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


The summer tradition returns! It’s the season launch of Centre Street Sessions presented by Whaling City Sound. This month, “The Scallop Bites the Apple”: New York artists in New Bedford. Guitarist Rale Micic (pronounced Raw’ ley Mitch’ Itch) and Vocalist Alma Micic hit the Kaler Beef parking lot (Centre Street) with sets at 5:30 & 7:15pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank (23 Elm Street).

Big Bugs with Chuck Hauck!
Welcome the two newest library creatures created by New Bedford artist Charles "Chuck" Hauck --the Mousequito and the Cat-a-pillar---then make your own big bug while you're here!  Chuck (along with staff from New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches) will show you how to take a drawing and turn it into a cool three-dimensional creepy-crawly using nothing but aluminum foil, masking tape, pipe cleaners and markers.  Before you leave, help us name the Mousequito and Caterpillar by writing down your suggestions. The names selected will be revealed later on the library's Facebook page. 5-7pm in the Children's Room of the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street).

Stop by for the official opening of "Listen to the Whales," a thought-provoking, interactive installation and meet the  artist William Chambers at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street).

Join WHALE for a sneak peek of the Co-Creative Center (139 Union Street). Swing by to see the under-construction Center, make some art, and sign up for early programs.

Downtown New Bedford Inc. Summer Kickoff Party
Celebrate the launch of the new dNB Inc. at Travessia Urban Winery, 8-10pm. Stop by and meet the Board, snap a selfie in front of the photo wall, enjoy a glass of wine, and pick up your copy of this years Visitor Guide.

2017 Seaport Artwalk: Sustainable Oceans
The New Bedford working waterfront will be transformed with eighteen original sculpture created by local artists, temporarily installed along MacArthur Blvd, the City and State piers, and in the city’s Seaport Cultural District. This year’s theme – “Sustainable Oceans”; aims to bring awareness to the problems and solutions, globally, in our oceans and waterways. Along with taking a tour of all the new art, you can also join artist (& farmer!) Justin Cifello in making a temporary mural out of reclaimed materials. Look for Justin in the Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot (532 Acushnet Avenue). Open to all ages and skill levels, weather permitting.

Opening Reception for Double Exposure: photos by Brandon Cabral and Olivier St-Pierre. Plus a trunk show celebrating our connections with Artisans of Guatemala: Handwoven textiles designed by Marge Puryear and Susan E Cheever. 5-9pm at Gallery 65 (65 William Street).

Opening Reception for Taken Out To Sea: Fishermen’s Photography at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street), 7:30-9pm. See the original, at-sea photography of commercial fishermen as they take us out to sea and share their world with us.

Opening Reception for Out There: Peter Pereira Photojournalist at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill), 6-9pm. See the world through the camera lens of Peter Pereira, internationally acclaimed photojournalist at The Standard-Times since 2000. Pereira’s images tell stories both joyful and tragic with a raw, but sensitive honesty in stunning visual compositions. The exhibition is two-fold: Pereira’s New Bedford-specific artwork will be exhibited at the Whaling Museum and images from his immersive international assignments and travel will be on exhibit at The Standard-Times building. This will be the first time many of the Pereira works have been seen in large scale and outside of newspaper print. Click for more info.

Get a first look at NBAM's summer blockbuster exhibition, Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below. New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (608 Pleasant Street) has teamed up with world-renowned gallery browngratta arts for this show. This multifaceted exhibit combines sculptural works with paintings and photography, tracking each artist’s exploration of water.
Plus! ECSTASY, from the series The Passions: Photography by Judith Thorpe, an exploration of the female body as it ages, questioning concepts of beauty.


Day of Portugal Celebration! Flag raising ceremony on the steps of New Bedford City Hall (133 William Street)  starting at 6:30pm. Reception following at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill) including “Comes e Bebes” Portuguese style.
CRAFT-O-RAMA Art Market in Wings Court. More info to come.

