grant programs

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 grant program for making or keeping a place where things are happening and people want to be that involve and impact residents, visitors and/or businesses in New Bedford’s neighborhoods. This grant is funded by the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support by Bristol County Savings Bank.

Grant programs are currently closed. The next round of grants will be announced in 2022.

To view additional funding opportunities from multiple sources locally, regionally, and nationally, please visit the funding list in our Tool Box and our Fundraising page.


History of Art is Everywhere:


New Bedford Creative announces next round of grant program 

NEW BEDFORD, MA  — Harnessing the power of creativity and culture, Wicked Cool Places grant awards have helped redefine New Bedford since 2018 – and hastened its recovery from the pandemic since 2020. Now, in the autumn 2021, residents, artists, businesses and organizations can apply for the next round of grants and make their own unique contribution to the city.

Wicked Cool Places grant applications are available today at The deadline to apply for one is before midnight on November 30, 2021. The criteria is simple – yet expansive: projects should directly involve and have an impact on city residents, visitors or businesses in New Bedford’s neighborhoods by mobilizing the arts and amplifying its culture.

There is a total of $50,000 to invest in imaginative projects. Awards will range between $1,000 and $5,000. Individuals, non-profits, community groups, and for-profits are all eligible to apply. This grant’s cash award encourages recipients to be entrepreneurial. Grants can be used for material and direct project costs, as well operational expenses, including labor or staff time, capital improvements, sub-contractors, vendors or third party assistance.

“The timing of this grant program allows artists in New Bedford to sustain their efforts to help the community recover from the Covid-19 crisis,” New Bedford Creative Strategist Margo Saulnier explains. “In addition, the emphasis on placekeeping in this diverse city ensures that the important work of embracing every neighborhood continues to aid in that recovery and build a solid foundation for the future.” 

Wicked Cool Places (WCP) is the City of New Bedford’s grant program for making or keeping a place where things are happening and people want to be. This year, guidelines include arts and culture-based solutions to expedite the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, support the  everyday spaces to see anew the potential of parks, waterfronts, plazas, neighborhoods, streets, markets, campuses and public buildings.

Facilitated by New Bedford Creative and the NBEDC, and funded by the city of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture, and Tourism Fund, this grant is one component of implementing the city’s first-ever strategic arts and culture plan called New Bedford Creative: Our Art, Our Culture, Our Future. 

Applications for Wicked Cool Places grants will be evaluated by community volunteers to the New Bedford Creative Consortium. Preference will be given to projects in public spaces that demonstrate the role of creative individuals and groups in a community to envision solutions to common challenges with a creative arts and culture approach. 

In past years, Wicked Cool Places grants have been awarded to a wide variety of projects, all over the city. The Community Economic Development Center in the north end received an award to launch “Festival Tipico de Guatemala,” a day-long celebration of Maya-K’iche Guatemalan arts and culture, for example. At West Beach in the south end, the popular Reggae on West Beach received funding from WCP and made a triumphant full summer schedule return this past year. Downtown, two projects launched with a WCP grant – AHA! New Bedford’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride month, and BuyBlackNB’s first-ever “Black in Business: Outdoor Pop-Up Market.”

“The use of a Wicked Cool Places grant award to brighten or enlighten our city is only limited by the imagination of creative people in New Bedford,” says Saulnier. “So far, they have proven that they possess an unlimited amount of creativity despite any challenge we collectively may be facing as a city and society.”

“We all look forward to seeing what they come up with next when applications roll in by November 30, 2021!”

Again, applications for a Wicked Cool Places grant from the City of New Bedford are available at and the deadline is before midnight on November 30, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Margo Saulnier at


New Bedford Creative introduces six grant projects

NEW BEDFORD, MA  —  “Each proposal had a unique take on how art can inspire new connections and rekindle old ones,” says Takeru Nagayoshi, member of the Review Committee for the 2021 “Art is Everywhere” special grant program — and 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, from New Bedford High School. “In a year where we lost so much in our communities, I felt hope for how art can bring us back together.”Indeed, “Art is Everywhere” in this city — and it’s being mobilized to creatively meet community needs and confront head-on the lingering after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, one project, “Your New Bedford” from 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment, tackled the challenge. This year,  six special projects have been awarded a total of $64,000 to help meet those goals.  

New Bedford Creative enlisted the assistance of community representatives like Nagayoshi,  who see first-hand the challenges facing residents of New Bedford, to evaluate applications this year. Together, the Review Committee brought a broader perspective of the city to the task at hand. They examined what arts and culture can accomplish for a city through the prism of public schools, social work, emergency and disaster relief, early education, elderly services, philanthropy, and policy advocacy. 

Today, on the cusp of a far more profound recovery than could have been imagined only two years ago when the program began, New Bedford Creative is proud and honored to present a full slate of “Art Is Everywhere” grant recipients. 

“I believe the projects selected all reflect the ‘Art is Everywhere’ intention,” says New Bedford Creative Strategist, Margo Saulnier. “To creatively solve community challenges with arts and culture, and begin the healing and recovery process after what has been (and continues to be for many) a devastating year.”

