NEW BEDFORD — Downtown will be alight with free art and entertainment on Sept. 9 as a fully live AHA! night fills the streets to celebrate the role that the arts play in the economic revival of New Bedford.
This month’s theme celebrates 20 years since the opening of the UMass Dartmouth Star Store Campus for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Dean A. Lawrence Jenkens said, “ . . . students and faculty contribute to the increasingly vibrant cultural life of the city which fuels investment and interest around the Star Store. This artistic ecosystem has been incredibly successful.”
“We invite you to stroll downtown and check out all the free AHA! Night entertainment at dozens of venues, along with the fabulous food served at downtown’s many and diverse restaurants,” said AHA! Director Lee Heald. “This month’s theme honors the dazzling impact that the Star Store CVPC has on the arts culture in our city by the sea.”
AHA! Night highlights:
Hip Hop in the Garden: 3-4:30 PM
New Bedford Whaling National Park, Visitors Center
33 Williams Street
3rd Eye Unlimited Present
The Five Pillars of Hip Hop, Part 5
Hosted by Lonelle Walker
This is the last of 5 monthly events (May-September) exploring the 5 pillars of hip hop (Knowledge, B-Boy/Girl, Graffiti, MC’ing, DJ’ing) through performance, visual art, and sharing. Find out more about the five pillars, the history of these traditions, and where their influences originate.
The Fishing Heritage Center, 6:00-8:00 pm
New Gallery Exhibit: Women’s Work: At Sea, On shore, At Home, In the Community
Reception to welcome all visitors.
Starry Night Craft & the Bookmobile: 3:00pm New Bedford Main Library, 613 Pleasant Street
Look for the Bookmobile near Wing’s Court at 5:30 pm
New Bedford Art Museum: 4:00-8:00pm
608 Pleasant Street
Dear Malcolm Postcard Project
This summer and fall, the Art Museum will collaborate with the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park (and Uncommon Threads exhibition partner) to engage the community in the Dear Malcolm Postcard project. Stop by to color, write and cut out a postcard to Malcolm X. Postcards will be collected by NBAM for display in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitors’ Center through November.
Get Out and Art Pop-Up Show
Featuring artwork by youth during this summer’s Get Out & Art program, sponsored by the SouthCoast Community Foundation.
More Art Museum exhibits, free to all on AHA Night:
Uncommon Threads: The Works of Ruth E. Carter
A solo exhibition celebrating Massachusetts-born Ruth E. Carter’s 30-year career as an Academy Award costume designer. Featuring costumes from Dolmite Is My Name (2019), Roots (2016 reboot), Selma (2014), Do The Right Thing (1989), and Malcolm X (1992). The exhibit follows Carter’s creative process and includes sketches, mood boards, iconic costume, and other ephemera from her Los Angeles studio.
Eadweard Muybridge: Animal Locomotion
The latest exhibition at the Art Museum by New Bedford Library’s Art Curator, Allie Copeland. Eadweard Muybridge: Animal location is the Library’s latest exhibition featuring historic photographic studies of animals in motion and early motion-picture projection.
Lawn Games: 4:00-6:00 pm Roach-Jones-Duff Garden
396 County Street
Bring a picnic, relax on the lawn and play a round of croquet or bocce with friends.
Music & Art on William Street Alison Wells Gallery, 5:00-8:00pm
106 William Street
Shop local art. New glicee prints and notecards from Alison’s “in the Neighborhood” series about New Bedford (currently on view at the New Bedford Whaling Musuem). Plus original wok by select guest artists in stained glass, woodwork, ceramics and macrame.
Outside Celia’s Boutique, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Dance to the music of acoustic duo Montage Bleu featuring Annett Almeida and Kim Mitchell performing an eclectic blend of covers s panning many decades and styles. Enjoy complex arrangements, intricate harmonies and multiple instruments!
First In-Person AHA! Mini-Concert
Interwoven, 6:00-7:00 pm
634 Pleasant Street
Interwoven is a maker space gallery that brings together the craft of making food and fabric with its connection to cultures from around the world. Providing creative space, gallery showings, private event space, pop-up rental opportunities, consignment sales and more.
