated page of OHNY.org and included in Series branding as appropriate. Virtual experiences are also directly linked to each Partner’s website.

    Q. What are the basic requirements for partnering on in-person experiences?
    A. We ask each Partner to:

    • Provide a description and necessary information to promote your participation.
    • Arrange for appropriate staff to be on-site during the event. OHNY volunteers can provide additional (limited) assistance where needed. Please review our information on volunteer assistance below.
    • Promote your participation through your marketing and communication channels, i.e. highlight the Weekend on your website, calendar listings, newsletters and social media, etc.
    • Display OHNY Weekend signage on-site during the event. Collect sign-in information and surveys from visitors.
    • Complete a Partner survey including visitor attendance totals.
    • Communicate with your building management (where relevant) to inform them of your participation.
    • Sign a waiver holding OHNY harmless from any incident that may occur on-site during the Weekend.
    • Submit a registration fee to cover a portion of the costs associated with promoting the Weekend, including creating dedicated webpages for each experience, registering participants, and assigning Volunteers to indoors and outdoors experiences. If this fee is prohibitive to a Partner’s participation in the Weekend, please reach out to ohnywknd@ohny.org.

      $35 USD: Virtual Experiences (nonprofit and for profit rate)
      $75 USD: In-person Experiences (nonprofit rate)
      $175 USD: In-person Experiences (for profit rate)

    Q. What information is required to promote the Weekend?
    A. All listings in the Weekend line-up feature: title/name of experience, description, neighborhood if relevant, image, Series listing, format type (e.g. tour, podcast, performance, talk, etc.), access type (Open Access or Advance Reservation), accessibility notes, and brief speaker bio(s) if relevant. Your dedicated listing will be shared with the public on October 12, and your content will be revealed on Saturday, October 16. It will be free to access through Sunday, October 17. If the content is available on-demand, it will continue to be accessible to Open House New York members through the end of October.

    Q. What happens if there’s inclement weather?
    A. OHNY Weekend takes place rain or shine.

    Q. What are the COVID-19 guidelines for in-person experiences?
    A. Given the increasing strictness of state and citywide COVID-19 precautions, OHNY is anticipating that proof of vaccination will be required for entry to indoor spaces and that masks will be required for everyone at all in-person experiences. Though it is possible that public health guidance will allow us to relax these restrictions on the Weekend, OHNY is taking a conservative approach to Weekend planning, meaning that Partners should be prepared for:

    • All in-person experiences—indoors AND outdoors—require masks.
    • Advance reservations and Open Access sites require proof of vaccination.
    • Self-guided tours do not require proof of vaccination.
    • Partners must ensure disposable masks and hand sanitizer are available on-site.
    • OHNY will make every effort to allocate volunteers to assist in checking for proof of vaccination. However, volunteers may not be available for all sites.

    Q. What should I do if I have to cancel or modify my program?
    A. We understand that as public health guidelines shift, there may be unexpected changes to your plans for the Weekend. We ask you to please keep us informed of any changes, and we will work with you to find a solution for your program.

    Q. May I charge admission to my tour, film, talk, etc.? A. No. In order to be part of OHNY Weekend, you must provide access free-of-charge.

    Q. If in-person, how many visitors should I plan to welcome?
    A. The number of visitors depends on whether there is Open Access or if Advanced Reservations are required, as well as the location of and public interest in the site. Open Access experiences are open to all visitors on a first-come-first-served basis, while Advance Reservation sites require visitors to pre-register for small group tours through OHNY’s ticketing system. Some Open Access sites receive between 50-100 visitors while others have 1,000+ visitors throughout the Weekend. Pre-COVID, Partners requiring Advance Reservations typically accommodated 75-100 visitors over multiple timed-ticketed slots (e.g. three tours of 25, five tours of 20, etc.). The maximum recommended group size is 35 people, as it becomes difficult to hear speakers when groups are much larger. OHNY staff will work with Partners to decide on visitor access if you are unsure.

    Q. What about liability and insurance issues?
    A. For nearly two decades, Partners have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors during the Weekend. To protect against any theft, damage, or loss to personal or real property that may occur during OHNY Weekend, Partners (owners, tenants, lessees, tour/workshop operator or organization) are responsible for carrying adequate insurance and are required to sign a mandatory waiver releasing Open House New York from all such liability. We strongly recommend that visitors also sign waivers for any experience requiring safety precautions such as a helmet, hardhat, life jacket, etc.. OHNY staff will review your organization’s waiver form, and, if necessary provide an additional form to ensure the safety of visitors and Partners.

    Q. Can I request OHNY volunteers to help at my site or tour?
    A. Yes! OHNY recruits more than 1,000 volunteers—typically members of the public who are New York City enthusiasts—to provide on-site assistance during OHNY Weekend. Volunteers are assigned to Partners in four-hour shifts: from 10:00am-2:00pm; 12:00-4:00pm, or from 2:00-6:00pm. OHNY recommends staffing 2 volunteers per tour or in-person experience. If you are unsure of how many volunteers your site might need, OHNY staff will happily advise you and make every effort to fulfill volunteer requests. This year, OHNY is requiring proof of vaccination for all volunteers. Partners should be aware that OHNY may not have volunteers available to fulfill all requests.

