“Art Is Everywhere” awards $70,000 to New Bedford arts and culture projects

On Friday June 10, 2022 New Bedford Creative introduced the “Art is Everywhere” grant recipients for arts and culture projects in the City of New Bedford this year.

Seven compelling applicants have been selected to share $70,000 in funding to realize their vision and bring their projects to life in the city. This is the third year “Art is Everywhere,” administered by New Bedford Creative on behalf of MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation, has supported projects that seek to define and enlarge the scope of creativity in the city.

Reflecting an expanding pool of talent and vision, this year four of the seven are first time recipients of New Bedford Creative funding, and six are new to Art is Everywhere. Five are receiving full funding for their projects. Additionally, five represent the impact the city’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities have made and are making today in the city.

“The recipients in this round of the ‘Art is Everywhere’ Grant Program showcase the breadth of what New Bedford’s creative community has to offer,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “From a bilingual Yoga Series focused on serving underrepresented youth, to honoring the legacy of Frederick Douglass, these projects have the power to catalyze the local arts-based creative economy in a way that creates deep impact in the community.”

New to “Art is Everywhere” this year is Dil ba Dil Rah Dhara (From One Heart to Another): The Afghan Women’s Art Project which will be presented in partnership with the South Coast Afghan Welcome Network (SAWN) and the New Bedford Free Public Library with the support of $11,600.

Meanwhile, La Soul Renaissance will celebrate its 20th anniversary with special programming to celebrate the local Cape Verdean, Black, Indigenous, Caribbean, Immigrant and wider community about the value of the cultural memory at Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall with $13,000.

The bilingual Yoga series, Ease into Summer Kids, will be launched by Tahais Real-Martins of Yoga Es Vida at New Bedford Parks with $6,000. David Andrews and The Communal Space will host Kids Open Art Week with a $3,400 award.

The heritage of New Bedford’s Abolition movement is recognized by two projects. The Massachusetts Design Art, & Technology Institute (known as DATMA) project will use $6,000 to place “Safe Station: New Bedford’s Underground Railroad” at the New Bedford YMCA. And, the New Bedford Historical Society’s Abolition Row Park will dedicate $20,000 towards its Frederick Douglass Memorial at the park.

Finally, the appetizing pairing of food and creativity will be showcased by Coastal Foodshed at farmers markets throughout the city with $10,000 in seed money.

“These projects add to the richness of our shared cultural experiences,” comments Margo Saulnier, Creative Strategist for New Bedford Creative. “Collectively, these ‘Art is Everywhere’ projects propel New Bedford into a more equitable future by expressing the creativity of our entire community.”

The importance of arts and culture in the City of New Bedford is reflected by the “Art is Everywhere” investment and other recent initiatives. In May 2022, Mayor Jon A. Mitchell announced that $1.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding was also being made available to support local artists and art-related organizations.

He remarked at the time, “The artists that comprise New Bedford’s thriving arts community are themselves small businesses. (This) represents a timely investment in our economy and will energize our cultural scene.”

The ARPA funds will be awarded later this year through New Bedford Creative’s grant programs – even as “Art is Everywhere” catalyzes the New Bedford cultural landscape. Updates, further information and monthly news about all programs can be found at newbedfordcreative.org.

New Bedford Creative photo.

New Bedford’s Mayor Mitchell announces new grant opportunities for local artists, arts groups

Speaking at Hatch Street Studies earlier today, Mayor Jon Mitchell and other leaders announced that $1.2 million in funding is being made available to support local artists and art-related organizations.

Earlier this year the City launched a Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) to distributed a portion of the federal grant that New Bedford received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). With today’s announcement, the SBAP will now allocate a portion of its funds exclusively to assist local artists and arts/culture organizations. The funding will be distributed under three separate initiatives: Wicked Cool Places, Art is Everywhere, and ARTnet; the New Bedford Economic Development Council (EDC) will be tasked with administering the respective grant processes through the NBEDC’s arts & culture-focused arm, New Bedford Creative.

“The artists that comprise New Bedford’s thriving arts community are themselves small businesses. Funding to accelerate their emergence from the pandemic represents a timely investment in our economy and will energize our cultural scene,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.

