More than four decades ago, it was shown that RNA stably associates with chromatin. These studies indicated that chromatin-associated RNAs (caRNA) might be involved in the organization of chromatin structure. However, it is only recently that pools of chromatin-associated RNAs were characterized and functional studies were initiated. In Drosophila cells, an RNP complex consisting of snoRNAs and Decondensation factor 31 (Df31) is stably tethered to chromatin, mediated by the RNA- and histone-binding activities of Df31. Biochemical and functional characterizations suggest a structural role of this complex in chromatin organization. The binding of the Df31-snoRNA complex to chromatin results in the opening and the maintenance of accessible higher order structures of chromatin. We suggest that different classes of chromatin-associated RNPs are required for the targeted opening of higher order structures of chromatin, enabling the activation of DNA-dependent processes such as transcription.