Program Credits Advocacy of Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral

NEW BEDFORD, MA – The AHA! Partnership has received $75,000 from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to continue presenting its monthly arts and culture nights both virtually and with live events in the city’s downtown, thanks to the advocacy of state Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral, D-New Bedford.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, AHA! has had a virtual presence as VAHA!, bringing the same quality performances, lectures, and other arts and culture highlights to community members from the safety of their homes. This new funding will support AHA! to reopen with in-person events and to provide safe experiences that celebrate the arts and downtown New Bedford and bring people to the downtown streets.

“Over the past year, AHA has continued provide downtown New Bedford with a sense of community. They have provided much-needed and safe opportunities for people to reconnect with each other by adapting their programming to take advantage of outdoor spaces. If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is how much value the arts bring to our day-to-day lives – and how much we value that creativity. This funding from MOTT will go a long way in helping AHA maintain their momentum into the spring.” – Rep. Antonio Cabral

“We are extremely grateful to the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism and to Rep. Cabral for his support and tireless advocacy,” said AHA! Director Lee Heald. “The funding will allow us to begin to engage live audiences for AHA! Nights in safe programs and to maintain our beloved community performance platform and making it accessible to all.”

About AHA!
AHA! (Art, History & Architecture) is New Bedford’s free Downtown Cultural Night and collaborative cultural organization with over 60 downtown venue partners. A 501(c)3 project of the SouthCoast Community Foundation, AHA! has taken place every 2nd Thursday since July 1999. The AHA! mission is to be a cooperative venture dedicated to invigorating the downtown New Bedford cultural scene using the power of the arts and cultural enterprise, creativity and collaboration to forge a new economy. Visit www.ahanewbedford.org for more information,

About the SouthCoast Community Foundation
Since 1995, area residents have been turning to the SouthCoast Community Foundation to make their philanthropic giving as effective as possible. The Community Foundation is a tax-exempt, public charity serving thousands of people who share a common concern for improving the quality of life for all in Southeastern Massachusetts. Visit www.southcoastcf.org for more information.