grant programs

New Bedford Creative facilitates two grant programs:

Art is Everywhere, an arts-based grant program that helps strengthen neighborhood connections to the downtown. This grant is funded by MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation.

Wicked Cool Places, a creative placemaking grant program that helps transform overlooked or undervalued places. This grant is funded by the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support by MassDevelopment and Bristol County Savings Bank.

  • Applications are now available for Art is Everywhere! To download a reference copy of the application, guidelines, and evaluation criteria, click here
  • ¡Las aplicaciones ya están disponibles para Art is Everywhere! Para descargar una copia de referencia de la aplicación, las directrices y los criterios de evaluación, haz clic aquí.
  • As aplicações estão agora disponíveis para o Art is Everywhere! Para baixar uma cópia de referência do aplicativo, diretrizes e critérios de avaliação, clique aqui.

Wicked Cool Places grant program is now available!

The deadline to apply is December 1, 2020, for projects taking place in 2021.
Click here to apply.


To view additional funding opportunities please visit the funding list in our Tool Box or our Covid-19 Resources. New Bedford Creative’s monthly email contains an updated list of grants available from multiple sources locally, regionally and nationally — sign up for our enews here!

New Bedford Creative awards 3rd EyE Unlimited first-ever Art is Everywhere grant

3rd EyE Unlimited’s winning project, “Your New Bedford,” responds to the COVID-19 pandemic in creative ways

May 4, 2020
Contact: Margo Saulnier, Creative Strategist, New Bedford Creative
Cell: 617-359-2409 | Email: | Link to High-Res Photos


New Bedford, MA — New Bedford Creative has awarded 3rd EyE Unlimited and partners the first-ever Art is Everywhere grant program as part of a pilot to accelerate arts-based economic development in New Bedford. The award includes $50,000 to create and implement “Your New Bedford,” a project that deepens connections between neighborhoods and downtown, builds partnerships between cultural organizations and community groups, and strengthens the creative economy and arts ecosystem. The grant program is made possible with funding from MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation.


3rd EyE Unlimited’s project for the Art is Everywhere Grant, “Your New Bedford,” intends to demonstrate that the New Bedford arts scene is more than its rich whaling and abolitionist histories — it is also a hothouse for inclusive and cutting-edge youth-oriented culture. Each “Your New Bedford” event will be designed in collaboration with community partners who are attuned to the needs and resources of local residents, and will feature music, dance and movement, visual arts and education, and a “community corner” – a time for dialogue about local needs and challenges.


Responding directly to COVID-19 impacts on the arts and the New Bedford community more broadly, 3rd EyE Unlimited has retooled and reimagined the original “Your New Bedford” six-part monthly program series in several ways. The group is shifting from neighborhood-based pop-up events in community settings to an interactive virtual format, providing paying work for local artists whose incomes have been directly affected by the pandemic, diversifying artist revenue generation strategies, and addressing the social isolation felt by many residents at this time.


“3rd EyE Unlimited is honored and humbled to be the recipient of this first Art is Everywhere grant,” said Keri Cox, President of 3rd EyE Unlimited. “During the 20-plus years of 3rd EyE’s existence, we have witnessed and lived through many changes in our city and the diverse communities that comprise it. Our mission since our founding has been to shed light on the vibrant cultural expressions that often go unrecognized, and particularly those of young people who will play a key role in reshaping and reimagining the New Bedford of the future, which is especially relevant now during and after the pandemic.”


“A thriving community is more than just what’s seen on the surface, it’s also what is not immediately visible,” said Your New Bedford’s Project Director Peter Lonelle Walker. “The New Bedford that visitors see, particularly in our revitalized historic downtown, is fueled by the influence, expression and culture of the communities and neighborhoods that lie outside the tourist map. It’s harder to connect right now, and our goal is to create a platform that empowers and showcases our communities and neighborhoods, celebrating the contributions we and our neighbors have made and will continue to make.”


3rd EyE Unlimited and Community Partners Build Bridges

3rd EyE Unlimited is known for their signature annual creative arts festival in downtown New Bedford, the 3rd EyE Open, an effort to build bridges between the neighborhoods and downtown, and between young people and the business sectors. Their project “Your New Bedford” includes a core team of artists who will collaborate with a dedicated roster of community partners. This team includes dancers Terrence Bboy Swift-T Mills, Amanda Eyssallenne, and Tatiania “Tati” Morales, arts educator Samia Walker, artist Mandy Fraser, photographer and performer Darnel Staley, writer and public speaker Tyson Moultrie, and music producer Peter Lonelle Walker.


