OHNY Weekend FAQs

Everything you need to know about the
2022 Open House New York Weekend
taking place October 21-23, 2022

Red castle building with two towers flanking a central entrance.

OHNY Weekend provides broad, public access to hundreds of noteworthy places that define our city’s past, present, and future. The 2022 OHNY Weekend will offer a mix of in-person experiences, self-guided explorations, and digital content for three days of education, exploration, and engagement.

Read on for everything you need to know about getting involved—and making the most of your partnership with OHNY and the visitor experience during OHNY Weekend.

And please reach out to ohnywknd@ohny.org with any questions.

Target Dates

  • July 29: Deadline for Registration Form
    Returning and invited Partners submit registration forms with descriptions, photos, dates and times, etc.
  • July 29: Deadline for Open Call submissions
    Submissions due for Open Call forms with information for evaluation by OHNY.
  • August 10: Open Call registration notification
    OHNY will notify all Open Call submitters and invite those selected to register as a Weekend Partner.
  • August 11: OHNY Volunteer Registration opens
    New and returning OHNY Volunteers submit their interest and availability for OHNY Weekend.
  • August 29: Deadline for Open Call Registration Form
    All Open Call submitters submit registration forms with descriptions, photos, dates and times, etc.
  • August 29: All registration details finalized
    Final deadline for all OHNY Weekend details, including descriptions, photos, dates and times, etc.
  • Week of September 26: Press Event and Partner Meet & Greet (in-person)
    Weekend line-up shared with Press; In-person social for Weekend Partners.
  • September 29: OHNY Member Previews (virtual)
    Weekend line-up shared with OHNY Members.
  • October 6: Public Release
    Weekend line-up shared with the general public.
  • October 13: Advance Reservations Open
    Reservation links are shared for in-person sites.
  • October 14: Deadline for virtual content
    All content for videos or other pre-recorded content must be submitted.
  • October 21-23: OHNY Weekend 2022
    Three days of access, exploration, and discovery!

Learn More

Info Sessions
The info sessions are an opportunity to receive general information about partnering for OHNY Weekend, hear about tips and best practices, and ask questions in real-time before the registration deadline on July 28. Sessions are held via Zoom. RSVP below to join.

  • July 14, 12:00 – 1:00pm
  • July 21, 12:00 – 1:00pm
  • August 4, 12:00 – 1:00pm

Orientation Sessions
Orientation Sessions are in-depth trainings for confirmed Weekend Partners once registration forms are submitted. Sessions are held via Zoom. RSVP to join.

  • August 16, 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • August 25, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is OHNY Weekend?
A. Open House New York Weekend is an annual festival that opens hundreds of noteworthy or significant places across the five boroughs for three days of in-person and virtual tours, talks, and special activities. OHNY Weekend is a free celebration of “the power of place,” fostering discovery and delight for all New Yorkers and deepening the public’s understanding of how design can strengthen communities and improve quality of life.

Q. What distinguishes OHNY Weekend?
A. Since its founding in the wake of 9/11, when much of the city was closed off due to increased security, the Weekend has provided access to thousands of places with architectural and cultural significance. It also provides an inside look at the city’s infrastructure and systems, both natural and constructed, to spotlight how nearly 9 million people live, work, and move across the five boroughs and beyond. OHNY’s recently expanded mission incorporates an investigation of racial, ethnic, community, civic, economic, and environmental issues that define quality of place and quality of life in New York. By offering an insider’s look at the forces that shape the city, OHNY Weekend promotes a deeper understanding of how the city functions and whom it serves, and demonstrates the power of place to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.

Q. What is a Weekend partner?
A. Weekend Partners are individuals and organizations that provide broad public access to places, free of charge, during OHNY Weekend. Partners include public, private, cultural, and civic sectors, spanning a variety of industries, disciplines, audiences. What unites them is a love for the city and a commitment to foster connection and experience with a special or noteworthy place. 

Prior OHNY partners have included:

  • People who are architects, artists, community organizers, activists, urban planners, designers, developers, engineers, manufacturers, preservationists, public servants, and passionate New Yorkers.
  • Places like public institutions (city agencies, libraries, schools); cultural institutions (museums, historic houses and societies, galleries, theaters, and performance spaces,); sacred spaces (churches, temples, religious centers); green spaces (parks, greenways, open spaces); work spaces (design studios, factories, laboratories, offices); homes and residential properties; nonprofits and community-based organizations; and retail spaces and storefronts (e.g.marketplaces, recreational facilities).

Q. What does it mean to partner on OHNY Weekend?
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!

There are many ways to participate in the festival, including:

  • Hosting visitors for guided tours, open houses, or preparing downloadable materials for a self-guided tour of an individual site, a block, or an entire neighborhood or borough. The city’s the limit!
  • Offering multimedia experiences at your location including performances, podcasts, films, or exhibitions.
  • Creating an online/virtual program, whether pre-recorded or live, such as a panel discussion, curator’s talk, storytelling, etc.
  • Suggest another format in the interest form – we welcome your ideas!