    Q. What types of assistance do volunteers provide?
    A. OHNY Weekend volunteers are trained to welcome visitors and assist with check-in and site waivers, way finding, and guest counts. They can also distribute printed materials, congregate visitors in advance of a tour in designated areas, and help manage lines. This year, volunteers will also be checking proof of vaccination for in-person experiences (Open Access and Advance Reservation)–subject to volunteer availability. OHNY volunteers cannot, however, replace your staff. Nor can volunteers serve as security guards.

    Have a question not addressed here? Email us at ohnywknd@ohny.org

  5. 2021 OHNY Weekend: Partner Guide

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    ABOUT OHNY WEEKEND
    OHNY Weekend is New York City’s largest annual design festival, when hundreds of places across the five boroughs—many of which are not typically accessible—open their doors to the public for a behind the scenes peek at what makes the place special or noteworthy. A significant virtual component of online talks, tours, and podcasts complement in-person experiences.

    OHNY Partners and Volunteers make the Weekend possible. Partners are organizations and individuals that create or provide access to experiences designed to help the public connect with places that are significant to the past, present, or future of New York City. The event has been an annual fixture on the city’s cultural calendar since 2003. It is organized by Open House New York, a non-profit organization that advocates for a more open and inclusive city and greater civic participation in the forces that shape New York.

    THE POWER OF PLACE
    Since its founding, the Weekend has provided access to thousands of places with architectural, historical, and cultural significance. It also provides an inside look at the city’s infrastructure and systems, both manmade and natural, to spotlight how nearly 9 million people live, work, and move across the five boroughs and beyond. More recently, OHNY has expanded the lens to racial, ethnic, community, civic, economic, and environmental issues that define quality of place and quality of life, for better and worse, in New York. The through line of this evolution is the power of place—whether a single room in a building, the waste and water treatment systems of an entire borough, or the pylons beneath the shoreline surface of the Harbor.

    ABOUT WEEKEND PARTNERS
    Weekend Partners, both organizations and individuals, share a commitment to engaging broad audiences of New Yorkers and visitors who are united by a curiosity and love for the city. Partners organize a range of experiences during the Weekend, including leading in-person or virtual group tours, storytelling sessions, or talks, creating self-guided tours or producing various formats of online content, either live or on demand. By creating experiences, Partners are the key to the openness, access, and exploration that makes the Weekend so special!

    WEEKEND EXPERIENCES
    Open a space to the public:
    Invite people in to explore and experience a space or special place in the city. If the place is typically open to the public, consider opening it at a different time of day. OHNY recommends that you have a staff member or expert available to answer questions from visitors about the space, and/or provide a handout about its history, design, or significance for visitors to read on their own.

    Offer tours:
    For facilitated tours, invite a staff member or expert to give tours to the public. This could be a studio tour, a production facility, part of the city’s infrastructure, public space, commercial or residential building, or important sites in a business district or other area—whether longstanding or currently in construction. If the space is normally open to the public or already has public tours, develop a behind-the-scenes peek for the Weekend.For self-guided tours, develop written, audio, or visual content for audiences to explore and learn at their own pace. Content can include written directions and information, a map with specific areas or spots highlighted, or an audio walkthrough or podcast.

    Host a panel, discussion, or Q&A session:
    Convene leaders, designers, historians, experts, curators, and/or users for a discussion about specific features or aspects of the place for broad public audiences. Open up the session for audience Q&A.

    Produce a podcast:
    Make a recording of a story or narrative about a particular place or institution, which can either be used to supplement in-person visits, or to bring the Weekend home to anyone unable to see these NYC treasures.

    Produce a performance:
    Offer limited runs of performances for OHNY visitors. Or provide access to pre-recorded performances online.

    Host an exhibition:
    Open up an ongoing or site-specific exhibition during OHNY Weekend. If admission is typically charged, waive fees for Weekend participants and/or offer behind-the-scenes tour or talk with an expert involved with its creation.

    Screen a film:
    Share a video about your place or filmed on-location for audiences to enjoy on-demand. Or screen it live on-site during the Weekend.

    Hold a storytelling session:
    Tell a story about your place or a person of central importance to it and New York City’s past, present, or future. If it’s a live storytelling session happening on-site or available online, consider recording it for broader access.

    Create an experience aimed at kids and their families:
    OHNY welcomes all types of activities for children during the Weekend. These will be identified as Family-Friendly experiences in OHNY promotions.

    Create a new format! The city’s the limit.

    ACCESS
    OHNY Weekend offers a combination of in-person and virtual experiences, generally as follows:

    Open Access
    The public is permitted to visit during set hours on one or both days of OHNY Weekend. For Open Access, all experiences are free and partners typically arrange for an expert to welcome the public and share insights about distinguishing features, characteristics, or a particular story, whether little known or beloved by many. All in-person, open access experiences-indoors AND outdoors-require masks and proof of vaccination.

