Only So Many Hours in a Weekend

Of all the feedback we’ve received, issues around GO’s hours really bubbled to the top. A common refrain from voters and artists alike was one weekend was not enough; so many people have suggested we split the event up over multiple weekends. Sharon and I are sympathetic to these concerns; each of us created overwhelmingly large itineraries and spent the weekend seeing as many studios as possible throughout the borough, but for as many studios as we managed to visit, we couldn’t see them all. However, of all the changes we may consider with possible future iterations of the project, the idea of splitting up GO over multiple weekends isn’t one of them. 

When planning GO, we discussed the idea of a multi-weekend event at length and, in the end, decided against it. A multi-weekend event would mean breaking Brooklyn into zones because neighborhood boundaries are too fuzzy to be helpful in this scenario; zoning seemed antithetical to the project. If we did split things up, we worried about issues outside of our control creating greater disparity and unfairness. The bad weather we experienced on Saturday or the issues with MTA service are both great examples of this. It’s one thing if you have bad weather and we all experience it together, but it’s a totally different story if the bad weather falls on weekend your neighborhood has open studios when another neighborhood benefits from perfect conditions. Of course, we could run the project over multiple weekends throughout the entire Borough, but we didn’t think it would be realistic to ask artists to be in their studios for more than two days.

Speaking of artists, we heard time and time again that the open studio weekend hours—11am to 7pm for two consecutive days—was just too much. As we look at what worked and what didn’t, we wanted to dive into the check-in data to see if GO’s hours worked for both artists and voters. David Huerta, one of our web developers, pulled together the data so we could take a look.

As it turns out, there’s a massive drop off at 6pm on both days and it’s pretty clear the day could have ended a bit earlier than we had scheduled it. We also wonder if noon might have made a better start time, but there’s a pretty clear jump start to the day and for families with children, starting early can be key in their participation.

Above it all, one of our aims was the hope we could bring Brooklyn together through the project and we believe having the event occur on one weekend across the entire 73 square miles of the borough—1700 artists opening doors at the same time—was something special and powerful. In hindsight, we might have changed the hours of the open studio weekend, but we wouldn’t have changed the weekend for the world.