“Supporting arts, culture, and creativity is critical to catalyzing broader community and economic development,” New Bedford EDC President Tony Sapienza said. “This important boost to support artists and art-related organizations will build the momentum of how the city is promoted to the region and the world – that this is a great place to live, work, and visit.”

The NBEDC’s New Bedford Creative will administer direct grants through:

(1) the existing Wicked Cool Places initiative, for creative placemaking and place-keeping projects;
(2) the Art is Everywhere initiative, for arts-based economic development projects that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and access; and
(3) A new program called ARTnet, which will support economic and professional assistance to help artists create sustainable business plans by providing working capital grants, business planning support, training workshops, and access to a network of creative-entrepreneur peers.

ARTnet holds particular promise for the arts community, as it is designed to help the City achieve three key goals in its Arts and Culture Plan:

● Incentivize creatives to live and create in the city with affordable workspace;
● Support community development and arts entrepreneurship;
● Establish a leadership group of artists.

Altogether, the three initiatives will help advance five major cultural strategies spelled out in the Arts and Culture Plan:

● Expand public art in New Bedford and utilize it as a tool for placemaking and enhancing the city’s identity as a cultural community;
● Strategically enhance and expand the diversity of programming;
● Increase arts funding, collaboration and resource-sharing to grow the operatingcapacity of arts and culture organizations and artists;
● Develop innovative arts programming to position New Bedford as an arts destination;
● Support community development and arts entrepreneurship.

Margo Saulnier, the NBEDC’s director of creative strategies, will manage distributions of art-related grants and support. Saulnier has been with the NBEDC since October 2017 and during that time has managed the City’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund. She also has facilitated the creation and implementation of the city’s strategic arts and culture plan.

“New Bedford has an incredible pool of talented people with a deep attachment to the city and a fierce ambition to involve themselves in its civic and professional life,” Saulnier said. “On their behalf, I’m thrilled to acknowledge this terrific investment in that pursuit. Those practicing art in all its forms will now have more opportunity to enrich us and make us a greater Destination New Bedford than ever.”

Learn more on the City’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.

Grant funding opportunity designed to burnish New Bedford’s reputation as culturally unique in nation

New Bedford Creative is excited to launch the next chapter of meaningful and significant arts, culture and creativity funding in the City of New Bedford.

Beginning in April, individual artists, community members, cultural organizations, and project teams of nonprofit and/or for-profit status proposing projects in the city are eligible for an Art is Everywhere grant. This includes creative leaders, emerging artists, cultural institutions, businesses, and engaged community members. All are invited to apply and realize their vision throughout this city.

The criteria by which the projects will be judged and awarded is based on the fundamental belief that creativity can shape society for the better. Thus, projects should directly impact one or more current challenges facing residents, visitors and/or businesses in New Bedford’s neighborhoods by mobilizing its arts, creativity and culture.

Emma York, 7th and 8th grade humanities teacher and Newspaper Club instructor at Our Sisters’ School, checks in with students as they prepare to pitch their book reviews. Photo by Sawyer Pollit.t

This may include imaginative solutions to expedite recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, means by which to strengthen the creative network throughout the city, or support the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) in all forms. In fact, projects that focus on DEIA outcomes will be prioritized.

Facilitated by New Bedford Creative and the New Bedford Economic Development Council, and funded by MassDevelopment/Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and the Barr Foundation, this grant is one component of a broader “TDI Creative Cities” initiative to boost arts-based economic development and enrich urban life in the Commonwealth.

“These past couple years were unlike any other,” states #NBCreative Strategist, Margo Saulnier. “Nevertheless, through it all New Bedford’s community, and those practicing art in all its forms, repeatedly found cause and occasion to carry on their collective mission to unite and move the city forward.”

PACE Headstart preschool teacher Margret picking up free supplies for her students at New Bedford Children’s Creative Resource Center. Photo by Marissa Fay-Martin.

The Art Is Everywhere grant is a meaningful way to build on that success. Indeed, 2022 is the third and final year New Bedford is the recipient of this pilot program by MassDevelopment/TDI. In 2020, 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment was the first grant recipient and rose to the pandemic challenge – and also addressed systemic racism – with a monthly series of online pop-up events.

