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, musicians and students, join us in celebrating the culture and creativity of NB.

We Art NB

The Annual New Bedford Public Schools District-Wide Arts Show takes place at the Rodrigues 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 including the New Bedford High School Jazz Band and Steel Drum Band
- recognition ceremony at 6pm with keynote speaker TBA.

Art Lab Art Show at Co-Creative Center (137 Union Street). Celebrate an amazing tribe of young makers and creators while marveling at handmade masterpieces.

We Art NB Mural Mash-Up
Witness something altogether new being created right in front of your eyes.
Check-out Superflat NB muralists as they paint on top of the WE ART NB photo mural (Acushnet Ave between Wings Court and Custom House Square). Many of the muralists featured in the photographs will be on hand and painting.

2 New Shows at Gallery X (169 William Street):
- Childish Things: an object, a memory, or an experience these are the childish things that
we were never quite able to put away.
- The Art of Rico Ferrari

An Evening of Nature Around Us at Buzzards Bay Coalition's Richard C. Wheeler Center (114 Front Street), 5-7:30. Stop by for this local photographer exhibit featuring images that capture the natural beauty of the Buzzards Bay watershed.

Happenings at the UMD CVPA Star Store Gallery (715 Purchase Street):
- 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition
The UMass Dartmouth 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition is a much anticipated and celebrated annual event showcasing the artwork of graduating students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The creative work of ten graduating students ranges from traditional media such as painting and ceramics to video, digital media, site-specific installations or interactive objects - and even a cookie. Exhibiting artists include Merri Cyr, Jeremy Duval, Patricia Flynn, Jennifer Halli, Jordi Lister, Brendan Lyons, Robert Najlis. Lauren Shepherd, Allen TenBusschen, Xiaodong Xu 徐晓东
- Shop the Fabric Flea
Get some amazing fabric for your creative projects and learn about UMass Dartmouth Fashion Design Program from Aleta May Deyo, the program coordinator, 6-7:30pm.

3 Shows at NBAM/Artworks! (608 Pleasant Street):
- Obama: An Intimate Portrait
A solo exhibition of a SouthCoast-born photographer’s intimate portraits of the Obamas. Pete Souza is a native of South Dartmouth, MA, and was appointed the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House Photography Office from 2009 to 2017. Featuring fifty photographs, specially selected for this exhibition by Pete Souza from his Obama archive.
- Turtles All The Way Up: Works by John O'Donnell. Featuring a series of sculptures that use the language of toys to reference a crude generalization of Eastern sensibilities often drawing on Buddhism and Hinduism. O’Donnell uses toys, manufactured in China and imported to the west to critique and embrace an arrogant American sensibility and explore the affordable escape inherent to the nostalgic toys he repurposes.
- Works from the New Bedford Free Public Library’s Special Collections
Ex-libris: The Art of the Bookplate
Curated by Janice Hodson

Let's Get Creative

Join Little Peoples College for a reading of Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed A Neighborhood by Isabel F. Campoy and a mural design activity. All activities in Wings Court. Rain location is New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street).

Join New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches for chalk drawing in Custom House Park.

Family Paint Session at Painting at Splash (772 Purchase Street), 6-7:30pm (while supplies last!)

Welcome new AHA! partner! 
The Workers’ Art Center (WAC) is a collaborative that includes the UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center, the Greater SE Massachusetts Labor Council, and Teamsters Local 59
Stop by the Center (560 Pleasant Street, also the office of the Greater SE MA Labor Council) for an ongoing worker photography exhibit and an opportunity to be a part of worker photography by taking a selfie in the role of a textile worker from the 1920s, 5-9pm. There will be a guided tour at the site of the Fredrick Douglass Labor History Mural at 6pm (meet at the corner of Sixth and Spring) and an informal sing along of labor songs at 7pm. There will be song books available.  Feel free to bring an instrument, or just come and observe..

Celebrate Preservation Month

The New Bedford Preservation Society presents a West of County Street guided walking tour. Gather at the William Rodman Mansion (388 County Street) at 6pm for an architectural walking tour led by Bruce Barnes. In the 1800s the sea captains of New Bedford became investors in international trade and soon the grand residences of County Street became their legacy. This tour will highlight a selection of these architectural beauties. Part of the NBPS Summer Walking Tour Series, funded by the New Bedford Local Cultural Council.

A Carriage Ride Down County: Stories by Beth Luey at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street), 5:30pm. The RJD House is but one example of a house that tells several stories over time. The three generations of the Adams family that lived in their homes in Quincy had very different experiences, as did the six generations who lived in the Fairbanks House in Dedham. The Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston reflects the history of a whole neighborhood. These stories all come from Luey’s new book, At Home: Historic Houses of Eastern Massachusetts.

More On AHA! Night

Ship To Shore: How Changing Technology Has Impacted Fishing Families
A panel discussion at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street), 7-8pm. Part of the Center’s Wheelhouse Technology from Sounding Leads to Satellites exhibit and program series exploring the evolution of communication, navigation and fish finding and the impact of those changes on the fishing community. Over the past century, new technologies have allowed New Bedford’s fleet to arrive on the grounds faster, fish safer, and communicate more easily. But at what cost? This exhibit considers the evolution and impact of technological change on the industry, the community, and the fish. In addition to considering the science behind devices such as EPIRB, SONAR, and LORAN, the exhibit and programs will consider topics such as Technology & Privacy, Dependence on Technology, and Technology & Sustainability.

Live Music In DNB

Open Mic at the Castle on Union Street
The First Unitarian Church NB (Union and County Street) hosts their monthly open mic event. Doors open and signup starts at 6:30pm. All ages. Bands welcome.

Pilgrim UCC (635 Purchase Street) hosts Band of Friends: Musicians of Friends Academy under the direction of Putnam Murdock, 6pm.

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.