Important News About Our NYC Home & An Exciting Update About Our Future
Dear Open Center Family,
Change and uncertainty are clearly at the forefront of our minds as we think back over the last few months. It reminds me of an Anthony de Mello line from Awareness: “It’s not that we fear the unknown. You cannot fear something that you do not know. Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known.” Yet often the known isn’t great for everyone. Often the known is comfortable for a select few, but uncomfortable to many.
How does this apply to The Open Center? And where have we been comfortable? For almost 37 years, we’ve been providing a safe space in the heart of New York City for people to do their most important work – the work on themselves. But we’ve been doing that work only in the physical confines of our center. First in Soho, then on 30th and Madison. Nevertheless, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to take our physical center and temporarily move our programs entirely online. It happened so quickly that we are still in awe of the speed of change the pandemic required, as well as the hard work of our team and their efforts.
With the uncertainty around health and safety, along with social behavior, we will continue programming exclusively online for the foreseeable future and continue to expand our global online footprint. As such, we are writing today to let you know that we have decided not to return to our physical space at 22 E 30th St, NYC. While we will be ending the lease on our prior physical home, our eye is firmly focused towards opening an ideal new location at the earliest opportunity to best serve all New Yorkers.
Fortunately, the heartbeat of The Open Center has never been defined by walls, borders or a moment in time. On the contrary, we create community, healing, relationships and discovery wherever we are, whether in a physical gathering place or a Zoom meeting room. It is the people, path and practices that define us, not a structural home that houses us.
In just the last three months:
- We created New Yorkers for New York, an initiative that is providing free tools and resources to frontline and essential workers experiencing increased stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. This program is now evolving to become a permanent library of free resources that are designed to provide all New Yorkers with the support they need and is further open to anyone and everyone around the world.
- With our online classes, our overall audience has already expanded to more than 25% of people joining us from outside the New York Metro area. People are taking programs from all across the US, in addition to Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Romania, Singapore and Japan to name a few.
- To meet our expanding audience, we’re also launching a completely new website with major upgrades to functionality and navigation, along with significant refreshing of all design.
- Our increasing online focus has also led us to start a new weekly Facebook LIVE series called Open Center LIVE.
This is not the first time we’ve moved during our almost four-decade tenure, nor is it likely to be the last. By investing our resources into developing our online and digital presence, we begin a new page in our story. One that I am excited and confident to co-create with our team and our community together. Now is the time for us to stride forward with fortitude as we take steps to strengthen and amplify our mission and impact.
Your support through this evolutionary journey is also important. With deep appreciation always for our dedicated supporters, if you feel moved to contribute toward a bold and forward-facing Open Center, please visit online at OpenCenter.org/donate.
Thank you for participating in this vital evolution with us! We will continue to grow online and welcome new people to our family, and we will embrace you with open arms into our new home very soon.
Stay well, stay safe.
Chief Executive Officer
The Open Center | EST. 1984 | NYC