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.
AHA New Bedford


New Bedford Historical Society hosts tours of the Nathan & Polly Johnson House (21 Seventh Street) and kids art activities, 5:30-7pm. The Johnson House was Frederick Douglass' first home as a free man.

Happening at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street:
- Exhibition of two books that belonged to Frederick Douglass while he lived in New Bedford. One, a book he brought with him during his escape, the other, a book he purchased soon after arriving in New Bedford. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so see how #FrederickDouglassLivedHere. 5-8pm
- "Anna Lived Here Too": Ruth and Abby reminisce about their neighbor, Anna Douglass, the children, and her famous husband. The diverse neighborhood was the backdrop for interesting stories of life during the time the Douglass family lived in New Bedford. Performances and discussion on the half hour from 5:00 - 7:30pm, last performance at 7:30.
- Explore "New Bedford's Civil War" on a ranger-led walking tour that focuses on different facets of the city during the 1860's, including the recruiting station of the Mass 54th Regiment. Find connections to Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad. Starts at 6pm from the Visitor Center.

Take a Seaport ArtWalk with Jess Bergoli (curator) and Margo Saulnier (creative strategist for New Bedford). Step off from Cork (90 Front Street) at 6pm. This year's theme of temporary murals and sculpture installed along the waterfront – Freedom and Equality – was inspired by the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass's birth and his history in New Bedford. As his first free home after escaping slavery to becoming a prominent antislavery activist, learn about the artists' work reflecting the vision he and many New Bedford abolitionists held sacred: social justice, human rights, liberation, emancipation, and sanctuary.

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass at the Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street). Check out the activity table with coloring pages and more, along with Frederick Douglass bookmarks and a free copy of his first autobiography "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave". Also Alison Wells's recent series "Unusual Growth Patterns" is back home at the gallery for viewing. Original paintings, Giclee prints and note cards available. .

#frederickdouglasslivedhere coloring activity at NBAM/Artworks! (684 Pleasant Street). 5-7pm


Last show of 2018! Centre Street Sessions, presented by Whaling City Sound. This month in the the Faces of Bass Series: Bill Miele, electric bass, Jim Robitaille, guitar, Chris Poudrier, drums. Outdoors in the Fiber Optic Center parking lot (23 Centre Street) with sets at 5:30 & 7:15pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank (23 Elm Street).

Live Music On Front Street!
The Monteirobots bring the funk to the Cork dining room (90 Front Street) starting at 8pm. Then head next door to Rose Alley Ale House for tunes with Rebecca Correia.

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Pop-Up in the lobby of the DeMello International Center (128 Union Street), 7pm. The NBSO String Quartet presents a concert featuring works by African-American composers, including William Grant Still's “Danzas de Panama," Duke Ellington’s “Suite for String Quartet,” and the music of Scott Joplin.


2 New Show at Gallery X (169 William Street), 5-8pm:
- The “I Love New Bedford” Invitational
- The Story Thus Far: Works by Scott Caroa
Scott Carola is a lifelong resident of New Bedford. 
Over the past several years he has re-ignited his passion for artwork and honed his skills as a pencil artist, working in graphite, colored pencil and pastel. He is a former corrections officer of the old Ash St. Jail, and current Detective Lieutenant of the New Bedford Police Department. 
He continues to put hundreds of hours into his pencil set at night and draws from his experiences in law enforcement for inspiration. Scott cut his teeth in artist alleys at comic book conventions in Boston, Providence, New York, New Jersey and Ft. Lauderdale. His work has appeared on trading cards, in galleries and even in our own whaling museum. Scott is also a trained forensic artist, utilizing his skills to assist with investigations for his own department, and those throughout the region.
“The Story Thus Far” is a show about just that; a retrospective of the last 5 years with original works he refuses to part with and prints of fan favorites that earned him the following he has today.

UMD College of Visual and Performing Arts Star Store Gallery (715 Purchase Street) presents the Glimpse Exhibition. Introducing incoming Master of Fine Arts and Post-Baccalaureate graduate students. Opening and Welcome Reception, 6-8pm

Opening for Ten Years After: works by Adrian Tio Diaz and Down The Road Beer Co. Tasting at NBAM/Artworks! (684 Pleasant Street). 6-8pm

Artist Reception for The Afterlife: works by Dana DeBarros. 5:30-7:30pm in the Ashley Room of City Hall (133 William Street).

New art at Groundwork! (1213 Purchase Street) featuring sculptural lighting and mixed media printmaking by Marcus Cusick and Andrew Laverty. 

Swing by the South End! Judith Klein Art Gallery (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) hosts a reception and artist talk for a new exhibition featuring Heather Stivison and Patricia White. 5-8pm


Check out the Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street)
- The Women's Fund hosts an Open House and Ribbon Cutting at their new space, 5 - 7pm on Floor 2.
- Commune-N-Tea with Bilo Herbs and Ace on Earth, 6-9pm. Click For More Info
- New Bedford Farmers Market After Hours: Enjoy a mini version of their Mobile Farm Stands, selling local produce and a demo/tasting by La Rhonda's Catering. 6-8pm
- Opening Reception for Where Edges Meet?: Solo Exhibition by Kate Hale, 5-8pm
The edge of a sheet of paper, the corner of a room, the boundaries of identity where a former sense of self falls away. Edges are transition zones. Essential physical, biological and psychological activity takes place along edges. The exhibition, Where edges meet?,explores how emotions can extend beyond the realm of the internal and can manifest themselves in our physical world. Drawing provides the backbone for Kate Holcomb Hale’s mixed-media works. Each piece captures an instant when one's subjectivity shifts due to loss, trauma or any significant life event. The titles "Is the fluid draining?", "I won’t. Yes, you are." and "Dogs don’t lay eggs" reference psychological fractures that compile throughout a lifetime shaping one’s identity. Kate’s work subverts traditional boundaries of drawing and painting merging paper, paint, charcoal and vinyl with architecture. Her smaller works consist of remnants torn away from her larger drawings. Nothing is wasted.  All the pieces are considered as she attempts to create a tangible form for an intangible, fluctuating interior space.