The six projects selected represent the passion, diversity and commitment to values which characterize this authentic seaport city at its best. All share a devotion to enabling voices from the streets, classrooms and greater community of New Bedford to join a larger conversation about this historic city’s past, present and future.  

“It was humbling to read through an array of artistic and creative ideas that encompass the diversity of our amazing city while promising to bridge cultural divides,” said Review Committee member Karyl Ryan, President of #NBstrong, program director at Coastline Elderly Services, and owner of Baskets of Grace.

Brittany Grimes, MSCJ, LSWA, further stated, “Of the many applications received, they were all extremely innovative, thoughtful and considerate to the community. They demonstrate a commitment to investing in the public arts sphere within the New Bedford community, which is inspiring, particularly given the recent pandemic. Without a doubt the grants will be a positive contribution to the community.”

That impact will be felt and experienced through projects like “Kaleidoscope – Art Through Your Eyes,” which highlights the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in New Bedford and on the South Coast. This is actually two projects in one — an art exhibition happening this month at Gallery X and a month-long virtual Book Club discussing the The Healing Otherness Handbook by transgender author and counselor, Dr. Stacee Reicherzer. 

Artist, poet, educator and activist Iva Brito, along with award-winning fellow Cape Verdean artist a’Ali DeSousa, will look at how multicultural New Bedford used its artistic resources with “Pandemic Renaissance – The Art of Surviving C-19.” And, La Soul Renaissance will present “Um Frenti Unido – Um Prujeto di Memória Kultural,” to explore the cross cultural relationships and moments of solidarity between the Cape Verdean, African American, Caribbean, Pokanoket, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Narragansett and Indigenous communities, and help the Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall remain a critical cultural asset for the community.

The children and students of the city will be engaged in the “Art Is Everywhere” initiative through three different projects. New Bedford Children’s “Creative Resource Center” will be a place for artists and early childhood educators to come together, consider new perspectives and build upon creative ideas. The “Basics Learning Trail” along Acushnet Avenue will provide interactive educational art installations at a visibility level for young learners on this bustling, diverse business corridor. “Highlighting Diverse Stories” kicks it up to Middle School and envisions the students of Our Sisters School as literacy ambassadors for a new media age. 

All the projects represent the “Art Is Everywhere” determination to engage the entire city in a new dialogue that reaches into every neighborhood and community within it. In addition to the cash award made possible by MassDevelopment’s “TDI Creative Cities” and the Barr Foundation, grant recipients will receive a one-year membership to the Co-Creative Center and the opportunity to participate in professional development training organized by New Bedford Creative.

“Arts-based economic development is a critical part of our overarching strategy for community wide economic growth. This year’s ‘Art is Everywhere’ grantees are a clear demonstration of just how varied and thoughtful those contributions can be,” says Anthony Sapienza, President of New Bedford Economic Development Council,  the home base for New Bedford Creative.

Last May, New Bedford Creative announced that 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment had received the first-ever 2020 “Art Is Everywhere” grant under the pilot program for the project. The award delivered 3rd EyE’s project “Your New Bedford” to a city mired in a world-wide pandemic. “Your New Bedford” met the challenge of deepening connections between neighborhoods and downtown, and built partnerships between cultural organizations and community groups. 

This year, as New Bedford and the nation carefully begin to emerge from the world crisis, the template that was created by 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment, the “Art Is Everywhere” grant, and “TDI Creative Cities” in 2020 will once again enrich the city and help lead it forward with these six outstanding projects. 

“Art is Everywhere” is one component of the “TDI Creative Cities” initiative, which includes areas of leadership training, place designation, and partnership development, all intended to strengthen the creative economy and arts ecosystem throughout the city.  The recently launched free online series “Co-Creative Sessions,” geared to enrich, educate and connect creatives through a series of workshops and training sessions, is another program of this initiative, being led by the Co-Creative Center at

“In launching TDI Creative Cities in a year that was so challenging for communities like New Bedford, we prioritized the idea that the city’s most creative leaders should be empowered with financial assistance so they can use their craft to help solve broader community issues,” says Noah Koretz, MassDevelopment Director of Transformative Development. “I’m thrilled to see such a major cross-section of the community participating in this process, and I am happy that this year’s ‘Art is Everywhere’ funding will support projects that reflect both the city’s history and its future.” 


“Highlighting Diverse Stories: New Bedford’s Middle Schoolers as Literacy Ambassadors,” $2,500: Diversity in news matters. That’s why Emma York, a local educator, and Sawyer Pollitt, founder of New Bedford media outlet The Scallop, are bringing students directly into the reporting process. Together, they will lead students at Our Sisters’ School in writing a monthly column spotlighting middle grade books whose protagonists, authors and themes reflect New Bedford’s diversity. They hope this project serves as a model for collaboration between other schools and media outlets, giving young people from low-income backgrounds the chance to shape the narratives surrounding themselves and their communities.