Two of New Bedford’s own singers/songwriters:
Hooly J. Chan describers herself as a fairy or alien. Holly moves through the world writing songs and playing the ukulele. She’s recently written and released two albums: “Hospital Socks” and “Make Believe”, both on CD to tell her personal story about her healing journey and commentary on society and the world.
Cassie Soares’ roots grew from her days spent with her ukulele and have evolved into her ever growing style playing her electric guitar. Cassis’ first albumn, “Past Tense” will be released this month.
2 New Exhibits at Gallery X: 5:00-8:00 pm
169 Williams Street
Monochrome X in the Main Gallery
An exhibition of monochromatic works submitted by our artis members and community. White is the blending of all colors, black is the absence of color; between, infinite possibility. Artist have used a single color as a vehicle for exploring both the potential and limitations of image making, using this reductive formula to experiment with composition, tonality and subject matter.
Two Perspectives on Nature in the Douglass Gallery
Featuring the works of Gallery X members Lisa Goulart and Herby Thompson
Co-Creative Center, Gallery Wierdos, Opening reception 6:00-8:00 pm
137 Union Street
New paintings by nationally and internationally known Taunton artist, Phillip J. Mellen.
Music & Art on the Front Porch The Drawing Room, 5:00-7:00 pm
36 North Water Street
Music & Art with Kathi Taylor and Bob Dunlap
This musical duo combines guitar, percussion, and vocal harmonies to create big sound in a small package. Kathi will also have a pop-up shop for her art business, KatCo Creations. Chairs available, but feel free to bring-your-own to ensure a seat.
Swing by the South End Kilburn Mill, 5:00-8:00 pm
127 Rodney French Boulevard
New Works at the Judith Klein Art Gallery, Main Entrance, 2nd Fl, Suite 2-87
New jewelry by Nitza Atali and wood work by Andrew Peppart. Plus, printmaking, drawings, acrylic, oil, and mix media by Judith Klein.
Kilburn Open House, Artisan Center 2nd Floor, Enter at Door #4.
Art receptions, art demos, and tours of the mill
Booker T Stopped Here Pilgrim UCC, 6:00-8:00 pm
635 Purchase Street
Mercy Meal & More will be opening the Pilgrim UCC Hall for AHA! Night. The hall is an historic building and part of the history includes a visit by Booker T. Washington. Crafts, refreshments and a ‘museum-style’ history lesson.
Gallery Girls Stellar Storytime
First Unitarian Church NB Garden, 5:00-7:00 pm
County and Union Streets
Gallery Girls Stellar Storytime … Women in Space!
Learn about the women who reached the stars!
Thank You! A celebration for Arthur and Jean Bennett
Custom House Square, 5:30-7:30 pm
Join the staff and community partners of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in celebrating and recognizing two of New Bedford’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders! Speaking program, light refreshments, and a chance to mingle and reconnect. New Bedford Symphony quintet will perform.
“That Should Be In A Museum” Tour
History & Architecture with New Bedford Preservation Society
James Arnold Mansion, 5:30 pm
427 County Road
The New Bedford Preservation Society and the New Bedford Museum of Glass host a walking tour highlighting the extraordinary stained-glass windows of the Unitarian and Grace Episcopal churches. Kirk Nelson, Executive Director of the Museum, will join Bruce Barn to tour the Churches as well as other buildings along the walking tour route. The recently reopened New Bedford Museum of Glass at the James Arnold Mansion will also be open after the tour.
Jazz Music Under the Jazz Wall, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Presented by Fiber Optic Center & Whaling City Sound
Fiber Optic Center parking lot
23 Centre Street
Enjoy jazz music under the Jazz Wall performed by Joaquin Santos and Friends! Featuring Joaquin Santos (leader and drums), Dominic Davis (bass), Evan Cole (vocals), and Adonis Martin (keyboards).
Downtown New Bedford – The Definitive Tour
Take a walking tour of historic downtown New Bedford with your guide Bruce Barnes. Visit some of the definitive downtown landmarks including the Library, City Hall and many of the most important and beautiful commercial building including banks and department stores.
Historic Property of the Week, New Bedford Historical Vignettes.
This month’s historical vignette features the Railroad Depots of New Bedford’s past.
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 https://ahanewbedford.org/events/august-vaha/ for a full schedule of events.
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.