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. The next grant cycle will be announced in Spring 2020.

  • 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 next round of Wicked Cool Place grants will be available in Summer 2020. Check back here in July for the guidelines and application.

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.
Scroll to Top