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


Creative Community Slide Slam
Throughout our nearly 250-year history, New Bedford has maintained a vibrant creative and cultural community. The slide slam highlights the past year of arts and culture in the city, featuring the stories, photos and videos of grant recipients of New Bedford Cultural Council, New Bedford's Wicked Cool Places, and the Creative Commonwealth Project of Community Foundation of Southesatern MA. 7:30pm in the New Bedford Whaling Museum Theater (18 Johnny Cake Hill).

Tiny Dances at the Z (684 Purchase Street).
Ten choreographers, one tiny stage!
Two performances outside the Zeiterion at 5:30 and 7pm.

Happening at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street):
- 3rd EyE Unlimited presents the Hip Hop in the Garden Art and Music Series. Featuring live music and dance performances plus creative chaos with Doodles Creative Sessions. 5-6:30pm in the Visitor Center Garden.
- Art Talk with artist-in-residence, Iva Brito at 5pm.
- Folk Art of the 1850s: Ruth and Abby (the 1850s Ladies) demonstrate and discuss creativity of the diverse city of New Bedford, 5-7pm.
- Share Cape Verdean stories with Iva and Ranger Rufai as they prepare a walking tour on CV Heritage, 6pm.
- Hetty Green comes Home: A pictorial review of Hetty’s Hometown, 7-8pm.

Good stuff going on at Groundwork (1213 Purchase Street):
- New exhibit in the Groundwork Gallery
Paintings Projections Prototypes Puzzles and Possibly Pie by Sarah Jane Lapp
- Music by Skyjelly, 5-7pm
- Open Co-Working, 1-5pm

Get Creative

Little People’s College hosts a Maker Space for children to gather and create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. Look for set-up in the fountain area of Custom House Park, 5-7pm.

Workers' Art Center (560 Pleasant Street at the Greater SE Labor Council Office) presents Be Mindful of Those Who Labor. An opportunity to put mindfulness in action by painting a rock to honor someone whose labor has made a difference in your life. WAC will provide rocks and quick drying paint pens.

Drop-in craft in the New Bedford Free Public Library Children's Room (613 Pleasant Street) from 5-7pm.

Stop by the Buzzards Bay Coalition's Wheeler Learning Center (114 Front Street) for arts and crafts that highlight the natural beauty of Buzzads Bay, 5-7pm.

AHA! Awesomeness

1980s Pub Pedal brought to you by New Bedford Starchasers.
A bicycle pub crawl through downtown New Bedford starting at 8pm from Buttonwood Park and moving to the Waterfront. Stops at Pour Farm, No Problemo, Rose Alley, Cultivator Shoals, and Moby Dick Brewing Company.
Sidewalk chalk and dance party for the under 21 crowd.

To Have and to Hold Exhibition Tour
5:30pm at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street).
Take a tour of the RJD's latest exhibit with Blair Walker, Curator and Manager of Collections, featuring wedding costume and memories tracing back to various families that lived in and were associated with the mansion.

Celebrate 45 Years of Preservation and take a Neighborhoods of the Textile Era Walking Tour with the New Bedford Preservation Society. Head to the Wamsutta Club (427 County Street) at 5:30pm for a brief presentation and to meet the NBPS Board of Directors. Walking Tour to follow. New Bedford was an important center for textile production in the world at the industry’s peak in the early 1900s. This tour will highlight some of the neighborhoods and explore the legacy of this long and eventful period in the history of New Bedford.

Guest Venue! The Department of Mental Health hosts their Annual Family Fun Night in support of social and emotional wellness. Mental health and addiction resource tables as well as music and activities for kids and adults. 5:30–7:30pm in the back parking lot of the Times Square Building (888 Purchase Street).

Under the Silver Current in Custom House Square:
- Look for DATMA volunteers handing out silver pinwheels while supplies last.
- Elevate Southcoast hosts mini mindfulness sessions from 5-7pm. Stop by for 10-minute mindfulness moments to connect with yourself, the space and the present moment. The first session will begin at 5:15pm, and run every half-hour through 7pm. Everyone is welcome to learn, practice or simply observe. If Mother Nature chooses to make the evening interesting, the mini mindfulness sessions will take place at the CoCreative Center (137 Union Street). Participants will receive a 10% coupon for Elevate Southcoast’s summit taking place on Wednesday, November 6th at the Kilburn Mills. More information available at www.elevatesouthcoast.com.

Take a tour of the Nathan and Polly Johnson House (21 Seventh Street), hosted by the New Bedford Historical Society, 6-7pm. It was here, in September 1838, that Frederick (Augustus Washington Bailey) Douglass found freedom, a new name, and with his wife Anna, his first home in freedom.

Shop books and art at Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street) featuring a new selection of New York Times best sellers and an exhibit (and sale) of paintings by Joseph Edwards Alexander.

Live Music In DNB

Final show of the season! Centre Street Sessions pop-up jazz concert presented by Whaling City Sound. Featuring Greg Piccolo, sax and vocals (ex Roomful of Blues) with Shinichi Otsu, organ and Steve Langone, 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).