In 2021, six projects receiving grants represented the passion, diversity and commitment to enabling voices from the streets, classrooms and greater community of New Bedford to join a larger conversation about this historic city’s past, present and future. The projects in 2021 included the following:

“Kaleidoscope – Art Through Your Eyes,” which showcased the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in New Bedford. La Soul Renaissance presented a series of events “Um Frenti Unido- Um Prujeto di Memória Kultural,” with the Verdean Veterans Memorial Foundation and Cape Verdean Vets Hall. Artist, poet, educator and activist Iva Brito, along with award-winning Cape Verdean artist a’Ali DeSousa, captured how multicultural New Bedford residents used their artistic resources with the film documentary “Pandemic Renaissance – The Art of Surviving C-19.”

The children and students of the city were engaged in the “Art Is Everywhere” initiative in 2021 through three different projects. New Bedford Children’s “Creative Resource Center” brought early education professionals together to craft a cultural curriculum and have free access to upcycled innovative materials for their classrooms; the “SouthCoast Learning Trail” along Acushnet Avenue employed a community-based approach to cultivate early childhood development, matching artists to create temporary murals on business storefronts; and “Highlighting Diverse Stories” kicked it up to middle school where the students of Our Sisters School were literacy ambassadors for a new media age with published articles on TheScallop.org.

Following a triumphant two years, chapter three of Art Is Everywhere in New Bedford will give preference to projects that demonstrate the role of creative individuals and groups which envision solutions to broader community issues within an arts, culture or creative framework. To do so, Art Is Everywhere is offering grants for smaller scalable projects starting at $1,000 to larger “Big Idea” grants up to $20,000.

Selected projects will also be offered a one-year part-time membership for one team member to the Co-Creative Center (value of $600) and the opportunity to participate in professional development and training.

Complete criteria, eligibility requirements and application can be found at New Bedford Creative’s website NewBedfordCreative.org. The deadline to apply is before midnight on May 2, 2022.

“The arts, culture and creative community helped us persevere and confront the challenges we faced as one city,” Saulnier says. “In 2022, it is our fervent intention that this good and necessary work continues.”

New Bedford selected for New England Foundation for the Arts’ Making it Public

New Bedford Creative continues to place the City of New Bedford into the arts and culture spotlight. The city has been selected as one of eight municipalities in Massachusetts for “Making it Public,” a training and development program by New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) in partnership with Forecast Public Art and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

Making it Public in MA is a dual-track professional development series, designed and facilitated by Forecast, to foster more equitable opportunities for public artmaking while also preparing more artists to respond to calls for public art across Massachusetts. New Bedford joins the following cities in the Spring 2022 Making it Public cohort: Amherst, Attleboro, Fitchburg, Lowell, Natick, Salem, and Watertown.

Mark Salinas, Senior Project Manager at Forecast explains that, “Making It Public offers a cohesive arts industry workshop approach for artists and municipal arts administrators that informs and enhances the efforts and outcomes of public art opportunities in their communities.”

Margo Saulnier, New Bedford’s Creative Strategist, says that New Bedford Creative partnered with the City of New Bedford’s Department of City Planning to co-write the proposal and apply for this opportunity. Saulnier will participate in the training with Laura Ryan, Staff Planner for the City of New Bedford, and Jasmyn Baird, Senior Creative Fellow for New Bedford Creative.

After the program concludes, Saulnier says there will be an opportunity to utilize a $10,000 grant to do a temporary call for art, along with additional technical assistance support from Forecast and MAPC. “Public art is a representation of our community values, so working with our local artists and the communities they live in will ultimately benefit all New Bedford residents,” she says.

By training municipal staff across Massachusetts to better support public artmaking and cultivating more artists to respond to calls for public art, NEFA aims to support more diverse, inclusive, and equitable public artmaking happening in communities across the state. Learn more at nefa.org/MakingItPublic.

New Bedford Creative’s Wicked Cool Places Grants Will Invigorate City’s Art Sector

The announcement of the latest round of Wicked Cool Places grant awards is a cause for celebration and appreciation for the critical role of culture in our community, believes Margo Saulnier, New Bedford’s Creative Strategist.

