AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA New Bedford

From our galleries and museums to our artisans, artists, writers and students, join us in celebrating the culture and creativity of New Bedford. Sponsored by First Citizens Credit Union, Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural Investment Portfolio and the UMD College of Visual and Performing Arts.


Annual New Bedford Public Schools District-Wide Arts Show will take place at the Roderiques Administration Building (455 County Street), 5-7:30pm. Highlights: - showcasing grades K-12 from 26 schools - over 3,000 pieces of student artwork on display - awards of excellence for students in grades 6-12 - live entertainment with NBPS musicians - recognition ceremony at 6pm with keynote speaker Don Burton, local film maker

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) hosts How Art Inspired a Book with author Rachel Rowley Spaulding, 7-7:45pm. Spaulding will share how Arthur Moniz's painting of the F/V Ellen Marie inspired her to learn more about the vessel.  She wrote her book, In Search of Ellen Marie, during her search which culminated in a love for the fishing community in New Bedford. Presentation will be followed by a Q & A and book signing.  

Mixed media miniatures by Alison Wells on the Brick Wall and live music with singer songwriter Mike Heffernan at Alison Wells Art Gallery (106 William Street).  5-9pm, music starts at 6:30.

Opening Reception for Fast ‘N Furious: New abstract work by Roger Kizik and Marianne Stebenne Ceramics trunk show at Gallery 65 (65 William Street), 5-9pm.

New Show at Gallery X (169 William Street), South Coast Artists Invitational Exhibition featuring the creative works of multiple SCA Member Artists from Dartmouth and Westport MA, and Tiverton and Little Compton, RI.

Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford Art Program’s annual Spring Exhibition in the Casa dos Botes Discovery Center a the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill), 5:30-7pm. Member’s artwork will be displayed and sold alongside local New Bedford artist’s artwork. Award ceremony and presentations begin promptly at 6pm, followed by a reception, art auction, refreshments, music, and collaborative art making with the Earth Artists.

Swing by the South End! Judith Klein Art Gallery (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) presents a new exhibit, The 2 Artist Show featuring romantic landscape painter, Ewa Romaszewicz and figurative abstract landscape painter, Michael Hubert. The artists will be in gallery to talk about their work.

2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition at UMD CVPA Star Store Gallery (715 Purchase Street). Featuring work from Artisanry, Design and Fine Arts including painting, drawing, sculpture, digital and moving images, as well as intricate jewelry. Exhibiting artists: Lisa A. Bryson, April Claggett, Heather Davis, Kate Dickinson, Yunjie Gao, Natasha Jabre, Andrew Laverty Andrew Leo Stansbury, Monica Lopes, Marita Torbick, Hanna Vogel, Amanda C. Watkins.

Let’s Get Creative

The AHA! Harmony & A Chord Project presents HeART of Youth: hip hop dance, slam poetry, and visual art with Dream Out Loud and Behavioral Health Innovators in The Zeiterion Penler Space (Purchase Street), 6:30-7:30pm.
Drug Story Theater performed at The Zeiterion recently, and hundreds of middle and high schoolers heard real-life stories from teen-actors about their recovery from drug abuse. Their performance was the inspiration for the HeART of Youth – a performance and exhibit created, deep from the heart of youth. See a montage of live performing arts organized by Dream Out Loud – hip hop dance, slam poetry, original music compositions, as well as, a visual art display brought to you by Behavioral Health Innovators, featuring contributions from Dartmouth High School, New Bedford High School and the Boys and Girls Club of New Bedford. Harmony & A Chord is funded through the Mass Cultural Council Cultural Investment Portfolio.

Check out the Youth Ambassador Program's new music video, "The Struggle." Meet the artists, watch earlier versions of the video, and discuss the artistic process. The premiere is followed by a hip-hop song writing seminar by the artists themselves starting at 6pm. All the fun is happening at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park visitor center (33 William Street).

Sneak peek kids art activities for summer artMOBILE and Cool Arts Kids at NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street).

Join the Southeastern Regional Office of Attorney General Maura Healey at the corner of William & Purchase Street for the Art of Community Engagement. It’s the Office’s mission to serve all people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in every one of its diverse communities and to provide access to the Office’s resources and educational material. 5-7pm

Live Music In Downtown

New Bedford JazzFest Preview featuring the Global Learning Charter Public School Jazz Band in Wings Court, 5:30-7:30pm. Click for more info about the NB JazzFest happening on June 10th.

Café Arpeggio (800 Purchase Street) presents May Featured Performers Mountain Chief from 6-7pm and Weekly Open Mic from 7-10pm, hosted by Art Tebbetts & Denn Santoro. A young cutting edge punk trio, Mountain Chief features brothers Johnny and Dan Hurley, and Sam Kooharian.

A cool evening of hot swing music. The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (33 William Street) hosts the Sophisticated Swing Big Band in the visitor center garden, 7-8:30pm.

Back by popular demand, the Harmonix, Dartmouth High School’s a cappella group, plays live in the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum garden, 5:30pm.

The James B Condon School Choruses, under the direction of Diane Littlehale, perform at Pilgrim UCC (635 Purchase Street), 6pm

More AHA! Night Fun

Join B.C.C. New Bedford and the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce for Business After Hours. Greasy Luck Vault Room, 5-7pm.


February 9, 2017 History, Herstory, Ourstory
March 9, 2017 All Sewn Up
April 13, 2017 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 11, 2017 We Art NB
June 8, 2017 Launch: New Spaces, New Places
July 13, 2017 Kids Rule
August 10, 2017 Jammin’ in the Streets
September 14, 2017 NB Cultures
October 12, 2017 Moveable Feast
November 9, 2017 Made in NB
December 14, 2017 City Sidewalks

All activities are FREE and open to the public.Year-round programming is funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program, The Island Foundation, The City of New Bedford, the AHA! partners, individual supporters and in-kind marketing support from the Standard-Times and WBSM. For more information call 508-996-8253 x205

First time visitors
may want to start AHA! Night at the National Park Visitor Center (33 William Street). Complete program flyers with maps are also available at all AHA! venues starting the Tuesday prior to each event.

Directions: From I-195 E or W. Take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte 18 to 2nd traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue on two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking also available for free after 6 pm. 

Our AHA! Partners have something for everybody on your list. 
- boutique shops 
- museum memberships
- galleries galore
- tickets to a show
- gift cards to eclectic eateries 

Click here for AHA! Partner info.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.