Q. What are the basic requirements for partnering on OHNY Weekend?
A. We ask each Partner to:

  1. Be authorized to provide access to the public, virtually and/or in-person, during OHNY Weekend (October 21-23, 2022); 
  2. Have a knowledgeable, responsible person (onsite or online) to engage with the public during the event;
  3. Offer your Weekend experience free of charge;
  4. Comply with public health and safety protocols/guidelines;
  5. Collaborate with OHNY on planning and logistics by providing the required information in a timely fashion, attending a Partner Orientation Session, and providing staff or utilizing OHNY Volunteers to greet and interface with the public during OHNY Weekend.
  6. Promote your participation through your marketing and communication channels, (e.g. highlight the Weekend on your website, calendar listings, newsletters, and social media, etc.);
  7. Display OHNY Weekend signage on-site during the event;
  8. Communicate with your building management (where relevant) to inform them of your participation;
  9. Sign an insurance waiver holding OHNY harmless from any incident that may occur onsite during the Weekend.

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, connect with a broad community of Partner organizations, 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 month preceding the 2021 Weekend, OHNY.org received 1.6 million page views!

  • Elevate your work to a citywide audience of civic-minded New Yorkers.
    OHNY provides a broad citywide platform to educate the public about your organization’s work and expand your audiences. As a Partner, you will receive a unique listing on our website directing visitors to your organization, be promoted in our social media and mailing list reaching hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and have the opportunity to host hundreds of visitors.
  • Gain experience with public engagement and programming.
    With 20 years of experience organizing OHNY Weekend festivals across the city, attracting audiences by the thousands every year, OHNY Weekend can bolster your public engagement and programming. Past Partners have used the Weekend as an opportunity to pilot or perfect public activations such as public tours, open houses, performances, and more.
  • Be part of a citywide celebration of New York’s people and places. 
    You will join a network of hundreds of other organizations bringing New Yorkers together to celebrate the power of place. By partnering on OHNY Weekend, you also have the opportunity to expand your professional network and connect with other Partners.
  • Bring economic activity to your organization or community. 
    By opening up hundreds of places across the five boroughs, the Weekend is a proven driver for bringing people to your neighborhood and encouraging local spending.

Q. How is the Weekend promoted, and how are individual experiences publicized?
A. Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers and visitors participate in the Weekend each year. OHNY organizes an extensive press and marketing campaign to promote OHNY Weekend, including media partnerships, social media promotions, and weekly updates to 150,000 subscribers. All experiences, whether virtual or in-person, are featured on a dedicated page of OHNY.org with links to each Partner’s website and are included in Series branding as appropriate. 

Q. What information is required to promote your submission for the 2022 Weekend?
A. All listings in the Weekend line-up feature:

  • Title/name and description of experience;
  • Time and date information;
  • Neighborhood and location (if in-person);
  • Image to represent the experience on the website and promotional materials;
  • Format type (e.g. tour, podcast, performance, talk, etc.);
  • Access type (e.g. Open Access or Advance Reservations);
  • Accessibility notes and other program restrictions (e.g. wheelchair accessible, closed-toe shoes required, restrooms available if in-person; closed captioning, transcript, or interpreter available if virtual);
  • Brief speaker bio(s) if relevant. 

Your dedicated listing will be shared with the public on October 6, and your content will be revealed on Saturday, October 22. It will be free to access through Sunday, October 23. 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. OHNY is committed to the health and safety of our Partners, Volunteers, and Weekend participants. We will require that all Partners follow state and city COVID prevention guidelines that are in place at the time of the Weekend. Partners should inform us of any additional precautions, e.g. proof of vaccination, negative test, or mask requirements, required by the organization or location so that our Volunteers and the public can be made aware of them and plan accordingly.

Q. What should I do if I have to cancel or modify my program?
A. We understand that public health and staffing circumstances change rapidly and 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 most important factor determining the number of visitors is whether there is Open Access to the experience or if Advance Reservations are required. Open Access experiences are open to the general public during days/hours specified by the organizing Partner. We strongly encourage you to offer Open Access to your location to maximize the audience you reach during the Weekend. Some Open Access experiences may receive between 50-100 visitors while others have 1,000+ visitors. We have found that factors like access to public transportation, novelty of the experience, and proximity to other experiences in the Weekend lineup all increase the number of visitors. If you know of organizations or other potential Partners in your community who could be a good fit for OHNY Weekend but have not participated before, please encourage them to submit a proposal to our Open Call and help us build a cluster of experiences nearby! 

Experiences requiring Advance Reservations are those with strictly limited capacity or significant security constraints, where first-come, first-serve entry is not feasible. Advance Reservation experiences typically accommodate 50-100 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. We understand that COVID precautions may mandate smaller groups. OHNY staff will work with Partners to decide on visitor access if you are unsure. Please note that reservations are only available through OHNY’s website and there is a nominal fee ($5 per person) to discourage no shows.

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. 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.

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, wayfinding, and guest counts. They can also distribute printed materials, congregate visitors in advance of a tour in designated areas and help manage lines. OHNY Volunteers cannot, however, replace your staff. Nor can Volunteers serve as security guards.