New Bedford Creative Announces Historic Grant Awards Totaling $509,200


FEBRUARY 12, 2024

Contact: Edwina Klünder 617-888-5859

Click here for link to high-res photos and videos.

Click here for list of 2024 grant recipients.

NEW BEDFORD, MA – In a groundbreaking moment for the City’s arts community, New Bedford Creative this week is announcing the release of 82 grant awards, totaling an unprecedented $509,200.

This monumental grant allocation, the highest ever awarded to a broad cross-section of individual artists, purveyors of special events, and cultural non-profit organizations in New Bedford, marks a significant milestone in the recovery from the challenges posed by the pandemic. It also puts an exclamation point on the City’s decades-long journey towards defining itself as a regional destination for arts and culture.

“New Bedford’s arts and culture scene is thriving,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “This significant investment in the arts is a testament to the artists’ creativity and talent, as well as to the City’s place as the center of a region rich in arts and culture offerings.”

This substantial investment supports a diverse range of initiatives as proposed by a broad range of individual residents and arts and culture partners in New Bedford. Projects receiving funding in 2024 include 14 innovative Art is Everywhere! projects, 18 transformative Wicked Cool Places projects, and the empowering inclusion of 50 ARTnet artists. The breadth and depth of these grants reflect a commitment to enriching the cultural fabric of New Bedford, making the arts more accessible and impactful than ever before.

“This grant program is not just a financial boost; it’s an investment in the vibrant arts community that defines New Bedford,” said Tony Sapienza, President of the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC). “These grants recognize the essential role of the arts in our recovery and reflect the dynamism culture brings to our local economy. We are witnessing a transformative moment that will resonate for years to come.”

Please visit the Media Hub of for a full list of grant awards and summaries of individual projects. An independent Review Committee, representing a broad cross- section of community interests, scored grants for Wicked Cool Places and Art is Everywhere! ARTnet artists were selected based on eligibility.

Funding for this ambitious initiative is provided by the City of New Bedford, through American Rescue Plan awards, and its Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund. Additional support comes from the Barr Foundation, Bristol County Savings Bank, and Mass Cultural Council, reflecting a collaborative effort to fortify the cultural landscape of the city.

The grant recipients span a wide array of artistic disciplines and will contribute to making arts and culture in New Bedford richer, deeper, and more meaningful than ever before. These initiatives promise to engage diverse audiences, foster community connections, and stimulate economic growth, positioning New Bedford as a beacon for artistic innovation in Massachusetts for years to come.

ARTnet is an artist recovery and training network to help artists recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic by providing financial support, business planning support, training workshops, and access to a network of creative-entrepreneur peers.

Art is Everywhere! is a grant program that prioritizes creative solutions to expedite the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Bedford’s neighborhoods. This grant was originally created in 2020 with funding by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and the Barr Foundation as one component of a broader “TDI Creative Cities” initiative to boost arts-based economic development.

Wicked Cool Places, a grant program for making or keeping a place where things are happening and people want to be, are for projects that involve and impact residents, visitors and/or businesses in New Bedford’s neighborhoods. This grant was originally created in 2019 with funding by the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support by Bristol County Savings Bank.

New Bedford residents and visitors will begin to feel the effects of these grant awards immediately and throughout 2024.

Remarks NBEDC’s Margo Saulnier, Director of Creative Strategies: “From individuals to the staff and directors of non-profit organizations, the persons who practice arts and culture in the city constitute a professional class without peer. They’re eager and ready to go – and these awards will enable them to get busy with the business of creating an abundance of unique experiences which will uplift and enrich the entire city.”

Photo description: Mayor Jonathan F. Mitchell speaks at a press conference to announce 82 grant awards on behalf of New Bedford Creative on Monday, February 12, 2024.

Photo credit: Josh Souza for New Bedford Creative

Scroll to Top