“The range and impact of the newest Wicked Cool Places grant awards is astonishing,” states Saulnier. “These sixteen projects represent a far-reaching slate of place-making and place-keeping projects in the city. Each underscores the profound impact of creativity in our community – and the ability of our ‘cultural ambassadors’ to activate and showcase all of New Bedford.”

Wicked Cool Places (WCP) is the grant program administered by New Bedford Creative, housed at the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC). Funding is provided by the city of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support from Bristol County Savings Bank, Mass Cultural Council, and MassDevelopment’s “TDI Creative Cities Initiative.”

This year, a total of $70,000 will be invested in the program’s most diverse round of competitive applications since the program’s inception in 2018. New projects will join returning favorites to offer the City of New Bedford and South Coast a profound range of resident-driven projects and events which will enrich the entire region.

Anthony Sapienza, President of the Board of Directors for the NBEDC, notes that, “Wicked Cool Places awards reflect the strength of New Bedford and the ability of its creative citizens to invigorate not only our economy but our very sense of purpose as a city.”

The WCP awards achieve that by recognizing the broadest possible definition of culture. Grant awards to city cultural ambassadors highlight the role visual art, music, performance, heritage, health, well-being and critical thinking play in our world today. The sixteen projects also mirror the multifaceted potential of all neighborhoods in the City of New Bedford.

This year’s New Bedford Creative Wicked Cool Places awards are:

$50,000 funded by the city of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support by Bristol County Savings Bank:

– The Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) designed “Patio de Comida” specifically to serve the city’s Latino population. It features foods from Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and more at Riverside Park. $5,000 will help it host more food vendors, kids activities and local artists, including Mayan dancers, Marimba players, weavers, and contemporary musicians.

– Massachusetts Design, Art, and Technology Institute (DATMA) has been awarded $4,000 to collaborate with New Bedford High School faculty and students, the Consortium for Research & Robotics, and NORPEL Fisheries to create a three-dimensional (3D) public art mural.

– In June, the Queer Arts Council of New Bedford will use $5,000 to bring back the AHA! Pride Block Party to Custom House Square and the historical 54th Regiment Plaza to continue creating and establishing inclusive queer spaces downtown and avenues for the LGBTQ+ creative community and businesses.

– Continuing into its fifth year, Reggae On West Beach is a truly inclusive, diverse, multigenerational, family-friendly summer series for all walks of life. This event has established the West Beach Pavilion as a summer destination venue and is greatly anticipated – each year – and a $5,000 award will continue this new tradition in the south end.

– With local artist Eden Soares, Pilgrim United Church of Christ is being awarded $4,000 to recognize the historic importance of its building as a site where Booker T. Washington spoke when he visited New Bedford in 1895 by installing a mural on the south wall, adding to the renaissance of public art in the city of New Bedford.

– The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford (CVANB) will partner to present a free, outdoor music festival at CVANB’s Island Park on Acushnet Avenue beside the historic Strand Theater. “Junta Mon: Together in Music” will use $5,000 to make that happen.

– The public mural group SuperflatNB will bring together 12 BIPOC artists to co-create a rotating mural along Acushnet Avenue across from Custom House Square Park with a $5,000 award. The theme for the mural is Harmony within Flora and Fauna.

– New Moon Dance Party has been awarded $5,000 to present a series of outdoor community dance parties during warmer months at Riverside Park. These events will be radically inclusive, providing a safe place for self-expression to all dancers.

– This spring, the New Bedford Art Museum’s artMOBILE Clay-on-Wheels project will be an active participant in several vibrant springtime venues, beginning with SouthCoast Spring Arts and continuing at open space parks in New Bedford thanks to a $5,000 award.

– The Rotch-Jones-Duff House (RJD) and Reverie Theatre Group (RTG), formerly the Glass Horse Project, will partner for a third summer to produce Shakespeare’s most admired and uplifting comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” RTG will stage six free performances across two weekends in August 2022 with the help of a $2,000 WCP grant.

– $5,000 will help the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network to grow its annual South Coast Pride, working with community volunteers, businesses, schools and other nonprofits to create healthy, family-friendly, fun activities, including the 6th annual South Coast Pride all-inclusive community event in Buttonwood Park on June 4.