Barr Foundation and MassDevelopment Collaborate in Gateway Cities

In late 2019, the Barr Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to MassDevelopment to create new arts-based programming for Gateway Cities through its Transformative Development Initiative. MassDevelopment is using a portion of those funds to support a yearlong planning phase in New Bedford with key community partners to create a strategy for enhancing the local arts and culture infrastructure as a mechanism for supporting economic growth. The Art is Everywhere grant program is one component of this multitiered planning phase. The local team working in partnership with MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation includes the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Creative, and New Bedford Economic Development Council. As a program for Gateway Cities, the Transformative Development Initiative has been working to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19 in these communities, especially with respect to vulnerable businesses, including artists, that are losing income during this challenging time.


In January 2020, the Art is Everywhere grant opportunity was announced, with applications due February 21. Once the pandemic arrived, the review committee decided to move forward with the call for proposals providing the winning entrant could demonstrate how its project would help support artists and the arts community during this difficult stage. In addition to the cash award made possible by MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation, 3rd EyE Unlimited will receive a one-year membership to the Co-Creative Center, the opportunity to participate in professional development training organized by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts’s Creative Commonwealth Initiative, New Bedford Creative, and New Bedford Economic Development Council, and limited technical assistance from MassDevelopment as needed to help with project implementation.

History of Wicked Cool Places:

Wicked Cool Places (WCP) is the city of New Bedford’s grant program for creative placemaking, uniting willing property/business owners, artistic/cultural groups, design/preservation specialists, and business/development experts to help transform New Bedford’s overlooked or undervalued places. Wicked Cool Places enhance community development, arts entrepreneurship, and ongoing investment in the rich arts and culture of the city. Wicked Cool Places is funded by the city of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture + Tourism Fund, with additional funding by Bristol County Savings Bank, Mass Cultural Council, and MassDevelopment.

In October of 2019, the first official round of Wicked Cool Places grant program invested $82,000 to creative placemaking projects in the city. 2019-2020 Wicked Cool Places grants include:


3rd EyE Youth Empowerment for the 3rd EyE Open, a youth oriented and family-friendly annual cultural arts festival focusing on the positive energy of hip hop, and 3rd EyE On the Pride, a monthly performance and mentoring opportunity for emerging young performers.


In June of 2019, AHA! (Art, History, Architecture) hosted its first ever Pride-themed event in conjunction with LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and 2020 will continue this nationwide theme, a chance to recognize and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ people in the city historically and present day.


Musician Jeff Angeley and Southcoast Lessons aims to expand its already successful New Bedford public programming from a 3 month “Open Season Series” to a 6 month program that includes monthly events for traditional string band instrumentalists and ukulelists.


Coastal Foodshed is celebrating food and art on a monthly basis throughout the winter season at their Indoor New Bedford Farmers Markets. They will be hosting “Palate to Palette: Art at the Farmers Market,” a free event that will transform their market into an edible canvas. Using ingredients from the vendors as the medium, an artist will create an edible canvas, working with the public to build upon their own palates.


The Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) for the Festival Tipico de Gautemala, a day- long celebration of Maya-K’iche Guatemalan arts and culture, featuring free performances of traditional Mayan marimba music, contemporary Guatemalan music and folkloric dance, plus craft demonstrations such as petate weaving, morral making, tortilla making, traditional kite making and flying, and activities for children.


Fiber Optic Center will create a Jazz Wall mural, and highlight live music and outdoor concerts during street events. The mural will be created in a partnership with New Bedford Historical Society using local artists, placed on the five-story east-facing wall at Fiber Optic Center at 23 Centre Street, where live music is currently performed on Summer AHA nights. The mural will depict several New Bedford musicians who achieved local and national prominence as musicians, composers, mentors, and teachers, such as Paul Gonsalves, Rick Britto, Herbie King, Armstead Christian, Bobby Greene, Joli Gonsalves and Frank “Chico” Monteiro.


Hatch Street Studios Fall & Spring Open Studios & Arts Blog. Located in the city’s north end, Hatch Street Studios is the vibrant creative hub of more than 65 visual and performing artists. Today, dozens of artists create an array of diverse works in various mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, fine furniture making and restoration, jewelry, fiber art, photography, and various types of performance arts from music to aerial arts.


Artist Alexander Jardin for the Haskell Jardin Garden and Sculpture, a green-space making project at Allan C. Haskell Public Gardens, owned and maintained by The Trustees of Reservations. The project explores the merging of landscape design as contemporary fine art, and the installation acts as a metaphor for the jewel of a green-space within a dynamic, maritime rich, coastal-urban, environment.


The New Bedford Folk Festival celebrates their 25th anniversary year in 2020. Currently presented and produced by the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center (The Z), the two day festival features 7 stages of nearly 100 folk artists, and over 70 craft vendors juried by festival staff. Thousands of people attend each year, and while some stages are ticketed, most of the festival is free and open to the public.


