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

Celebrate Black History Month

The New Bedford Historical Society hosts a screening of Fighting for Freedom: Lewis Hayden and the Underground Railroad. 5:30 & 6:30pm in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Theater (33 William Street). Each showing will be followed by a discussion with Ranger Rufai.

Celebrate Black History Month at the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street):
- Join the New Bedford Historical Society and Doodles Creative Sessions to celebrate Frederick Douglass's birthday. Stop by for a birthday card workshop, 5:30-7pm. Prizes for the best-designed cards will be awarded.
- From Slavery To Freedom: African Americans in Maritime History
The panel exhibit highlights the important role of African Americans and Cape Verdeans in New Bedford's maritime history.

Celebrate Black History Month with art and jazz at the Alison Wells Gallery (106 William Street):
- Enjoy the eclectic blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, and contemporary classics with local saxophonist Emmanuel "Manny" Escobar. Escobar graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, performed with some of the top jazz musicians in the country and was nominated for a Grammy in 2010.
- New on the Guest Wall, a group show of local, young, up-and-coming artists whose work reflects aspects, concepts and concerns of the African Diaspora.
- Original artwork, giclee prints and note cards by Alison Wells.

#shopDNB! Black History Month specials at Subtext Bookshop (209 Union Street).

Celebrate Love - Happy Valentine's Day

Screening of Melville in Love at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill), 5pm. Melville in Love is a full-length documentary on Herman Melville, the writing of Moby-Dick, and Melville’s secret love affair with Sarah Morewood, based on the recent book by noted biographer Michael Shelden. Filmed in the Berkshires at Arrowhead and at other area landmarks, the movie was produced and directed by filmmaker Seth Newton of Newton’s Law Productions. Click to learn more.

All You Need Is Love
Join 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment and friends for love-themed crafts, snacks, and interactive activities, 6-8pm. Followed by the Be Our Valentine dance party featuring a live dj and seltzer bar. $10 gets you through the door, 9-11pm. Both events at mediumstudio (38 Bethel Street, floor 2).

Celebrate love with Dream Out Loud (1 Johnny Cake Hill):
- Couples Karaoke
- Thumb print heart craft
- Community Dream board inspired by Martin Luther King

Commune-N-Tea, an Alternative Community Gathering, 6-8pm at the Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street). This collaborative event offers nourishing teas from Bilo Herbs, uplifting DJing brought to you by Ace on Earth, a Love Affair of poetry readings including some Shakespeare sonnets with the Glass Horse Project, and a collaborative art activity by Co-Creative alongside their Gallery Exhibition.

Share your love for Buzzards Bay! Meet some animals that live in the bay and learn about their relationships with one another. Enjoy a sweet treat and some hot cocoa while making a valentine themed nature craft or find inspiration for your next (possibly romantic) beach stroll/trail walk in Buzzards Bay. 5-8pm at Buzzards Bay Coalition (114 Front Street).

The Youth Services Department of the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street) hosts a Valentine's card craft and a Snowy Day story walk, 5-7pm.

Forgot your Valentine? No worries!
Stop by Bristol Community College – New Bedford (800 Purchase Street) to create amazing cards for friends, family, significant others or anybody you care about. Celebrate Valentine's Day and the diversity of our community at a Valentine's Day Around the World Poetry open mic. Bring a love poem in a foreign language to share in the original and an English translation, or just stop by to enjoy the poetry, and a cup of hot chocolate.

Love Birds: A New England Art Show at TL6 the Gallery (100 William Street). Opening night of their first group show of 2019 featuring art by Annie Farrelly, Kaila Howard, Jim Charette, Chip Davenport, Brian Molina, Kristi Marshall, Jane Bregoli, Hailey Dube, and Rochelle Levesque. Stroll Downtown NB with your Valentine and warm up inside TL6. Watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings, drawings, prints, cards and hand-crafted birdhouses available for purchase.

Dinner and a show at the New Bedford Harbor Hotel (222 Union Street).
Enjoy live R&B Motown Soul music by the talented Newby Grace and Diamond Dust from 6-9pm.
Pre Fixe dinner menu includes an appetizer, entrée, and dessert per guest and each couple will also be able to choose a bottle of wine. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 508-999-1292.

February Film Night at Groundwork (1213 Purchase Street), 5:30-630.
A special Valentine's Day screening of Looking For Love, a quirky documentary that follows Barry on his quest to woo a beautiful Colombian woman. This film allows you to be a fly on the wall as an American senior citizen with zero Spanish skills tries earnestly to woo a radiant, Colombian single mother who wants nothing more than a man that will love her and her adolescent son. Looking for Love is a romantic black comedy that employs gritty, embedded documentary filmmaking to tell the story of our universal ambition to love and to be loved and the length to which some are willing to go to achieve it.