$5,000 funded by Mass Cultural Council, to support place-keeping within the Seaport Cultural District:

– La Soul Renaissance will curate six cultural events with $5,000 that celebrate and uplift the cultural memory of New Bedford’s African and Indigenous community through spoken word poetry and intercultural discussions facilitated at the Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall. The events will be recorded, broadcast online, and archived to preserve cultural memory.

– $15,000 funded by MassDevelopment / TDI and the Barr Foundation as part of the “TDI Creative Cities Initiative” to support arts-based economic development:

– Downtown New Bedford Inc. (dNB Inc) will host the Shop Small Crawl (spring), All Treats, No Tricks (fall), and the Holiday Stroll (winter) in 2022, attracting thousands of residents and visitors to downtown New Bedford with a $3,000 grant.

– In an effort to continue supporting Black-owned businesses, BuyBlackNB will use $5,000 to host outdoor markets where all people are invited to come purchase goods and services from Black-owned businesses in a safe and inclusive space, including a Juneteenth Vendor Market, a celebration of Black Independence Day.

– Building resilience in children from birth to preschool through Music Therapy and Yoga, Rosemary Williams of Mindful Melodies’s main goal is to expand music therapy services for children who do not have the opportunity to have access to this form of therapy in early intervention or preschool settings in low income communities. The LIttle Melodies project will receive $5,000 to further this goal.

– Coastal Foodshed will hire local and diverse musicians twice a month with $2,000 to perform during the Mobile Farm Stand held at Serenity Gardens in New Bedford each Tuesday from 2pm – 6pm from June through October. While Coastal Foodshed’s main goal is always to increase access to locally grown foods for Southcoast residents, they also believe the markets offer the opportunity to celebrate and build community through cooking demonstrations, music, and arts that bring residents together.

More information about New Bedford Creative and Wicked Cool Places, including future grant opportunities, can be found at NewBedfordCreative.org.

“Tides and Times” bring the 2021 New Bedford Seaport Art Walk to life

In 2013, artist Jessica Bregoli founded New Bedford’s annual Seaport Art Walk. It’s become a signature cultural event since then, combining the rich history of the Port of New Bedford and equally deep legacy of artistic expression in this city.

Each year several artists are selected by a review committee to explore a theme through outdoor installations such as murals or sculpture along the working waterfront. By the docks of America’s highest value fishing port, profound social values come together and help define this authentic seaport city and its Seaport Cultural District.

It’s fitting then that “Tides and Time” is the theme of this year’s Seaport Art Walk, which officially opened on Thursday, July 8 during AHA! New Bedford with a public tour featuring the curator and artists. The selected artists chosen to create work in 2021 have internalized the meaning of the last pandemic year, while also looking more broadly at the society we live in today. Its sculptures and murals were created to reflect or comment on our ever-changing climate, whether that be the ocean, environment, economy, politics, or social justice.

Kyle Couture and Marcus Cusick present their new mural _The Heirs to the Land_ for the 2021 Seaport Art Walk. (Seaport Art Walk photo)

Artist Jake Ginga, for example, was just 19 years old when he got a job working for a small oyster farm run by a family who had been shellfishermen for over four generations. They taught him everything – about family, hard work, and aquaculture – at an age and time he needed it most, he believes.

January of 2021 claimed the lives of two of them, the father and grandfather who were both irreplaceable father figures. His very first artwork displayed in New Bedford galleries were portraits of them. In an attempt to process his grief, he has created portraits of them again for “Tides and Time” entitled “The Bell Brothers.”

Meanwhile, artist Marcus Cusick and Kyle Couture of Open Eye Movement, working with Chief George Spring Buffalo and Chief Daryl Black Eagle of the Pocasset, offers “Tides and Time” a mural called “The Heirs of the Land,” which brings to light the true histories that surround the Pokanoket nation.

He explains in an artist’s statement, “The Algonquian language was nearly lost to oppression of a people and their culture, and is kept alive today by the descendants of a nation who first greeted the pilgrims, the Pocasset Wampanoag tribe of the Pokanoket nation.

Jake Ginga with his _The Bell Brothers_ mural tribute. (Seaport Art Walk photo)

“The mural aims to depict portraits of local Native American chiefs and their descendents showing how, over time, the nation was resilient and able to survive. The backdrop includes a landscape composition of layered text of Algonquian words and titles.”

