I am OHNY is an annual campaign that celebrates OHNY’s community of supporters. Saundra Thomas is Vice President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV, a longtime media sponsor of OHNY Weekend. She first heard about Open House New York in its early years, when OHNY founder Scott Lauer reached out to WABC-TV for promotional support for OHNY Weekend, and has been involved ever since!
Dedicated to community service, Saundra was a candidate for New York City Council in 2013 and is an active board member of a number of nonprofit organizations in the city. This November, she also joined OHNY’s governing board. We’re excited to welcome her aboard!
What do you love most about New York City?
The diversity of the people, food and culture, the freedom it gives you to find your place, and that it is surrounded by water!
What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
This year, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Coffey Street residence. The best thing about it was the friendliness of architect and owner Thomas Warnke; the pride he took in showing us his home; the attention to detail he clearly took in designing it; and most of all, how much the space made us feel as if we wanted to live in it!
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
I would love to be backstage from start to finish for a big concert. I’ve been fortunate to see lots of concerts at various performing arts spaces, but as a non-musician, I’d love to go backstage at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center, not only to experience the physical space, but also to experience the energy of those places before a big show. I’d love to be in the wings at Alvin Ailey in City Center. After the show, I’d love to see how everything is broken down and brought back to its “bare” form. I’m fascinated by how these spaces seem “come to life!”
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It creates access to places and spaces that make New York great and connects people in the process.
From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.