The Cummings Building Artist Studios (96 William Street, floor 2) hosts an "Introduction to Macrame" with Chelsea Leblanc of Knot & Vine Design, 5-8pm.

The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center (684 Purchase Street) presents Tiny Dances: 10 choreographers, 1 tiny stage. 2 street performances at 5:30 & 7pm.

Enter New Deadford!
Do you have questions about the upcoming NEW DEADFORD graphic novel? Stop by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park MakerSpace (33 William Street) to ask the artist / creator Fitzcarmel LaMarre yourself about the storylines and the process of production. Interested in being a zombie? They'll be set up to do a quick photoshoot so that YOU can walk among the Dead through the pages. Pose as a zombie and get a FREE I (heart) New DEADford t-shirt!

New Bedford Preservation Society presents a Historic County Street walking tour. Step off from the Wamsutta Club (427 County Street) at 6pm.

Fall Clean-Ups: Do More to Be Spring-Ready, a talk with Peter Quinlan, at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street), 5:30pm. Late Autumn and early winter is a an opportune time to prepare your yard and gardens for Spring. Peter will speak about mulching, perennial care, weed control, fertilizing, and lawn care. Peter Quinlan is a former plant wholesaler and now an independent horticulturist, specializing in residential properties.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill) hosts:
- EforAll SouthCoast Summer Accelerator Celebration and Showcase, 6pm.
- Local History Guild Lecture, 6-7pm, Topic TBD
- After Ryder: Nick Whitman Lecture, 6-7pm in the Braitmayer Gallery

Batman craft, story hour, and meet & greet with Little People’s College at the New Bedford Free Public Library (613 Pleasant Street), 5-7pm.

Stop by the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Wheeler Bay Learning Center (114 Front Street) to learn about some of the animals that call Buzzards Bay home. Plus make-and-take hermit crab craft! 5-8pm

#shopDNB! Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street) offers a pre-Halloween selection of mystery and thriller books at $5 each.

Open House at the newly opened New Bedford Harbor Hotel (222 Union Street).
More info to come.

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) presents Faering: The Norse wooden vessel for fishing, trading, and exploring. Join Fred Sterner as he discusses this 1,000 year old design and exhibits his newly built faering. 6-7pm on their outdoor stage.

Stop by the Mass Escape (13 North 6th Street) Open House and enjoy:
- a brief explainer about escape rooms
- an intro into each of the rooms
- treats from Wild Honey Cafe

Groundwork! (1213 Purchase Street) hosts a Fall Film Series!
The series kicks off with the award-winning 2004 documentary Farmingville, a provocative, complex, and emotionally charged look into the ongoing nationwide controversy surrounding a suburban community, its ever-expanding population of illegal immigrants, and the shockingly hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers.
The screening will begin with a short clip from Mexican artist Adriana Kong along with info about a collaborative video workshop (with Kong) that is part of the "Vecinos" exhibition, coming to New Bedford in October.
About Farmingville: "It may well be the most important film to debut at the Sundance Film Festival...It is an absolutely terrific documentary on a complex, difficult subject. ...and allows us to get to know all sides of this dispute." — Lou Dobbs, Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN
About Vecinos: A temporary art gallery + interactive platform occurring October 4-7, in an interstitial space in New Bedford, MA. It's purpose is to host intercambio (exchange) between Mexico and the U.S. through various public events + workshops , to create a dialogue around the meaning of 'vecinos' (neighbors) while sculpting + archiving intimate perceptual portraits of living story and human experience.
More info: www.miiapii.com/vecinos

Guest Venue! Department of Mental Health (888 Purchase Street-Rear Entrance) hosts a Family Fun Night and Social & Emotional Wellness Resource Event, 5:30–7:30pm. Includes:
- Face painting, crafts and games
- Kids Yoga and Zumba classes
- The FHR County Street Band
- Goodie bags and resource tables

Guest Venue! Stop by the brand-new Cosmic Garden Solstice Gallery (246 Union Street) from 6-8pm. Enjoy A.R.T (Awesome Random Things) and S.E.A (Social Engagement Art). View paintings in the front gallery or sit in the back room and do adult coloring books or make your own zen garden to take home. The price for either activity is however much your creation is worth to you! In the spirit of Frederick Douglas and in keeping with their mission, all are welcome and included.


February 8, 2018 Please Be Seated
March 8, 2018 I Am New Bedford: Herstory, History, Ourstory
April 12, 2018 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 10, 2018 We Art NB
June 14, 2018 Launch
July 12, 2018 Kids Rule
August 9, 2018 Jammin’ In The Streets
September 13, 2018 #FrederickDouglassLivedHere
October 11, 2018 Scapes: Tables & Tours
November 8, 2018 Made in NB
December 13, 2018 City Sidewalks

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.