Alanna Boucher designed a sculpture called “Hashtag Change” with New Bedford High School students and art teachers. In her artist statement, she says: “Change is a constant evolution of remembering old ways and supporting the new; whether it is about taking care of the planet, ourselves, or helping others, change is growth. Time is not going to stop or slow down so we must keep pushing everyday to better this world and work towards changing the future for generations to come.”

For the 2021 Seaport Art Walk, her large wood hashtag symbol was built with the help of her husband, engineer Chris Boucher, and is covered with word planks naming important topics designed by the teenage students and art teachers. She encourages everyone to share what they want to bring awareness to on social media – and remember to hashtag key words from this sculpture.

Meanwhile, Eric Lintala’s fiberglass and metal sculpture titled “Enough is Enough” represents the many injustices that still plague our country and the world.

He says, “We make speeches, we march for human rights, social injustice, environmental issues, etc. and still the never ending fight goes on. My sculpture symbolically represents all people and all concerns and hardships we bring to ourselves and to this planet and visually gestures ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

Erin Meade looks upon her mural _CAPping the wave_ made with over 6,000 recycled bottle caps. (Seaport Art Walk photo)

And finally, Erin Meade, an art teacher at Keith Middle School in New Bedford, says she has always loved the simplicity of window installations. She put her passion for display and creativity to good use working in New York City with industry favorites such as Macy’s and SAKS Fifth Avenue, as well as small boutiques.”

So, for “Tides and Time,” she has designed a 30-foot installation which incorporates all different types and sizes of plastic bottle caps to create movement and playfulness through a wave and whale form. This is a recycling project that the students of Keith Middle School have contributed to, as well as an opportunity to show the community that even trash can be turned into beauty.

This year’s 2021 exhibition “Tides and Time,” is presented by New Bedford Creative, in partnership with DATMA’s WATER 2021, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, and New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches. It is funded in part by New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, as well as the city of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, and Bristol County Savings Bank. Further details can be found at newbedfordcreative.org/seaport-art-walk.

1st Annual Poetry Jam to feature Whaling City Jr./Sr. High School students during FREE livestream

Free livestreaming Jam will showcase readings of original works by student poets, June 16.

The First Annual Poetry Jam 2021 titled “Voices of Whaling City”, will feature original works of students of Whaling City Jr./Sr. High School. The Poetry Jam will livestream free on Facebook, Wednesday, June 16 at 12:15 p.m. at: www.facebook.com/WhalingCity455

Students cordially invite the public to join them for the Poetry Jam as they read and perform their works, a year end project of their English Language Arts studies. The works are being published as a commemorative booklet and will be available for sale for $5 by contacting Whaling City: (508) 997-4511, ext. 38550. Proceeds to benefit Whaling City programs.

The program’s introduction explains the purpose behind the Jam’s creation. “We all have something to say. The Whaling City 2021 Poetry Jam is a project meant to unite us as students and bring us together, saying all those things we have to say. At the beginning, we chose a central theme – Growth – around which to build our words. We have collected a wide variety of works that all tie back into this theme, all from the great minds of our students. We hope you enjoy Voices of Whaling City as much as we enjoyed creating it and bringing these works to all of you.”


Whaling City Jr./Sr. High School Mission Statement
Whaling City Jr./Sr. High School is committed to developing a community of life-long learners who are academically proficient, demonstrate strong character, exhibit self-confidence, self-respect, and respect for others. Students are supported in stretching their academic potential, building life skills, confidence, and establishing meaningful relationships in order to achieve their future goals.

BCC scholar produces podcast about COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on art and culture in New Bedford

Bristol student Kwang Arnzen, of Westport, recently graduated as a Commonwealth Honors program scholar this May with a degree in liberal arts: behavioral and social sciences and will transfer to Bridgewater State University to pursue a degree in sociology with a minor in audio production.

This past semester, Kwang put both interests to perfect use in his capstone Honors program project by interviewing representatives of six New Bedford cultural organizations via Zoom, including local artist Alison Wells, the Dream Out Loud Center, Buttonwood Park Zoo, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Art Museum and 3rd EyE Unlimited, to discern how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the city’s cultural landscape. For the project’s production, Kwang synthesized more than four hours of interviews into an hour-long podcast, complete with his own musings and original music to weave the content into a unified, engaging narrative. Kwang’s podcast will also be added to the archival holdings in the special collections at the New Bedford Public Library.

