Open House Chicago: volunteers needed

Open House Chicago is a great annual event. On the weekend of October 13 – 14, 250 locations across Chicago open their doors to the public to give them a glimpse, for free, of what goes on inside.

PS:1 is one of those 250 locations. This is our second year of participation, and it is not only an honor to be included, it is a rare opportunity for us to show ourselves off to a much wider swathe of the public than we normally interact with.

This is more than just a vanity exercise. We are trying to use OHC to drive new memberships. New memberships are critical to our finances and bear heavily on issues like how we will navigate the building sale. It’s an important weekend for us.

So we need your help. I am looking for three types of volunteer:

  1. Tour guides. Open House Chicago tours are not the same thing as our regular Tuesday tours. They need to be shorter and, for lack of a better term, more interesting. That is, OHC visitors don’t care about the authorization process or Tidy Space policy. Tours should be quick and more focused on the big picture of PS:1. What is a makerspace? What is the maker movement? What do people do here? Etc.
  2. Demo monkeys. Staring at an unused CNC plasma cutter isn’t that exciting. Watching a CNC plasma cutter carve up plate steel is cool. For the OHC weekend, ideally we will have our tools in operation, so that people can witness the act of making firsthand. Lathes, lasers, mills, printers, you name it. If you can operate it, please come help us show it off.
  3. Personal projects. Do you make your own musical instruments? Your own telescopes? Your own costumes? Consider dropping by during OHC to show off some of the great stuff you’ve made at PS1 to the public, even just for a few hours.
  4. Organizers. Beyond the work on the weekend itself, we need to get ready for the event. Even if you’re not available on October 13 – 14, perhaps you’re interested in laying groundwork for the event.

If you think you might be interested, please submit your name here.  Signing up isn’t a commitment — even if you just think you possibly could want to help, get in touch.

By the way, Chicago Architecture Center, the organizer of the event, offers training for tour guides that includes free swag and other fun perks. Training with the OHC isn’t required, but if you want to participate in the OHC training, please register your interest now — we will schedule the training session soon.



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