New Bedford Children: Creative Resource Center, $12,000: The vision for The Creative Resource Center is to explore new and innovative ideas and materials for use in early childhood classrooms. Located within the Kilburn Mill community, this project works to bring together local artists and early childhood educators in an inspiring and supportive environment filled with materials brimming with creative potential. These open-ended items range widely from traditional art supplies to unusual materials collected from local businesses for reuse. All materials are thoughtfully curated to provoke creativity. This treasure trove of creative expression will be open to early educators to support their teaching as well as to the public. The center will also host free bi-weekly educator workshops open to educators from the more than 35 early childhood centers (including family child care providers) in New Bedford. This center acts as a central hub for the nonprofit’s mission to ensure every child’s right to a high-quality early childhood education in New Bedford by hosting a common space that nurtures everyone’s innate need to play, create, share and learn.

“Pandemic Renaissance – The Art of Surviving C 19,” $20,000: will serve as a historic archive of the pandemic for generations to come. Through artistic lenses of art, dance, music and poetry captured, a documentary film team led by award winning Cape Verdean artists Iva Brito and a’Ali DeSousa, will share stories of The Whaling City. “Pandemic Renaissance – The Art of Surviving C 19” will address this by documenting how multicultural communities have persevered and humanity has come shining through.

“Pride Month: Kaleidoscope – Art Through Your Eyes,” $2,500: This project is actually two projects in one. The first is an LGBTQ+ art show entitled “Kaleidescope – Art Through Your Eyes” at Gallery X and the second a month-long virtual Book Club Discussion Group for LGBTQ+ youth, adults and seniors discussing the The Healing Otherness Handbook by transgender author and counselor, Dr. Stacee Reicherzer. Imagined by the South Coast LGBTQ Network, the Book Club will advance the physical and mental well-being of a very marginalized group of people who have experienced financial hardships, unemployment, food insecurity and isolation during the pandemic. The Kaleidescope art exhibit will not only highlight the vibrant arts and culture of the LGBTQ+ community, but will bring renewed exposure to Gallery X, letting people know it is open for business again, and bringing the culturally diverse New Bedford community together for socialization, enrichment and fun.

The SouthCoast Learning Trails, $15,000: Little People’s College, along with the New Bedford Birth to Grade 3 Partnership and the Southcoast Coalition for Early Childhood Education, plans a series of Learning Trails with local artists creating signage along Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford’s north end. Each sign/art installation will contain messaging around early childhood development incorporating “The 5 Basics Principles:” 1) Maximize love, manage stress, 2) Talk, sing, point, 3) Count, group, compare, 4) Explore through movement and play, 5) Read and discuss stories. These five science-based parenting and caregiving tenets support social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from birth to age three.  The signs may include activities that involve local sights, sounds, culture or history, and will be translated in multiple languages to ensure access and inclusivity. 

“Um Frenti Unido – Um Prujeto di Memória Kultural (A United Front – A Cultural Memory Project)” $12,000: This project aims to archive the living memory of the Cape Verdean American community in New Bedford and explore how “creative placemaking” is a catalyst for the rapid rent increases leading to the displacement and gentrification of the historic African and Indigenous communities in Acushnet (New Bedford). Historically, New Bedford is the first American city that Cape Verdeans immigrated to. Moreover, Cape Verdeans are also the first African people to “voluntarily” emigrate to the United States, post European colonization. This makes this community uniquely important to African, Cape Verdean, and American history. This cultural memory project will elevate first person narratives from this historic African immigrant community. It will also explore the cross cultural relationships and moments of solidarity between the Cape Verdean, African American, Caribbean, Pokanoket, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Narragansett and Indigenous communities. The project is being led by La Soul Renaissance. 


In late 2019, the Barr Foundation awarded a grant to MassDevelopment to create a new arts-based economic development program through its Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) called “TDI Creative Cities.” 

At that time, few if any could have envisioned what was on the horizon. A pandemic the likes of which has not been seen for a century intervened. Still, MassDevelopment chose New Bedford as the pilot city for “TDI Creative Cities” and the “Art Is Everywhere!” grant program was created as one component to an arts and culture-based economic development strategy. 

A 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment project called “Your New Bedford” took the initiative for a test drive in 2020. It was a roaring success – and met the challenge of launching during the era of Covid-19. In fact, the pandemic neither slowed the creative pulse of this city – nor stopped the beneficent impulse of the “Art Is Everywhere” idea. 

Rather, in December 2020, MassDevelopment officially launched “TDI Creative Cities” as a multi-year program aimed at building a sustainable arts infrastructure within a Gateway city as a mechanism for supporting economic growth. And, using a $1.3 million grant from the Barr Foundation, MassDevelopment has aimed $550,000 at New Bedford to fund “TDI Creative Cities” in New Bedford – the first city selected to participate – over two years in 2021 and 2022.

The local team working in partnership with MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation includes the Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Economic Development Council, and New Bedford Creative.

In May 2020,  New Bedford Creative awarded 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment and partners the first-ever Art is Everywhere grant 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 deepened connections between neighborhoods and downtown and built partnerships between cultural organizations and community groups. Art is Everywhere is one component of “TDI Creative Cities,” a pilot initiative funded by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and the Barr Foundation.

3rd EyE Youth Empowerment’s project, “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 Youth Empowerment 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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