Ryan Mcfee and Jeff St. Pierre created a new mural adjacent to Custom House Square reflecting the impact of #COVID19. Photo by New Bedford Creative.

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.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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