New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! for Creative Courts, revitalizing a public basketball court at the Carlos Pacheco Elementary School. This transformative art mural-style court project is led by artist Maria Molteni, who engages with the community, covering a wide range of artistic genres as a point of inspiration and feedback for an impactful design that conveys basketball’s broad appeal and the democratic nature of a public court. The location of the basketball court coincides with programs and efforts offered by the Pacheco School and the City of New Bedford in surrounding neighborhoods, like Presidential Heights and Brickenwood Housing.


Reggae On West Beach is a free community event that is inclusive, multigenerational, welcoming and family-friendly for all who attend, celebrating the many different styles of reggae, world music, modern, and more. The event takes place on West Beach in the South End of New Bedford on several Sundays throughout the summer from 3pm-7pm and features food trucks, local vendors, and free kids’ activities.


South Coast LGBTQ Network is encouraging everyone to “Show Your Pride” during June, National Pride Month with the Pride Art Expo at Gallery X and “Art in the Park” – their 4th annual South Coast Pride all-inclusive community event in Buttonwood Park.


Superflat NB is a creative placemaking, mural art project dedicated to beautifying New Bedford while flattening barriers to the arts. This project will create a gallery of murals along Purchase Street across from the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center. It will consist of an eclectic mix of imagery from talented local artists while preserving the art that exists. Showcasing a “postcard” style mural with the words “New Bedford” depicted in graphic lettering with each letter containing imagery painted by separate local artists. The existing TomBob “robot” will remain and be incorporated into the new mural.

In April of 2018, a small pilot grant program distributed $5,000 as a test run. Grantees included:

  • New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! featuring free events to support their James Audubon exhibit
  • Seaport Art Walk, celebrating the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’s birth with the theme “Freedom and Equality”
  • SuperflatNB, the city’s new mural program, featuring live artists painting murals along Acushnet Ave during Artweek
  • 3rd EyE Unlimited, launching the first Second Saturdays at Hatch Street Studios, featuring interactive art, dance, a podcast pop-up and mural painting.

In December of 2018, a larger-scale pilot grant program invested $50,000 to creative placemaking projects in the city. Recipients of Wicked Cool Places’ grants embody the vision of the Arts + Culture Plan, where “art is everywhere, encouraging fun, provoking thought, and nurturing the soul.” 2018-2019 Wicked Cool Places grants:

  • 3rd EyE Open: a free outdoor creative arts festival celebrating the vibrant energy of hip hop culture in downtown New Bedford
  • Diana Arvanites, Mobile Art Studio for Creative Disruption: transforming an everyday bicycle into an art-creating mobile structure, bringing the joy of creativity to any city street corner, store, or event.
  • Tracy Barbosa, Kite Festival Workshops: a series of free kite workshops to engage the public to create their own “barrileta” in the traditional Guatemalan way, to be displayed at the Festival Tipico Guatemalan Kite Festival at Riverside Park on September 21, 2019
  • Co-Creative Center, Commune-n-Tea: an accessible and inclusive community gathering in downtown during AHA! Night, offering a wellness-minded option for fun with a live DJ, locally crafted herbal tea, poetry readings, and a collaborative art project
  • Community Economic Development Center, Vacant Storefront Art Gallery: four large vacant storefront windows along Acushnet Ave. in the North End will display a rotating cultural exhibit celebrating the diverse cultures of people in the neighborhood
  • New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center: building on the past success of the Working Waterfront Festival, an event designed to have equal impact with a smaller footprint and sustainable budget.
  • Seaport Art Walk: In collaboration with Massachusetts Design Art & Technology Institute (DATMA), and in partnership with UMass Dartmouth and Bristol Community College, the Seaport Art Walk launches their fifth year with a Call for Art geared towards students with the theme Wind as part of DATMA’s 2019 Summer Wind series.
  • Mia Pinheiro, Vecinos: Vecinos (Spanish for “neighbors”) is a temporary gallery and interactive platform for dialogue between neighbors, focused on Mexico and the United States, by the construction of an Ofrenda.
  • Reggae on West Beach: Celebrating its 4th year, Reggae On West Beach is a series of free community events in the South End, converting New Bedford’s West Beach Pavilion into a dance club, with live DJs spinning music from the 1950s to present.
  • Jeff Angeley, Southcoast Lessons, “Open Season”: A series of open group sessions in a publicly accessible location, with instruments available on-hand, and the belief that every culture has a unique, unfiltered form of folk music, created by the people, and for the people, and without the need for formal training in order to be part of it.
  • SuperflatNB, Artist-in-Residence: Launching an artist in residence program, SuperflatNB will immerse a world renowned graffiti painter and muralist in underserved neighborhoods in the North End and South End.
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Lighting Installations: Professor Stephanie McGoldrick leads students of Interior Architecture + Design (IAD) to implement the design and installation of temporary lighting throughout downtown’s Wing’s Court.
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