The First Unitarian Church NB (Union and County Street) hosts their monthly open mic event. Doors open and signup starts at 6:30pm. All ages. Bands welcome.

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet plays in the Paul Cuffe Park of the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill), 6-7pm. Part of the Music in the City concert series funded by the Commonwealth Creative Initiative of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Mass.

We Art NB

Exhibit Opening for F/V Innovation, a new exhibit that explores the evolution of vessels and gear and pays tribute to some of the individuals whose innovations propelled the industry into the modern era. 5-8pm at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street).

2 New Shows at Gallery X (169 William Street):
- The Symmetry of Art and Music
- The Art of Barbara Leger

TL6 the Gallery (100 William Street) hosts an opening reception for works by fine artist Chip Davenport. Stop by to get drawn in to his amazingly realistic paintings of nature. Light refreshments provided.

There will be Boundless Creativity at The Drawing Room (36 North Water Street) featuring artists Lisamarie Pearson, Bobby Baker and Michael Pietragalla, 5-9pm: 
- Sensory Toys with Lisamarie Pearson
Octopals are the charming creations of Lisamarie Pearson from Scatterbrain Handmade. The eight-legged, stuffed toys have quirky personalities and are made from new and recycled materials. Plus, Lisamarie uses fabric texture, weight, and color for a comforting sensory experience. Artist Talk and sewing demonstration, showing Pearson's approach to toy making, and sharing how octopals come to life, 6pm
- The Photography of Bobby Baker: The New Bedford Collection
Bobby Baker is one of New England’s best coastal photographers. He recently turned his camera lens to focus on New Bedford, capturing a series of black and white images for his New Bedford Collection. See iconic buildings, streets, and sculptures from Bobby’s unique perspective. Artist Talk about photographing New Bedford, plus the challenges and surprises that come with being a professional photographer, 6pm  
- Treasured Furniture by Michael Pietragalla
In the talented hands of Michael Pietragalla of Floating Stone Woodworks, new and repurposed wood turns into stunning furniture and treasure boxes. From utensils to trestle tables, the beauty of Michael’s craftsmanship is best experienced in person. This AHA! Night, see pieces of Michael’s work and meet him at The Drawing Room to discuss his methods, influences, and custom projects..

New and Continuing Shows at New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks (608 Pleasant Street):
- Opening Reception for Some Things We Can Do Together: Works by Megan & Murray McMillan, 6–8pm.
Their newest video is just one of eleven videos, two larger than life Lillies, and enchanting explorations of interpersonal relationships. The work is complicated, funny at times, magical, assertive, and most of all, it is kind.
- Opening reception for Superflat NB presents the Vise1 Project, 6–8pm.
Superflat NB & the New Bedford Housing Authority invited Cedric “Vise1” Douglas, an internationally recognized street artist from Boston, to conduct a series of workshops with the families and youth of Ben Rose Gardens. Together, they explored themes important to the community using the history and techniques of street art. The result? A number of inspired art-making projects and a two-story-high mural that furthers the mission of Superflat NB: to flatten barriers to the arts by directly engaging New Bedford’s youth, artists, and its residents
while beautifying New Bedford. Funded in part by the Creative Commonwealth initiative at the Community Foundation of SEMA. 
- Space Shift: Works by Vanessa Irzyk
Originally from New Bedford, MA, painter Vanessa Irzyk constructs geometric shapes that shift in space. Vanessa Irzyk produces dynamic picture planes with an uncanny ability to transport viewers to a hypnotic, unusual, and pleasurable space.
- SEA SIC: video works by Johannes DeYoung
Johannes DeYoung is an artist whose work in experimental animation and time-based media explores themes of animism and human psychology. His practice frequently engages forms that blend computer animation with experimental processes in painting and drawing.

Behind Poetic Kinetics at Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street).
A behind-the-scenes look at an artists process and experience artwork seen around the world created by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics (the team behind Siver Current, currently floating over Custom House Square).

Art at the UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street):
- The Glimpse Exhibition introduces incoming Master of Fine Arts graduate students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Opening and Welcome Reception for new and returning MFA students and faculty, 5:30-7pm.
- Closing Reception for Elizabeth Keithline: (The Air) As It Moves
Visitors can experience the surprising closing reception where all the artworks will be removed during the event, but their shadows will remain. This is the last day of the exhibition. (The Air) As It Moves was a site-specific installation by Elizabeth Keithline that used hanging wire objects to create a play of light and shadows as it moves in the air. These abstract shapes have a “memory” of suspended skeletal, swaying wire beams and rafters that invite viewers to contemplate the invisible forces at work in our lives. Viewers were invited to move through the gallery and, by doing so, gently activate the installation.

Swing by the South End! Reception for a new exhibit featuring landscape works by Milton Brigthman and Ron Lister. 5-8pm at the Judith Klein Gallery (127 West Rodney French Blvd, Door 31). The artists will be on-hand to talk about their art work.

AHA New Bedford

AHA New Bedford


December 13, 2018 City Sidewalks
MAY 9, 2019 WE ART NB
JUNE 13, 2019 PRIDE

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.