Open Studios Tours in Other Cities:
As we organize for the fall, it seemed like a good idea to see how other cities handle their Open Studios tours. I mentioned in an earlier posting that both Portland, OR, and Santa Fe, NM have tours on more than just one weekend. So I did some research on several cities, and here are the results I found for 2014 or upcoming 2015 tours. Thanks go out to Jerry Peek for alerting me to Santa Cruz, CA.
Let’s start first with the Old Pueblo.
Fall Open Studio Tour in 2014:
one weekend (second weekend in November)
200+ artists (184 studios, several with multiple artists)
Portland, OR http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/
Population: 609, 456
2 weekends, October 10, 11, and 17, 18
Santa Cruz, CA http://www.artscouncilsc.org/open-studios/
Population 62, 864 and metro 262,382
The city of Santa Cruz and the county coordinate on tours.
2 weekends plus an encore:
North County October 3 and 4;
South County October 10 and 11;
Encore October 17th & 18th
Northern Colorado cities of Boulder (pop. 103,116), Nederland (pop. 1,491), and El Dorado Springs (pop. 585) http://www.openstudios.org/
2 weekends: October 3-4 and Oct 10-11
Santa Fe, NM Studio Tour http://santafestudiotour.com/
2 Weekends (last two weekends in June)
68 Artists (44 studios)
Population 885, 400
Austin has divided into two regions, West Austin and East Austin
West Austin Studio Tour http://west.bigmedium.org/
2 weekends: May 19-20 and May 16-17
East Austin Studio Tour https://www.facebook.com/bigmedium
2 weekends: November 14-15, Nov. 21-22
487 artists so far, tour is still being organized at this time
A note about Austin: your editor went to undergrad school at the University of Texas at Austin (bachelor’s in Journalism and history). At that time, East Austin was a rundown and very poor part of town east of Interstate 35. East Austin was inhabited by a few poor Anglos and many poor and not so poor blacks and Mexican-Americans (race was an issue here, too – not just income). Artists moved into East Austin because studio space was cheap. Over time, East Austin became the hip, cool place to go, according to media reports. Looks to me like East Austin needs to add a third weekend if they have 487 artists signed up! I must admit I gasped when I read about what’s happened in East Austin.
And now we have to conclude that the City of Tucson with half a million people (over a million in the metro area) featuring 200+ artists in its tour last fall really needs to extend Open Studio Tours to more than one weekend.
Right now for the first time ever, Tucsonans have two weekends scheduled for studio tours: one for the west and northwest, and a second for mid-town. If downtown and south of downtown join in with a third weekend, we’ll finally be caught up with most of these American cities. We’ll even be getting a tad bit closer to Santa Fe with its two weekend tours for 68 artists. How lovely that must be.
C.J. Shane is the publisher and editor of Sonoran Arts Network. She is an artist and writer. Visit her website at www.cjshane.com to learn more about her.