grant programs

New Bedford Creative facilitates two grant programs:

Art is Everywhere, a grant program that intends to help advance New Bedford as one of the most culturally unique and creative cities in America. This grant is funded by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) 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 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.
The Art is Everywhere grant program is currently open! 
The deadline is midnight on April 30, 2021. Click here for the application and more information.

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!

Announcing the 2021 Art is Everywhere grant:

The Art is Everywhere grant program intends to help advance New Bedford as one of the most culturally unique and creative cities in America. For 2021, this grant aims to support inspiring creative ideas that will directly impact a current challenge facing residents, visitors and/or businesses in New Bedford’s neighborhoods. This may include arts and culture-based creative solutions to expedite the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, support the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) in all forms, or strengthen the creative network throughout the city. In all cases, projects that focus on DEIA outcomes will be prioritized.


Category 1: Awards of between $15,000 and $25,000 will be made for Category 1 (Big Idea) applications. It is anticipated that a total of two (2) to three (3) Category 1 proposals will be awarded, with at least one (1) project going to a non-profit 501(c)(3) or MA-designated charitable organization, and at least one (1) project going to a private-sector, for-profit, entrepreneurial individual or enterprise.


Category 2: Awards of between $1,000 and $2,500 will be made for Category 2 (Scalable Idea) applications. It is anticipated that a total of four (4) to ten (10) Category 2 proposals will be funded this year. Individuals, non-profits, community groups, for-profits, are all eligible to apply to Category 2.


In both Categories, this grant’s cash award can be used for: material and direct project costs, operational expenses, including labor/staff time, capital improvements, sub-contractors, vendors or third party assistance.

In both Categories, the selected projects will also be offered the following in an effort to support capacity-building:

  • A one-year part-time membership for one team member to the Co-Creative Center (value $600)

  • The opportunity to participate in professional development training through organizations such as Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Creative, New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC), SouthCoast Community Foundation, and others

Facilitated by New Bedford Creative and the NBEDC, and funded by MassDevelopment/TDI and the Barr Foundation, this grant is one component of a broader “TDI Creative Cities” program to boost arts-based economic development.

Applications are available at and the deadline is before midnight on April 30, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Margo Saulnier at


History of Art is Everywhere:

Art is Everywhere, an arts-based grant program that helps strengthen neighborhood connections to the downtown. This grant is funded by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and the Barr Foundation.

In May 2020,  New Bedford Creative 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 included $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.


3rd EyE Unlimited’s project for the Art is Everywhere Grant, “Your New Bedford,” demonstrated 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 was designed in collaboration with community partners attuned to the needs and resources of local residents, and featured 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 retooled and reimagined the original “Your New Bedford” six-part monthly program series in several ways. The group shifted from neighborhood-based pop-up events in community settings to an interactive virtual format, provided paying work for local artists whose incomes were directly affected by the pandemic, diversified artist revenue generation strategies, and addressed the social isolation felt by many residents.


“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 was 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.”

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 February 2021, New Bedford Creative announced an investment of $50,000 in creative placemaking projects funded by the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture + Tourism Fund, with additional funding by Bristol County Savings Bank. Grants were awarded to the following projects:


3rd EyE Unlimited – (Y)Our New Bedford: The Secret City Revealed draws upon the YourNB framework the group pioneered last year paired with a concept rooted in 3rd EyE’s history. Secret City is the idea that New Bedford contains hidden cultural treasures. (Y)Our New Bedford: Secret City Revealed will consist of four interlocking complementary components, drawing upon the creativity and energy of multiple members of the 3rd EyE team.


BuyBlackNB – BuyBlackNB seeks to connect consumers with Black-owned businesses across the Southcoast. In an effort to continue supporting Black-owned businesses, the group will host an outdoor market in downtown New Bedford’s Custom House Square. There, all people are invited to come purchase goods and services from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Owned Businesses in a safe and inclusive place. “In supporting Black-owned businesses, we are working to close the racial wealth gap, strengthen our local economies, foster job creation, and celebrate Black culture,” they write.


Downtown NB, Inc. – Downtown New Bedford, Inc. (dNB) will coordinate a series of seasonal placemaking events in partnership with downtown attractions – shops, restaurants, museums, nonprofits, and other establishments – to draw residents and visitors to the city. Artists, musicians, and performers will be hired for each event, and each will celebrate New Bedford’s unique culture and sense of place, enhancing residents’ quality of life and encouraging the support of the local economy.


Good Company NB – The teen Yoga Project entitled teensXyoga intends to inspire the last stage of the Creative Courts project at Clasky Commons Park – completing the mural on the walls surrounding the court. The Creative Courts project is based on dialogue between locals and the artist, Marie Molteni, and teensXyoga plans to ignite conversation in the space while practicing yoga, meditation, journalling and communication. They will record inspirations and stories throughout the series of four sessions and present them to the artist and her team before she begins the final stages of painting.


New Bedford Art Museum (NBAM/ArtWorks!) – The NBAM/ArtWorks! artMOBILE will continue to be a travelling creative placemaking locale where youth will engage in artistic and inventive instruction with quality art supplies. This year, it will be  incorporating mediums and materials that highlight the Museum’s tour de force summer exhibit which will feature Ruth E. Carter, Academy Award-winning costume designer of Black Panther, Malcolm X, Amistad, Do the Right Thing, and other outstanding motion pictures. NBAM anticipates up to 650 youth to be served by this free and accessible program.


New Bedford Festival Theatre – New Bedford Festival Theatre’s Summer Academy will offer its third year of performance opportunities for teen artists – with a helping of social justice theatre. The focus for the Summer Academy 2020 production will be a piece of theatre that allows for diverse casting that is representative of the New Bedford community. “In this volatile and tense climate, NBFT sees the importance of theatre as a safe haven for expression and freedom and growth,” the group states.


New Bedford Symphony Orchestra – ‘Music in the Streets’ (MITS) will enable the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra (NBSO) to collaborate with a number of organizations, bringing music to streets and outdoor locales across the city. Collaborations will include partnerships with Love the Ave, New Bedford Housing Authority, New Bedford Parks, the Cape Verdean Association and others.The goal is to perform 10+ concerts across the city in 2021.


New Deadford; Fitzcarmel LaMarre – “NEW DEADFORD” is a multifaceted, community inclusive project based on a graphic novel telling the rich history of New Bedford through the lens of a zombie apocalypse. Part of the project entails robust community outreach, working with underserved youth at creative arts workshops, in collaboration with 3rd EyE Unlimited, Our Sisters School and the New Bedford Housing Authority.


UMassD CVPA Interior Architecture + Design – This project seeks to revitalize the park space at the corner of Phillips Avenue and Acushnet Avenue – the Phillips Ave Pocket Park. Currently, the park lacks adequate shade or shelter structures, lighting, interactive elements, and recycling and trash receptacles. “The addition of these elements in the space will make it more appealing for community members to use during times of more extreme weather conditions (hot sun, rain, snow) and during the evening hours, if adequate lighting is provided,” they note. This proposal is a continuation of the design proposals developed by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) Interior Architecture + Design (IAD) students in Fall 2020. The faculty member, Stephanie McGoldrick, began this endeavor as a service-learning project for CEDC (Community Economic Development Center) on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford.


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 December of 2018, a larger-scale pilot grant program invested $50,000 to creative placemaking projects in the city.  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.


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.

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