Join new AHA! Partner, Behavioral Connections Autism Treatment Center, for Awesome Robb Magic & Antics on the YMCA lawn (25 South Water Street), 5-8pm.

It's the re-launch of the 3rd EyE Open Jam hosted by the Black Kennedys. 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).

Take a tour of LBD (Little Black Dress): The Long and Short of It with curator Blair Walker at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street), 5:30-7pm. American women, like women around the world, have always dressed to reflect their stature in society. Colored and patterned fabrics, once reserved for the wealthy, became more readily available following the introduction of reliable dyes in the 19th century. Textile mills were able to produce a vibrant palette of fabrics for both couture and ready-made clothing, and dressmakers and milliners obliged with matching trims, hats and accessories. So why wear black? Click to find out more.

The Little Black Dress Window Display at Celia's Boutique (111 William Street)
Celia’s Boutique is collaborating with Dyer Maker Studio to create an auction item for the Rotch-Jones-Duff Black and White Soiree and they’re sharing it with you in a fun window display. Check out the little black dresses accessorized with Dyer Maker silks and jewelry from Celia’s.

Create your own seashell frame with Creations by Sara at The Landing (98 Front Street). The event starts at 7pm, preregistration is required.

Sketch in The Galleries with Eleanor Greer at New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (608 Pleasant Street). 5:30–7pm, hands-on course; 6:30–7:30pm, walk-in’s welcome. Greer will guide artists of all levels through the in’s and out’s of sketching, shading, texture, line and form. Don’t miss out on this free opportunity to learn to draw like a pro with a pro!  Save your spot by preregistering newbedfordart.org/workshops .

Voice & Controversy: the art of Alma del Mar & NBHS at First Unitarian Church New Bedford (County and Union Street), 5-7pm.

Canadian chantey group, The Roaring Forties, stops by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Garden (33 William Street) on their way to the Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport, 6-7:30pm.

A Bartleby Scrivener poetry event at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street), 6:30-8pm.

Stop by the Buzzards Bay Coalition Learning Center (114 Front Street) and create a nature mobile using natural materials from around the Bay, 5-8pm.

Live Music at the Alison Wells Art Gallery (106 William Street) featuring Rhode Island jazz pianist, Rod Luther performing the Great American Songbook. Music begins at 6:30pm. Plus closing reception of 'Unusual Growth Patterns ' a series of miniature paintings by Alison Wells.

2 new shows at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street)
- Inner Space & Outer Limits: a group exhibition highlighting work of Art All-State participants, either as students or artist-mentors, for the past 30 years. Jurors: Jessica Hong and Jeffrey De Blois, ICA Boston. Reception 6–8pm
- Fragments of Life: Textile Art by Barbara Goldberg
Barbara Goldberg (1931 - 2016) was a textile artist, devoted teacher, tireless
advocate for fiber art, and longtime Professor in Textile Design and Fiber Arts at UMass Dartmouth.

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.

Come to a celebration of women building a better life for themselves and their families. Join the Women's Fund Lifework Graduation Party, 5-7pm at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill).

Your Theatre hosts a preview of the 6th Annual New Bedford Jazz Fest in Wing's Court and on the lawn of First Baptist Church (149 William Street), 5:30-7:30pm (both locations). Click for more info about the NB JazzFest happening on June 10th. Plus WHALE and Your Theater launch the renovation and restoration of the First Baptist project with tours of the building and preview of plans.

It’s Jazz Night with The Monteirobots live in the dining room at Cork Wine and Tapas (90 Front Street), 8pm.


Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street) will feature "For the Birds," books on birding and birds.

The Culture of Tea Series continues at Gatlin's Framing and Photography (209 Union Street). Celebrate warm weather with a refreshing peppermint tea.

Join Soap La-Tea-Da (187 Union Street) for their biggest event ever, Sweet Peach & Roses Sale. Stop by for blow-out specials on soap, sugar scrubs, and bath bombs.  


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.