    Advanced Reservations
    Required when there are significant security or space constraints, and the public is unable to explore unattended. There are typically used when capacity is strictly limited, and the public must sign up in advance for a set time and pay a fee ($5) to OHNY. OHNY handles all registrations and promotions and Partners must arrange for an on-site expert to lead or supervise the public. All in-person, advance reservations experiences-indoors AND outdoors-require masks and proof of vaccination.

    Self-Guided Tours
    These were extremely popular during the 2020 Weekend and we are excited to offer them in this year’s line-up. Partners typically create a map, posted online or available on-site, for participants to use when exploring. Self-Guided Tours are best suited to outdoor experiences, especially when there is a larger area to explore on foot, by bike, or other modes. Self-guided tours require masks but do not require proof of vaccination.

    Virtual Content
    Whether pre-recorded or live, virtual content offers much greater access to the public, especially for participants outside of New York or those with limited mobility. Virtual experiences include talk, films, digital exhibitions and beyond. This content can be an imaginary walkthrough time or a peek ahead at somewhere or something currently under construction.

    WEEKEND SERIES
    Each year, OHNY curates a limited number of themes to organize and brand Weekend experiences. This year, we are testing a new format by asking Partners to self-identify themes they believe may be a good match for the experience they are offering.

    The confirmed Series topics for 2021 are:

    • Radical Knowledge: Libraries as Community Catalysts
      An exploration of how libraries serve as vibrant learning institutions and centers for their communities, and how their physical and virtual spaces enrich civic life.
    • Ports, Planes, Bridges & Trains: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Centennial
      A commemoration of the PANYNJ’s transformational impact on the New York City metropolitan region over the past 100 years.
    • Neighborhood Anchors
      A spotlight on the places, institutions, and meeting points that define the unique identity and stories of the hundreds of neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
    • Renewing the City
      An examination of the ways residents and organizations are renewing, reviving, and reconnecting with their communities through physical exploration, new connections with people, and celebrating places.
    • Health of the City
      An insider’s exploration of the new pandemic perspective of urban life through a lens of health and wellness.
    • Next Gen NYC
      A series exploring the power of place for the next generation of young urbanists and New Yorkers, developed in partnership with CUNY Recovery Corps and OHNY’s Metropolitan membership.
    • Family Fun
      A series of experiences suitable for the whole family.

    INCLUSION AND ACCESSIBILITY
    The aspiration of an open city is what animates the work of Open House New York-—a city where people and ideas thrive and where each of us has the freedom to pursue the life we choose to live, while collectively sharing the places and spaces that give those lives depth and meaning. This means all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, abilities, or lived experience, and we encourage Partners to consider increasing accessibility as follows:

    In-Person

    • Record or livestream to enable broader audiences to access your program
    • Identify any physical accessibility issues so visitors can plan accordingly (e.g. ADA compliance, gender-neutral bathrooms, elevator and ramp access)

    In-person / Virtual

    • Have content translated or a translator available on-site
    • Provide ASL or sign language interpreters
    • Have speakers and tour guides provide preferred gender pronouns on Zoom names or name badges

    Virtual

    Provide closed captioning. See below for a list of captioning resources

    Free/Do It Yourself Captions

    • Free tools are available for captioning prerecorded videos including Amara, DotSub, and Subtitle Horse.
    • YouTube Caption Editor: YouTube can automatically generate captions to videos using speech recognition technology. While not fully accurate, these captions can be easily corrected in YouTube using their caption editor. Check out the YouTube Help Center Translate Videos & Captions.

    Paid Captioning Services

    • Service providers include 3PlayMedia, Automatic Sync Technologies, and cielo24. Additional vendors are listed under “Additional Resources.” Contact vendors directly for pricing.
    • The Described and Captioned Media Program has a comprehensive list of Captioning Service Vendors. To see the full list, go to dcmp.org/learn/10

    Zoom Captioning

    • Live captioning is supported in Zoom meetings and webinars. Captions can be typed directly into Zoom or added with a third party software/service integration. Visit the Zoom Help Center for Getting Started with Closed Captioning for more.
    • Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is available for cloud recorded Zoom meetings and webinars. Zoom ASR is not a replacement for captioning and requires editing for accuracy, but ASR can help save a significant amount of time. For more information, see Using Audio Transcription for Cloud Recordings

    TIPS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES

    • Make it Digestible
      Less is more when it comes to screen time. If you will be hosting a virtual tour or experience, consider making your content digestible. Based on audience feedback, 15-minutes or less is ideal for on-site tours and 45-minutes or less are preferred for virtual programs.
    • Highlight Visuals
      If recording a tour, zoom-in on ornamentation and small details, provide wide shots of the space for context, and include moments of pause for the audience to enjoy the view. If presenting a program, consider including photos, drawings, and archival material.
    • Boost Your Tools
      Interested in recording a tour but don’t have access to video specialists or professional equipment? We welcome professionally recorded tours by video specialists as well as low-cost productions made with little or no prior-recording experience.

    RESOURCES

    These samples from our favorite 2020 Open House New York Weekend programs provide examples on different approaches to producing a tour recording.