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


Stop by the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) for traditional Guatemalan music and dance with Selena Quiroa & Group Folklorico Sonando por Manana (Song for the Morning), a group of local Guatemalan youth. 5:30-6:30pm

Polish Women’s Business and Professional Club hosts an exhibition on Polish Culture including demonstrations and food tastings. 6-8pm in the Pilgrim UCC Home (634 Purchase Street).

The Culture of Dance! The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center presents Ten Tiny Dances. 10 mini-performances by groundbreaking New England choreographers – all on a 4’x4’ stage! Two performances (5:30 & 7pm) on Purchase Street in front of the Z.

The New Bedford Historical Society hosts a Nathan & Polly Johnson Open House (21 Seventh Street), 6-8pm. Nathan and Polly Johnson, prominent African American abolitionists in New Bedford, sheltered escaped slaves in this Underground Railroad ‘station.’ 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.

The Seamen’s Bethel (15 Johnny Cake Hill) hosts Candida Rose with her presentation KabuMerikanus, The Sum of US: Exploring the Cabo Verde – United States Musical Connection and Legacy
A concert/lecture accompanied by an expanded program booklet based on a thesis paper explores the transnational musical connections between the Republic of Cabo Verde and the United States from the onset of migration to the United States in the mid to late 1800’s. The goal is to illuminate the processes that allowed Cape Verdean immigrants to continue their cultural/musical practices in their new home and consider some of the contributions of Cape Verdeans and Cape Verdean-Americans to the United States musical landscape.

Iva Brito (poet, artist, activist) book reading and signing:
- Reading, 6-7pm at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitor Center (33 William Street)
- Signing, 7-9pm in the Taber Room (2nd floor) at Cork Wine and Tapas (90 Front Street)

County Street walking tour with Bruce Barnes of the New Bedford Preservation Society. Step off from the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street). More info to come.


Stop by the Buzzards Bay Coalition (114 Front Street) to meet a bay scallop, harbor seal, and leatherback sea turtle. Explore the models and learn all about their anatomy, where they live, and what they eat. 5-8pm

Enjoy an aerial performance by Overhead Arts in Wing's Court, 7pm. Brought to you by the New Bedford Local Cultural Council.

Shop Downtown New Bedford!
- Celebrate the launch of the NBAM/Artworks! Museum Store (608 Pleasant Street), 6-8pm. Shop the trunk show featuring scarves and pillows by Marge Puryear, tunics and blouses by Susan Cheever, as well as glass works by Michelle Lapointe.
- Stop by Subtextbookshop (209 Union Street) for books on nature and wildlife.
- Happy Birthday to Soap La-Tea-Da (187 Union Street) as they celebrate a milestone, ONE YEAR IN BUSINESS! Raffles, BOGO 1/2 Off Sales, Prizes and Giveaways all evening long. Open until 8pm.
- New AHA! Partner! Intarawut Gallery (65 William Street) features southeast Asian textiles and decorative art. Product includes Thai silk textiles, handloom cotton, tribal handbags, handmade silver jewelry, incense and candle gift sets, decorative arts and antiques.

TL6 The Gallery (100 William Street) presents Haircut: a performance art piece. This free event created by local artist Zara Lemieux will offer an evening of inspiration and insight into humans’ interpersonal relationships and interactions. All are encouraged to participate in the evening’s project and to take pictures and converse with the artist. 6-9pm

Common Lint, a participatory project responding to Lauren Ceike's artwork from the exhibition Inner Space & Outer Limits. During the last day of this exhibition highlighting Art All-State alumni, the University Art Gallery is asking visitors to share items from their pockets or purses to be catalogued and exhibited in a common collection of "dime bags", like those used in Ceike's artwork. Discarded personal tokens take on new meaning and become an unexpected cabinet of curiosities for the public. Items can be returned after the event. 6-8pm at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street).

Free caricatures with New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches in Custom House Square, 5-7pm.

Casa Dos Botes at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (enter on Water Street) hosts craft activities with Miss New Bedford and Miss New Bedford Outstanding Teen.

Stop by Mass Escape (13 North, Sixth Street, 3rd Floor) to see what ME is all about and preview the new room, 44 Winter Wood Lane.

Historian/author Gioia (Joya) Dimok of Whaling in Massachusetts will give tours and tell historical whaling stories plus a book signing at the Bourne Counting House (1 Merrills Wharf), 5-7pm. Presented by Behavioral Connections.

Guest Venue! Department of Mental Health (888 Purchase Street-Rear Entrance) hosts an evening of conversation, resources, speakers and videos regarding Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, 5:30–8pm. Also includes:
- Food Trucks (Izzy’s, Two Sisters, Richie’s & Dawg in the Road)
- Free cell phones from Assurance (with proof of I.D. and Mass Health card)
- Children’s activities
- Donations of non-perishable food items are welcomed to benefit the Veteran’s Transition House.  All donors will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize. (Must be present to win)

Gallery talk, Snapshots to Street Photography: The Tools of the Early '60s, in the 3rd floor exhibit hall of the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street), 7pm.
Photographer and photo historian John Wojtowicz leads a gallery talk of the library exhibit, Al Kaplan's Provincetown, focusing on the camera equipment used by Kaplan and other street photographers in the pre-digital age.  Mr. Wojtowicz is vice-president of the Photographic Historical Society of New England (PHSNE), a nonprofit, tax exempt society founded in 1973 to promote knowledge of photographic history through a variety of exciting educational programs and activities.  


David Lee Black Pop-Up Gallery at Howe Allen Realty (185 Union Street).

Reception for the Arrested Series: mugshot portraits in watercolor by Dick Dougherty at the Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street). Meet the Artist and hear his thoughts on this unique and intriguing theme. Also available: paintings, prints and blank note cards by Alison Wells.

New Show! UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street) presents Glimpse, featuring the works of incoming graduate students. 6-7:30pm in Gallery 244.

Swing by the South End! Judith Klein Art Gallery (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) presents a new exhibit, Photography with Brooks Angelini and Robert Hunt. Angelini’s images of asylums in the Northeast offer a rare glimpse into an apocalypse landscape. Hunt’s photography celebrates the beauty of the natural human form. 5-8pm


Tryworks Open Mic at First Unitarian Church NB (County and Union Street), 6-9pm.

Season finale! Centre Street Sessions presented by Whaling City Sound. This month in the New York Meets New Bedford Series: Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People play live in the Kaller Beef parking lot (Centre Street) with one set only at 6pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank (23 Elm Street). Look for them at Greasy Luck later in the evening.

Celebrate 16 years with Dream Out Loud! Stop by the DOL Center (1 Johnny Cake Hill) for a Sweet 16 themed party along with previews of our youth's original CD, upcoming calendar, re-launch of The Link magazine. There will be henna, face painting, live performances and more fun activities.


February 9, 2017 History, Herstory, Ourstory
March 9, 2017 All Sewn Up
April 13, 2017 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 11, 2017 We Art NB
June 8, 2017 Launch: New Spaces, New Places
July 13, 2017 Kids Rule
August 10, 2017 Jammin’ in the Streets
September 14, 2017 NB Cultures
October 12, 2017 Moveable Feast
November 9, 2017 Made in NB
December 14, 2017 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.