Jay Williams, former Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio will be a keynote speaker

Yes, it’s that time of year again, it is Open/Closed time. Just in its second installment, Open/Closed has already cemented itself as one of the premier events in the St. Louis region. Spearheaded by Alex Ihnen, Open/Closed is the collective effort of dozens of St. Louis residents. Architects, designers, planners, advocates, entrepreneurs, activists and officials collaborate to explore how vacancy and flight affect neighborhoods and shape local democracy.

Now, we know you’ve always wanted to know but never dared to ask: What exactly is Open/Closed?

The Sanctuary

Open/Closed is an opportunity for community residents, leaders, artists and activists to strengthen their understanding of St. Louis’ vacant property issue and to develop new ways of seeing, changing and knowing their home. The organizers of Open/Closed see vacant property as a way to discuss the conflicts, collaborations and struggles that make a city.


Sounds a little abstract? No need to worry. Check out the action-packed (and free!) program starting tonight and more importantly, be sure to attend one or more events.


Wednesday – April 18 (RSVP on Facebook)
Location: Grand Hall at The Grandel Theatre  (link)
Event: Shuttered Film Fest – Spanish Lake screening/discussion – Watch Trailer on Sidebar
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Thursday – April 19 (RSVP on Facebook)
Location: 2900 Sidney Street (link)
Event: The Handbuilt City presents an Open/Closed evening – Assembly Required: How St. Louis was Made, an open house event
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Friday – April 20 (RSVP on Facebook)
Location: Soldiers’ Memorial (link)
Event: Shuttered Film Fest – DETROPIA screening and discussion - Watch Trailer on Sidebar
Time: 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:00 p.m. discussion, 7:30 p.m. film

Saturday – April 21 (RSVP on Facebook)
Location: The Sanctuary – 4449 Red Bud Avenue (link)
Event: panel discussions/presentations/keynote address by Jay Williams
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Event: Dedication of OpenWorks art project
5:30 p.m.

Monday – April 23 (RSVP on Facebook)
Location: The Luminary  (link)
Event: Shuttered Film Fest – Battle for Brooklyn screening and discussion
Time: 7:30 p.m.

I will certainly be attending several events at Open/Closed. See you there! – Frank DeGraaf