Water, Water will be Everywhere on August AHA! Night

Jul 29, 2021

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“Water Works” Theme for August 12 Arts & Culture Night

New Bedford, MA – Downtown will be awash with free art and entertainment on August 12 as a fully live AHA! night fills the streets for a celebration of all things water at dozens of venues. Water is synonymous with the city’s history, economy and culture, from the fishing industry to tomorrow’s ocean wind-energy industry; the Water Works theme will be featured in music, art, lectures and more from 5 to 9 pm. The monthly arts and culture night will be presented with support from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.  “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 reflects the importance of water to this city by the sea.”

Among this month’s highlights is DATMA (Design Art Technology Massachusetts)’s free public art project, Water 2021, that examines the role of water within the histories, economies, and cultures of several countries as well as SouthCoast Massachusetts. Part of this project is Harvesters of the Deep, a major public art installation featuring the work of three outstanding photographers from select locations around the world, including SouthCoast’s Phil Mello. The exhibit features insightful, life-sized portraits celebrating women working in the fishing industry in three kiosks next to the Seaport Art Walk in front of State Pier and on the grass in front of the YMCA on Union Street. For details of other exhibitions and programs that are part of Water 202, visit https://datma.org/water/

Other AHA! Night highlights: 

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, 38 Bethel Street, 7:00 pm. A day in the life: Women in the Seafood Industry: Heather Haggerty, owner/operator of Big G Seafoods, a New Bedford based conch business, and Cassie Canastra, Director of Operations for BASE Seafood Auction. This program is part of the Center's Women's Work project, a year-long exploration of women's involvement in the fishing community.

New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! Galleries at 608 Pleasant Street are free and open from 4:00-8:00 pm, thanks to sponsor Bristol Country Savings Bank. Visitors are invited to color, write and cut out a postcard to Malcolm X as part of the DearMalcolm postcard project, a collaboration this summer and fall with New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Project participants are welcome to finish their postcards at home and mail them to the National Visitors' Center, 33 William Street, where they will be on display through November.

  • Rotch Jones Duff House and Garden Museum, 396 County Street, Shakespeare in NB Presents: As You Like It at 7:00 pm. Join the Glass Horse Project for a frolic in the forest with William Shakespeare’s romantic, pastoral comedy As You Like It!Performance takes place on the RJD’s covered patio. Donations accepted in lieu of a fee. This program is supported in part by grants from the Dartmouth, Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, and New Bedford Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
  • Artist Michele Poirier-Mozzone will give a talk atThe Drawing Room, 36 N. Water Street from 5:00-7:00 pm. Michele’s work explores the beauty and distortion of water, sunlight, memories, and the human figure. Prints of Michele’s work will be available for purchase during the event. This event is part of DATMA’s WATER 2021 exhibition series. RSVP HERE

New Bedford Free Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street. The Main Library Youth Services will be celebrating shark week from 4:00-5:00 pm with “Learn about Sharks” by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. All ages are welcome for this free event to discover all about shark biology and local research on white sharks. Families are welcome to join on zoom at: http://bit.ly/NBFPLshark or they can watch in person via the library’s projector. Families can also visit the Bookmobile, which will be parked downtown near Wing’s Court at approx. 5:30pm.

Pilgrim United Church at the Pilgrim UCC Hall, 635 Purchase Street, Crafts, Resources, and a History Lesson with Mercy Meals & More, 5:00-8:00 pm:

Arts & crafts – sensory water bottles, button making, t-shirt printing, painting

Refreshments – make-your-own root beer floats and other assorted refreshments

  • History - Booker T Washington posterboards


Musical performances include:

  • Centre Street Sessions, presenting the best jazz in the area. Featured this month is Sets at 5:30 and 7:15 pm in the parking lot of the Fiber Optic Center.
  • Celia's Boutique and Alison Wells Fine Art Gallery will present "Outdoor Duet" on William Street 'Part 2'.  Put on your dancing shoes for live performances by Saxophonist Emmanuel “Manny” Escobarand Vocalist/Entertainer Candida Rose with an eclectic blend of jazz, soul, and contemporary classics; 5:30-7:30 pm.
  • The Summer Sound Series presented by the Zeiterion and the City of New Bedford will be in Custom House Square from 2:00-7:00 pm. Featuring Kim Trusty from 4:00-7:00 pm.
  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 33 William Street, presents 3rd Eye / 5 Pillars of Hip Hop, Part 4, from 3:00-4:30 pm.
  • Also at the National Historical Park Visitor Center from 5:00-7:00 pm: Sailing the South Seas with Wanda C. Medina and the 1850's Ladies. Wanda C. Medina, Artist-in- Residence, and Ruth and Abby, the 1850 Ladies, are teaming up to give you an exotic experience including music, original art inspired by the Māori Whaling Women, and the importance of tribal tattoos and their influence on New Bedford whalers.
  • National Historical Park Visitors Center, 7:00-8:00 pm: She Makes Waves with Sarah Donner. Join local alternative-pop singer/songwriter Sarah Donner as she performs original songs inspired by the women of the Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the South Coast. Bring a chair and a friend! 


View exceptional art at New Bedford’s galleries, including:

College of the Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at the University of Massachusetts’ (UMD), Star Store location, Zimoun Exhibit. Internationally renowned Swiss sound-installation artist Zimoun will exhibit his intricate sculpture 280 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 13″ x 13″ x 13″, 2011/2021, using motion and sound to evoke creative interpretations. Presented in the corner gallery on the main intersection of Union and Purchase streets until 9:00 pm; visitors may view the art from outside and can also enter the gallery inside for a closer look. 

About AHA!

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.

About the SouthCoast Community Foundation

Since 1995, area residents have been turning to the SouthCoast Community Foundation to make their philanthropic giving as effective as possible. 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.

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Event Date: 

Thursday, August 12, 2021 - 9:00am to 9:00pm

Event Location: 

Downtown New Bedford

Contact Name: 

Lee Heald

Contact phone: 

(508) 996-8253 x205