Suggestions for a Successful Sacred Sites Open House July 23rd-24th - “Open Doors”
Before the Event
Announce the congregation’s participation in the Open House. Encourage congregation members to attend, volunteer and spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues.
Publicize the Open House on your congregation’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, newsletter, etc. Announce Open House on congregation’s bulletin board and during services in weeks before July 23rd and 24th.
Like the New York Landmarks Conservancy on Facebook, and repost our Open House posts on your newsfeed.
Send press releases/letters to the editor of local and denominational print, radio, TV stations, and internet media outlets. Here’s a sample Word document (to download) from one of our participating sites.
Send flyers/calendar postings to local organizations – libraries, civic groups (i.e. Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary Club), senior centers, local historic societies, colleges, etc.
Invite local elected officials (Mayor, State Assembly and Senate members, community board, city council, etc.) to visit during Open House. Invite the clients of organizations that share/rent space with the congregation (daycare, senior center, etc.) to participate.
Host a “get ready” orientation evening for volunteers. Provide them with the information they will need to conduct tours and/or greet visitors.
Coordinate activities with other Open House sites in your community for maximum impact so, if possible, guests can visit nearby sites on the same day. A list of participating sites will be available on the Conservancy’s website.
Day of the Event
Have signage (posters, balloons, signs, etc.) to indicate that you are participating in the Open House weekend and signage to highlight your special programming. Use our free downloadable flyer available here.
Have volunteers on hand to greet visitors; encourage participants to post pictures on your website, Facebook page, Instagram, etc. Anyone can participate in our photo contest.
Provide tours of the sanctuary, stained glass windows, or other special features of the building including comments on the founding, significance, historical, and current cultural makeup of the congregation.
Poster blowup displays/exhibit of “before” and “after” pictures of the building’s restoration.
Performance by choir or youth group, food tastings/pot luck or other activities reflecting the diversity of the congregation
Visit other Open Houses in your community. A list of participating congregations will be available on the Conservancy’s website.
After the event
Post pictures of your Open House experience on your website, Facebook page, etc. and share them with the Conservancy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your religious institution is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, or is located within a National or State Register Historic District, you can download a copy of the nomination form using the Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) here.
If your building is designated as a local, New York City landmark, either individually or as part of a district, you can locate a copy of the designation report here.
Contact Amy Woodin, at email@example.com or 212-995-5260.