Please Be Seated

Please Be Seated for a pop-up concert by the Sippican School Jazz Band. 6pm at the First Unitarian Church New Bedford (County and Union Street).

Please Be Seated for Your Theatre and The Collective NB, two great local theater groups, collaborating on short plays and readings (5 to 10 minutes each) rotating 6-7:30pm in the Zeiterion Penler Space.

Please Be Seated for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, 7:15-8pm at the Zeiterion Theatre (684 Purchase Street). Get up close and personal with the NBSO's Conductor and Music Director, Yaniv Dinur. Join him in the Zeiterion theater at 7:15pm for a question and answer session. Then observe his rehearsal with the entire orchestra from 7:30 to 8:00pm. Attendees will receive a special discount voucher for the February 16 NBSO concert Roses and Thorns.

Please Be Seated for some kids crafts (and Women's Guild jewelry sale) at Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street), 6-7:30pm.

Please Be Seated for Bristol Community College Students Respond to New Bedford. Bristol students will share their individual research projects on a variety of topics related to Downtown New Bedford. Predicated on the pedagogy of “city as text,” students embrace the city as a distinctive learning environment and consider the relationship between theory and practice in selected methods of urban fieldwork. 5:30pm at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street).

More AHA! Awesomeness

Open House at Mass Escape (13 North Sixth Street): Start the year with adventures and cookies provided by Wild Honey. Mass Escape is a hands-on, mental adventure game in downtown New Bedford.

New AHA! Partner
LOVEmoda's Grand RE-Opening (96 William Street, Studio 1), 5-8pm:
- LOVEmoda Open Studio
- Jam sampling with La Rhonda.
- Live music by local ukulele player, Cal Wingate, 6-7pm.
- Fifteen minute complimentary seated Reiki session with Karyn Estrella, Third Degree Reiki Practitioner (donations are accepted), 6-8pm.

Learn various knot making techniques with the newest New Bedford Whaling National Historical Parkartist in residence, Nafis White. 5:30-8:30pm in the MakerSpace (33 William Street)

We Art NB

Opening reception for the Artible Soco Student Exhibition. 5-8pm in the Co-Creative Gallery (137 Union Street).

Opening reception for H.A.Sigg: The River Exhibition, 6-8pm at UMD Star Store (715 Purchse Street). The work of renowned Swiss artist H. A. Sigg (born in 1924 in Zurich) features lyrically composed abstract landscapes derived from the visual image of the river. The Exhibition is curated by legendary art critic and London based writer and curator Edward Lucie-Smith. Click to learn more about the artist and this exhibit.

Opening and Awards at NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street), 6-8pm:
- Opening reception plus performance for works by John O'Donnell
- Best In Show Awards for Who Saved Who
Who Saved Who? is an exhibition that explores the bond between humans and their pets that reaches beyond the general use of animals to a strange and magical human-animal attachment. A mix of curated, professional artworks (including renowned artist William Wegman) and images selected from a community open call for creative expressions of beloved pets, this exhibition illustrates the universal bond between humans and their familiars.

2 new shows at Gallery X (169 William Street):
- Galaxy X: 100 Years in the Future
- Chernobyl Through The Lens: a group exhibit of American photographers that traveled with guides in May of 2018 through the Russian city of Pripyat within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. With Geiger Counters and Dosimeters in hand they toured and photographed this city decimated and then abandoned from nuclear fallout. It is a stark reminder of the dangers of radiation from accident or possibly future wars. Photographers include Bryan Buckley, Frank Grace III, Frank C. Grace, John Mooney, Brandi Ann Sperry and Sydney Carlo.

Commercial Fishermen of New England: Charcoal Portraits by Suzanne Starr
The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) will display nearly twenty charcoal drawings that depict some of the commercial fishermen working local waters today. Whether chasing ground fish, squid, lobsters or scallops, most continue the work of their fathers and grandfathers. As a series, these images offer a richer portrait of the fishing community thatn any individual portrait might. An award winning artist, Suzanne Starr is an Elected Artist at the Mystic Museum of Art, and a member of the American Artists Professional League. Recently retired from her teaching career in the North Stonington public school system, she now pursues her art on a full time basis.

Swing by the South End! The Judith Klein Gallery (127 West Rodney French Blvd.) hosts a new show “About Love “, featuring artists and their students exhibiting their work.
Participants include:
Jay Ryan and students Helen Johnson, Jane Fitzgerald -Egan, TAIP intern Asher Machado
Lori Bradley and students from the BSU art program
Judith Klein and students Abigail Ackerman, Christine Knowles, Oona Clark, Bronte Massucco, TAIP intern Aline Sarkis
Patricia White and students John Conway, Teresa Mattson
Sheila Oliveira and students Maggie Fichna and Clifton Assisted Living Art Program

AHA New Bedford

AHA New Bedford


December 13, 2018 City Sidewalks
MAY 9, 2019 WE ART NB
JUNE 13, 2019 PRIDE

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.