To listen to Bristol student Kwang Arnzen’s podcast “A Snapshot of New Bedford Culture in the Time of Covid-19,” please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-CsGahWfeM

In addition to strengthening his professional skills in audio production, the project provided Kwang with a better knowledge of the culture of New Bedford as well as how the city’s cultural organizations have adapted and thrived throughout the pandemic. Throughout producing the podcast, Kwang gained a deeper respect for the great collaboration and cultural symbiosis that exists in New Bedford.

Kwang describes the project and his participating in Bristol’s Commonwealth honors program as an opportunity to “love learning and love thinking critically, sociologically, philosophically and creatively.” He also credits several Bristol faculty members with encouraging him to pursue the rewarding Honors program.

“It was a true pleasure to work with Kwang on this project,” said Dr. Colleen Avedikian, Bristol Faculty Member and Kwang’s Commonwealth Honors Program Mentor. “He chose this podcast as a way to really challenge himself to research a topic that he deeply cares about and I was continually impressed by his high level of commitment and creativity throughout its development.”

The Commonwealth Honors program (CHP) at Bristol Community College offers tremendous opportunities now and in the future for highly motivated students looking to challenge themselves intellectually. CHP allows students, regardless of their discipline or program, to create customized academic experiences that meet their career interests and needs. By working one-on-one with faculty, participating students develop intellectually stimulating experiences and projects that point towards future goals.

For more information about Bristol Community College’s Commonwealth Honors program, please visit http://www.bristolcc.edu/honors or email Honors Program Coordinator denise.dimarzio@bristolcc.edu.

Call to all artists: Rhode Island offering $50,000 and stipends for painted portrait of former Gov. Raimondo

How would you like to win a $50,000 commission for your artwork? Furthermore, it comes with additional stipends that will cover the crating and shipping and if you need to travel to make it all happen, the state is willing to cover expenses for that too.

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is now accepting applications for any artist that thinks and feels they are up to snuff.

“This commission is an opportunity to capture the unique and historic nature of the first woman governor of our state,” said Randall Rosenbaum, the executive director of the RISCA.

All one needs to do is send a resume with six images of your work by the deadline of June 30. Please note: already completed original works of art will not be accepted – the portrait will be a new piece. Over the next few months after the deadline closes, former Governor Raimondo will peruse all the works of art and choose the one she likes the most. Once chosen the winner will have until November 2022 to complete the painting.

You can see more information here.

New Bedford’s 2020 Seaport Art Walk is “Lighting the Way”

Special online opening presentation with the artists takes place Thursday, Aug. 13 at 6:00pm as part of virtual AHA!

Written by Steven Froias, contributing writer

The 2020 Seaport Art Walk officially opens in New Bedford this year with a special online video premiere of the project, which in real life is presented along the city’s waterfront in the Seaport Cultural District.

Viewers are invited to meet the artists and get a behind-scenes look into the creation and installation of their artwork on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 6:00 p.m. during AHA! New Bedford. You can watch the video on New Bedford Creative’s Facebook page Facebook.com/NewBedfordCreative. Thereafter, the public art will remain on exhibit through October and patrons are invited to visit the waterfront and view the work at their leisure abiding by social distancing and mask wearing guidance.

The theme of this year’s annual Seaport Art Walk is “Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast.” It is adapted from, and in collaboration with, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s “Lighting the Way” project. Launched in 2018, “Lighting the Way: Historic Women of SouthCoast” explores the historical impact of women from the region.

Other partners are New Bedford Creative, the City of New Bedford, Destination New Bedford, New Bedford Harbor Development Commission, UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Bristol Community College.

The Seaport Art Walk is a large format outdoor public art installation consisting of sculptures and murals. It was founded in 2013 by artist Jessica Bregoli – who this year is one of the participating artists. All the artists were selected by an esteemed panel of jurors. The program is supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, as well as the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund.

The work in this year’s Seaport Art Walk was evaluated on the values embodied by the “Lighting the Way” project. The Whaling Museum states that “as educators and philanthropists, abolitionists and crusaders for social justice, investors and confectioners, sister sailors and millworkers, women from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds have shaped their SouthCoast communities, the nation, and the world.

