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Faces Of New Bedford #95: Lee Heald


Meet Lee Heald, 63-year-old Director of AHA New Bedford.

Lee moved to the area in the nineties to work at the Whaling Museum as the Vice President of Education and Exhibitions. During her time at the museum, she worked under a large grant that connected communities of whaling with the cultural institutions that collected the information on its history. This project did a lot to help educate New Bedford on its history as a whaling port and opened opportunity to connect our community with others across the world that also shared a similar history.

In 1999, Lee worked to write a grant to fund the first AHA project, not knowing that she would eventually run the organization it became. In 2007, she left her position at the Whaling Museum to take on the Director role at AHA. She loves that AHA is about collaboration and that it is always about the people. It’s designed to connect six different sectors: Arts and Culture, Health and human Services, Environment, Education, business oriented and communities of faith.

When you look at the AHA platform, It’s not just arts and culture but the community. One of the things that they have demonstrated that it is really possible to build a brand that is inclusive of all of the parts of the community.

“If we are a community that supports all creativity at all levels, we need a place to celebrate.”


Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com

Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

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