New Bedford Creative is housed at the New Bedford Economic Development Council, and tasked with implementing the city’s first-ever strategic arts and culture plan, published in December 2018. The vision of the plan is that “In New Bedford, the creative community is an engaged and powerful partner, inspiring social, economic, and cultural growth. In this authentic seaport city, each and every person enjoys an opportunity to experience a diversity of cultures. Art is everywhere, encouraging fun, provoking thought, and nurturing the soul.”
Funding is provided by the New Bedford Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, proposed by Mayor Jon Mitchell in the spring of 2016 and signed into law by Governor Baker in January 2017. The New Bedford Economic Development Council has a three-year agreement to manage the fund for the City. This work is led by the Creative Strategist, a 24-member volunteer Creative Consortium, with staff support from the NBEDC and Departments of City Planning, Tourism & Marketing, Parks, Recreation & Beaches, and the Mayor’s Office. Additional funding is provided by Arts Midwest, Barr Foundation, Bristol County Savings Bank, MassDevelopment/TDI, Mass Cultural Council, New Bedford Local Cultural Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, SouthCoast Community Foundation, and Southeastern Massachusetts Visitors Bureau.