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

Brought to you by:
First Citizens' Federal Credit Union, whose mission is to positively and meaningfully impact their customers by providing financial products and services that are easy to obtain and convenient to use, while at the same time creating and maintaining a positive presence in communities that they serve.

HallKeen Management,
owner and property manager of various apartment communities throughout the city including Union Street Lofts and the Wamsutta Communities.

City Sidewalks

Look for the South Coast Community Chorus caroling along the William Street corridor with stops near Gallery X, the New Bedford Public Library and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 6-7:15pm.

The South Coast Brass Band will be strolling the city sidewalks between Wing's Court and Custom House Square, 5:30-7pm.

Living Statues in Wings Court! Stop by for pictures with the toy soldier and other Christmas characters.

A holiday performance by the Sippican School Band in Paul Cuffe Park at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 5:30-6:30pm.

Tis The Season

Children of all ages are invited to make Gingerbread Houses (6-7:30pm), and join Austin Burns at the piano for a Christmas carol sing-a-long (7-8pm) at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street).

Rotch Jones Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street) hosts Holiday Tunes with The OSS Uke’sters, 5:30pm. The girls from Our Sisters’ School’s Uke Class and Uke Club return for their second year of strumming and singing.

Holiday Music and Holiday Making in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
(33 William Street) MakerSpace:
- Enjoy a preview of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Family Concert. The Assistant Concertmaster Ethan Wood (violin) will perform a variety of music including a preview of the NBSO's Holiday
Pops Family Concert. 5:30-7:30pm
- Join Our Sisters' School students for a holiday craft, 5-7pm. OSS students will lead fellow crafters in making paper plate wreaths.

Stop by the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) for a Holiday Sing-along with Jeff Angeley of Southcoast Lessons, 6-7pm. Plus hot cocoa, ornament making, and 10% off your purchase in the gift shop.

Holiday Readings with Your Theatre at Cafe Arpeggio (800 Purchase Street), 5:30-6:30pm.

- Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street) will feature holiday gifts for the entire family.
- Open House at Mass Escape (13 North Sixth Street): Stop by to preview the escape rooms and enjoy cookies provided by Wild Honey Cafe. Plus pick up some gift boxes, perfect for unique holiday gift giving.
- Holiday Pop-Up at Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street) including artwork by Kim Gatesman, stained glass by Michelle La Pointe, wood carved birds by Bill White and tasty holiday jams by La Rhonda.
- UMass Dartmouth's Annual Holiday Sale at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store
(715 Purchase Street), 11am-6pm. All proceeds go straight back to the student artist and the ceramics club to fund visiting artists and to attend the annual NCECA conference.

Stop by the Workers Art Center (560 Pleasant Street, next to The Baker) for a visit with Santa, holiday music, hot chocolate and cookies. The Workers Art Center is a collaboration of the Greater SE Massachusetts Labor Council, the Teamsters Local 59 and the UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center.

Calling all Scrooges and Grinches!
Commune-N-Tea Open Mic: The Festivus Edition at Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street), 7-9pm. Bring a piece of poetry or spoken word to share or just sit and enjoy. They will also be collecting cold weather gear for New Bedford Public School's family services. Bring new or gently used hats, gloves, hoodies, coats etc. to benefit New Bedford students.

Holiday crafting at the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street), 5-7pm.

Festive Fun with The Drawing Room (36 North Water Street):
- Silver Bells Holiday Market at Tia Maria's (42 North Water Street). Shop unique and handmade gifts available for purchase from a dozen of artist vendors including handmade scarves, unique stationery, nature-inspired pottery, and more.
- Presentation and demo by featured artist, Janice Kissinger, 6pm. Kissinger's beautifully sculpted dresses and scarves are made by carefully working fine merino wool into hand-dyed and vintage Indian silks.
- Sold Out
Sparkle & Bubbles: A Champagne Method Talk and Tasting
Corey Nuffer from Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery will be your guide during this event. Learn about the Champagne Method, the science behind the delicious taste, and how our local microclimate lends itself to growing wine grapes. 7-9pm, 21+, registration require .

