Alot of communities that I know of have a gallery night, for example,
Providence, Rhode Island has 3rd Thursdays, http://www.gallerynight.info/
It is a public/private partnership between city, state & corporate sponsors.
Concord, New Hampshire has ART CONCORD which is a multi-group opening of Concord Art Galleries open on the same night for everyone’s enjoyment, under the sponsorship of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, for information: www.concordnhchamber.com
Boston has 1st Fridays in the gallery district, SoWA (South of Washington St) when all the galleries coordinate their opening receptions from 6-8p. Since most galleries rent from the same landlord, the management company plays a role in coordinating communication, parking and logistics at the event.
Western Ave Studios in Lowell, Massachusetts has FIRST SATURDAYS Open Studios - First Saturday of every month, noon to 5pm - Western Avenue Studios opens its doors to the public. Come browse the latest works by our artists!http://www.westernavenuestudios.com/
And most communities have an annual Open Studios weekend, it seems.
Good luck getting something started in your community!