AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

Spend an evening strolling the streets of Downtown New Bedford and experience what makes our city such a special place to live, work, learn, play and love.


Day of Portugal Celebration!
Flag raising ceremony on the steps of New Bedford City Hall (133 William Street)  starting at 6pm.
Reception following at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill) including Portuguese band and folkloric group on the Plaza.

Join the New Bedford Historical Society for a street reading of "What to the Slave is the 4th of July" on the steps of the New Bedford Public Library. 7 - 8:30pm
“What to the Slave is the 4th of July" is an untitled speech originally given by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852 to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y.

2 live performances, 1 great location!
VOX A Cappella and The Strummingbirds, a strings/percussion/vocals trio, will be performing throughout the evening at Gallery X (169 William Street). Time TBD
Plus new art at the Black & White exhibition.

3 NEW shows at NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street)
- BIERSTADT: Nature & National Identity 
Curator: Janice Hodson, New Bedford Free Public Library
Painter Albert Bierstadt’s rich, monumental landscapes offered a 19th century vision of the stunning national treasures of the American western wilderness – natural resources that were unseen by most.  For so many people, the majestic beauty of the West as pictured on his canvases and those of his contemporaries was a revelation…and inspiration.  Images of these beautiful wild places proved influential in shaping public opinion about these natural wonders, helped inspire popular movements to preserve them for all to enjoy, and culminated in the creation of our national park system.
Click for full list of Bierstadt related events.
- More Than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story, photos by Janet Pritchard.
- The Bierstadts in New Bedford
- Continuing Show
Artist in the World: Photography in the Vault by Dutch artist Andre Smits, curated by Joan Backes.

Stop by the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street) to stroll the gardens
and view the Lost Gardens of New England, a seasonal exhibit on loan from Historic New England.
5 –6:30pm

Pressgang Mutiny will be performing maritime folk music in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park garden (33 William Street). Hailing from the port of Toronto, Ontario, Pressgang Mutiny are Canada’s youngest shantymen and have been roaring out songs of the sea since 2012. Local favorites in their hometown and on the Canadian and American East Coasts, they are keeping alive a vital tradition of work songs that represents the world’s first truly multicultural music.

South Coast Sangh a presents a Yoga and Sound Healing Master Class Retreat. 6-7:30pm at
The Bristol Building (768 Purchase Street).  All Welcome.  Please bring your yoga mat.   

A Bartleby Scrivener poetry event at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street), 6-7:30pm.

New Show at Gallery 65 (65 William Street). Opening Reception for First Glances, Watercolors by Peggy Call-Conley. Plus! 2 Trunk Shows:
- Handmade jewelry by Renee Adams
- Regional preview of whimsical quilt pillows by Marjorie Durko Puryear

Reimagining Parks on Buzzards Bay: an Art Project at Buzzards Bay Coalition (114 Front Street), 5-8pm. New Bedford’s location on Buzzards Bay is a key part of our history, culture, industry, and recreation. Let’s celebrate the special relationship between the people and the water! They especially want to hear from kids as they participate in an art project to share their ideas and vision for what they love about the parks and beaches on the Bay.

Spend some time with 3rd EyE Unlimited - Placemaking fun with Doodles Arts & Crafts, 5-8pm, more info to come. - The 3rd EyE Cypher Never seen a hip hop cypher? Now is your chance. Free flow verses performed by multiple rappers in an ever moving cycle. Plus Open Jam, bring your words, your instrument, your friends and let's make music together. 8-10pm in the 3rd EyE Unlimited Studio (96 William Street, floor 2).


  • New Bedford Jazz Fest Preview
  • the return of Centre Street Sessions
  • Placemaking Now & Then with WHALE: join the Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE as they highlight a historic downtown site from 'then to now'.
  • Family fun with the 1850s Ladies, New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches, the New Bedford Public Library and the Way Cool Sunday School
  • Live music and outdoor dining at Cork Wine and Tapas, Rose Alley Ale House, and Pour Farm Tavern
    More info to come....


February 11, 2016 Fire & Ice
March 10, 2016 All sewn up
April 14, 2016 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 12, 2016 We Art NB
June 9, 2016 placemaking now & then
July 14, 2016 Kids Rule
August 11, 2016 #findyourpark
September 8, 2016 Festa, Fiesta, Fete: Celebrate NB Cultures
October 13, 2016 walkabouts
November 10, 2016 Made in NB: celebrating arts month
December 8, 2016 city sidewalks
December 31, 2016 City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve

All activities are FREE and open to the public.Year-round programming is funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program, The Island Foundation, The City of New Bedford, the AHA! partners, individual supporters and in-kind marketing support from the Standard-Times and WBSM. For more information call 508-996-8253 x205

First time visitors
may want to start AHA! Night at the National Park Visitor Center (33 William Street). Complete program flyers with maps are also available at all AHA! venues starting the Tuesday prior to each event.

Directions: From I-195 E or W. Take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte 18 to 2nd traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue on two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking also available for free after 6 pm. 

Our AHA! Partners have something for everybody on your list. 
- boutique shops 
- museum memberships
- galleries galore
- tickets to a show
- gift cards to eclectic eateries 

Click here for AHA! Partner info.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.