We Art NB

New Partner! Stop by the New Bedford Pottery Works Open Studio, 5:30-8:30pm. Check out their new space, enjoy some refreshments and see a live wheel throwing demo and enter the raffle to win a pair of tickets to a wheel throwing class. Plus the South Coast Brass Band plays live from 7:30-8:30pm.

Opening Reception for "William Bradford: Arctic Sketches" to be held in the third-floor gallery of the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant St), 5-8:30pm. This exhibition features a selection from the library's collection of sketches done by William Bradford during his expeditions to Labrador and the Arctic from 1861-1869. During the Reception the Curator will pull supplemental materials for viewing in the Art Room.

2 New Shows at Gallery X (169 William Street):
– The Gallery Xmas Show in the Main Gallery, featuring 'cash and carry' holiday shopping.
- The Art of Joseph Rego in the Frederick Douglass Memorial Gallery.

Live Art Performance and Installaion at New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street):
- An electric performance by musician and visual artist Rachel Blumberg, 6-8pm. Blumberg is a composer, artist, and filmmaker.
- Every AHA! night through May 2020 artist Stacy Latt Savage will be adding to a sculpture-installation at the Museum. Swing by between 5-8pm to see the work in progress and chat with the artist.

Artist Reception for The Holiday Show: Maker Jake at Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street).
Artist Statement: Jake was born on the outskirts of a widely respected and involved Native American family from Massachusetts. He feels that he is forever occupying the cultural space between his Native Heritage and his traditional American upbringing. His work is primarily a study of visual culture, a representation of himself in that emotionally complicated space. His paintings depict colorful and powerful portraits that are dismantled and pieced together creating artworks that combine cultural pattern work with contemporary design. It’s hard to say whether his process brings him closer to his Native Heritage or merely cements him in this place of emotional and visual limbo.

Swing by the South End! A reception for the 11th Anniversary Exhibit at the Judith Klein Gallery (127 West Rodney French Blvd, Door 31). The show features 12 invited artists: Adrian Tio, Alma Cummings, Anthony Miraglia, Deb Ehrens, Laurie Steger, Lori Bradley, Sheila Oliveira, Valerie Sheehan, Patricia White, Phyllis Dobbyn Adams, Ewa Romaszewicz, Michael Hubert and Judith Klein.

More On AHA! Night

What's up at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (enter on Water Street):
- Doctor Finnegan’s Circus
, a three man comedy circus troupe specializing in classic American circus-sideshow entertainment pops-up at 6pm. Doctor Finnegan’s Circus is an award winning circus troupe specializing in classic sideshow stunts with a comedic twist. Dubbed the “Looney Tunes of Sideshow”, the trio, led by Doctor Finnegan, amazes crowds with their take on the Human Blockhead, Sword Swallowing, Bed of Nails, Glass Eating and much more. Together with Chip Rascal and the ‘Reverend’ Sean Theroux, this bunch of merry mischiefs is fun for the whole family.
Get ready to witness the greatest show you’ve never seen!
- Join New Bedford Whaling Museum Librarian Mark Procknik and Curator Michael Dyer for the Local History Guild Lecture series, 6-7pm. Procknik and Dyer will display a “show and tell” of maritime documents from the museum’s permanent collection. Hundreds of different types of documents from authorized Consular Certificates to receipts scribbled on scraps of paper make up the primary materials of maritime history. The LHGL features conversations among area experts, aficionados, librarians, archivists, curators, historic preservation specialists, historians, and collectors.

Live music with the Stefan Bauer Jazz Ensemble featuring royal hartigan at the First Unitarian Church NB (corner of Union and County Street), 6-8pm.

The CVPA Music ensemble (3 violins and piano) plays live at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store
(715 Purchase Street), 6-7pm.

AHA New Bedford

AHA New Bedford


2020 AHA! Nights  
November 14, 2019 Made In NB 
December 12, 2019 City Sidewalks
February 13, 2020 History, Herstory, Our Stories
March 12, 2020 All Sewn Up
April 9, 2020 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 14, 2020 We Art NB
June 11, 2020 Pride
July 9, 2020 Kids Rule
August 13, 2020 Lighting The Way
September 10, 2020 Creative Cultures
October 8, 2020 Art In Tune
November 12, 2020 Made In NB
December 10, 2020 Starry Night

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.