Presented every two years by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Commonwealth Awards shine a spotlight on the extraordinary contributions that the arts, sciences, and humanities make to quality education, economic vitality, and quality of life in communities across the state.
Category: Creative Community – For a city, town, or organization that has demonstrated the central role of arts & culture to build healthier, more vital, livable communities.
Awardee: New Bedford, for providing sustained leadership, funding, and infrastructure to the places where art and culture are presented, and where artists live and work, providing a model for cities everywhere.
Just 20 years ago, New Bedford had what could only be described as a deserted downtown with only small pockets of cultural activity. The publicized vision of New Bedford started to change when Richard Florida named New Bedford the 7th most artistic city in America in 2011—the only small city designated. The city’s secret was out. The power of cultural enterprise, creativity and collaboration are essential keys to New Bedford's unique and distinctive identity. Around this core, New Bedford has built a sense of place, engaged residents, forged a new economy and demonstrated how a Gateway City can show the pathway to the future.
Click For All The 2017 Commonwealth Award Winners
AHA! New Bedford Director Lee Heald Honored By Legislator