“Lighting the Way is unearthing remarkable stories of women’s callings that required grit, tenacity, and enduring commitment to their families, careers and communities.”

The four artists who have created the specially commissioned artwork for the 2020 Seaport Art Walk are as follows:

BRUCE BAILEY is a retired software engineer residing on New England’s South Coast with his wife of 50 years, Susan. He attended Boston University College of Fine Arts in the 1970s and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Drexel University in the 1980s. After decades in the steel, shipbuilding, construction and aerospace industries, he has returned to his first passions of painting, printmaking and sculpture. He is currently engaged in ongoing study at the College for Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His work may be seen at www.brucce.com.

His work in the Seaport Art Walk is “Homage to Florence Eastman, Army Nurse.” The only woman to enlist in World War I from Mattapoisett, Florence Eastman (1894-1918) became the Head Army Nurse of the Isolation Hospital at Camp Mills, Mineola, Long Island, with 20 nurses and over 100 orderlies under her supervision. In 1918, she died at age 24 of the Spanish Influenza, contracted while devotedly treating infected soldiers.

GRACE LANG is a mixed media artist who creates two and three-dimensional work to tell stories of triumph. Continually preoccupied with the concept of personal “demons,” her work reflects the internal struggles that plague us all, creating visual expressions of those dark little thoughts that are at once frightening and sort of funny. Much of her work stems from the belief that these personal demons are not necessarily enemies but, rather, aspects of ourselves that can be utilized for good. Understanding this link between creative expression and identity development has led Grace to facilitate art-making workshops for children. She has spent the past decade creating illustrations for teen development company, Your Self Series. Most recently, this work has focused on educational presentations about neuroplasticity aimed at fostering positive mental health atmospheres in schools. Her work may be seen at www.grooseling.com.

Grace’s work in the Seaport Art Walk is an illustrated mural entitled “Votes for Women” which celebrates the centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the United States and features artwork from her recently published children’s book, March On!. It highlights the 1915 Women’s March and encourages young children to band together and stand up against injustice.

RAMIRO DAVARO-COMAS is an Argentine/American artist and entrepreneur living and working in Valatie, New York. He is the creator and director of ‘Dripped on the Road,’ a traveling artist residency program, and an artist on the road himself, at times. His dedication to painting, traveling and community work have allowed him to travel throughout his career and collaborate with other artists. After many years, the combination of all three passions led him to launch ‘Dripped on the Road’ and pursue an artistic career. His work can be seen at www.ramirostudios.com.

In the Seaport Art Walk, Ramiro created a mural called “Lighting the Way.” It is a selection of 22 portraits of women illustrated all together as a community of leaders. In between some of the groups are phrases like “Lighting the Way,” “South Coast” and “Vote.”

Finally, JESSICA BREGOLI is the founder and curator of Seaport Art Walk. As curator, Bregoli works with various city departments and jury-selected artists to bring the Seaport Cultural District to life with murals and sculptures of all shapes and sizes. Each year’s theme is inspired by New Bedford’s unique culture and history. Originally from Oregon, she moved to this area with her mother as a child. Growing up, she worked with her mentor, Emily Johns, taking care of the gardens along the waterfront in downtown New Bedford. In 2012 Bregoli got involved with the sculpture program at UMass CVPA and upon graduation has been committed to building the arts and culture of the city. She participates on numerous local committees, including the Seaport Cultural District, New Bedford Creative, and is the Chair of the New Bedford Cultural Council. She is the Executive Director of The Steeple Playhouse (the future home of Your Theater Inc.), the Gallery Director at Groundwork, and owner of Owl Eye property management. For more on Bregoli’s work as an artist visit Facebook.com/jessbregolisculpture.

Her work is entitled “Maria Mitchell’s Waves.” Maria Mitchell was a pioneer for both ocean navigation and feminism. She became the first woman elected Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in 1848. She grew up in Nantucket and was navigating by the stars on whaling ships by the age of 14. She discovered a comet in 1857, which was named after her. She was hired as a full-time teacher at Vassar College and during this time she promoted equal pay for equal work when she realized her male counterparts were getting paid more for the same work.

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