About New Bedford Creative

Contact: Margo Saulnier, Creative Strategist, artsnewbedford@gmail.com

Black Lives Matter

At its most powerful, the arts and culture of a city can help reveal the shadows of the past, amplify its present and shine a light toward its future. By standing in solidarity with the movement for Black lives, the New Bedford Creative Consortium promises to do our part to end systemic racism, inequitable opportunities, and discriminatory violence, no matter how long it takes.


We acknowledge the leadership and are proud of our youth organizers in our city, and recognize the generations of frustration and pain people of color have experienced here and throughout the country. The challenge to ensure all people are equal in our community requires a deeper examination – and it is important we all reflect on the truth of our past as a community and incorporate it in all aspects of our current and future practice.


Our vision as the creative community in New Bedford is to be “an engaged and powerful partner, inspiring social, economic, and cultural growth.” One of our roles as leaders of arts and culture is to ensure that people of color in our city receive equal treatment, respect and opportunity each and every citizen is entitled to in this country. We will continue to support our organizational partners and artists who do this important work in order for people of color to succeed, feel safe, seen, and empowered.


Over the past year and a half, New Bedford Creative has invested $182,000 in grants with 62% of those funds directly to minority-led organizations or projects. However, we all have more work to do. Only by listening, learning, and empowering creativity for all our citizens will we continue to realize the vision of a more just society in New Bedford and beyond.

New Bedford Creative Consortium

New Bedford Creative Consortium is the leadership group whose purpose is overseeing the execution of the citywide strategic Arts and Culture Plan entitled New Bedford Creative: our art, our culture, our future. The Arts and Culture Plan is a huge step forward in building a thriving creative ecosystem in our city, and these are the people dedicated to implementing it. This volunteer group is facilitated by the Creative Strategist, meets quarterly, hold one- to three-year terms, and are divided into three task forces: Public Art + Facilities, Placemaking + Community, Fundraising + Distribution.

  • Tracy Barbosa – Duende Glass, Tracy Silva Barbosa Studio
  • Lee Blake – New Bedford Historical Society
  • Jessica Bregoli – The Steeple Playhouse, Seaport Art Walk, NB Cultural Council
  • Raquel Dias – Cape Verdean Association of New Bedford
  • Joselyn Feliciano – Community Economic Development Center
  • Steven Froias – The Standard-Times, New Bedford Now, Seaport Cultural District
  • Jeff Glassman – Darn It!, Hatch Street Studios
  • Dena Haden – Co-Creative Center, SuperflatNB, Seaport Cultural District
  • Wendy Hall – Festival Theatre
  • Jeremiah Hernandez – SuperflatNB, EforAll
  • Viera Levitt – UMass Dartmouth Star Store Campus
  • Tina Malott – New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Roger Mandle – Massachusetts Design Art + Technology Institute (DATMA)
  • Ashley Occhino – New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
  • Eric Paradis – Your Theatre, The Steeple Playhouse, New Bedford JazzFest
  • Penny Pimentel – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
  • Dawn Salerno – Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum
  • Jennifer Smith – New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  • Darlene A. Spencer – United Way of Greater New Bedford
  • Patricia Thomas – Culture*Park
  • Nathan Vaughan – Bristol Community College
  • Samia Walker – EforAll, 3rd EyE Unlimited, Doodles Creative Sessions

New Bedford Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund was proposed by Mayor Jon Mitchell in the spring of 2016 and approved by the City Council in June 2016, and consists of revenue generated from the city’s lodging tax, capped at a total of $100,000. Creation of the fund also required the passage of a home rule petition by the state legislature and the petition’s passage, led by state Senator Mark Montigny and signed into law by Governor Baker in January 2017. The purpose of the fund is to create a dedicated revenue stream to provide for additional planning, programmatic, and administrative capacity to allow the City of New Bedford to take full advantage of its cultural and tourism assets, and to catalyze and manage the growth of the cultural and tourism sectors in the years ahead. The NBEDC has a three-year agreement to manage the fund for the City. This work is lead by the NBEDC’s Creative Strategist. Additional funding is provided by Bristol County Savings Bank, Mass Cultural Council, and MassDevelopment.

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