AHA! (Art, History & Architecture)

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Join us on AHA! – New Bedford’s free Downtown Cultural Night and Collaborative Cultural organization

  • Presenting second Thursday FREE cultural nights
  • Local and regional artists, cultural groups and educators to present what they do
  • Being a forum for the AHA! Partners to convene around shared topics
  • Contributing to the City’s Creative Economy initiatives

Visit the Museum’s Calendar for up-to-date AHA! events at the Museum


Upcoming AHA! events at the Museum

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Local History Guild Program
Free and open to the public. No advance registration necessary.
The Public Face of Regional History – A conversation with New Bedford City Preservation Planner Anne Louro and New Bedford Whaling Museum Director of Digital Initiatives Michael Lapides. Learn more


Past AHA! Events at the Museum July 11, 2019

5 pm – Lecture & Book Signing: Under Sun, Stars and Sails – A Whaling Family’s Life at Sea by Marsha Hall Brown & Tom Hall 

6 pm – Lives in the Wake of Whaling Masters
A conversation with author Anthony J. Connors about his new book Went to the Devil: A Yankee Whaler in the Slave Trade.


Past AHA! Events at the Museum June 13, 2019

Alma Del Mar 7th Grade Response to Injustice Projects
5:30 pm in the Harbor View Gallery
7th grade scholars from Alma del Mar will be presenting projects on a modern-day injustice from around the world.

Local History Guild
6 pm – 7 pm  at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (Media Lab)


Past AHA! Events at the Museum May 9

Shakespeare in New Bedford: Much Ado About Nothing Scenes
New Bedford’s Free Shakespeare program, Shakespeare in NB, produced by The Glass Horse Project, previewed their third summer season: Much Ado About Nothing, with scenes between one of Shakespeare’s most famous couples, Beatrice and Benedick.


Past AHA! Events at the Museum April 11

Local History Guild – Historical Perspectives on Religion and Society in the Old Dartmouth Region
A conversation with the Reverend Pamela Cole, Instructor in Humanities and History at Bristol Community College, and the Reverend Doctor John Douhan, Baptist historian.

Nativity Prep Students’ Exhibitions: Of Whales and Men: New Bedford and her subjects
Nativity Prep students, in partnership with Dr. Kathy Miraglia and UMass Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, celebrated the opening of their exhibition Of Whales and Men: New Bedford and her subjects. Students were on-hand to speak about their art and original works created to reflect on the subjects of New Bedford’s storied past.


Past AHA! Events at the Museum March 14

Local History Guild – A conversation on the life and legacy of Captain Paul Cuffe
An informal discussion of the many important features to Cuffe’s life and legacy, his past and present significance to the community, and what that legacy may mean in years to come. Learn more

“Her Works Do Follow”: A Podcast on the Historic Women of the SouthCoast   
In 1889, “Her Works Do follow Her” was inscribed on Martha Bailey Briggs’ tablet memorial at Howard University, and today New Bedford students reflect on the work of Briggs, an influential educator and abolitionist, and other historic women of the Southcoast in their first-ever podcast. Through a Q&A showcase, the student producers reflected on their experience creating a podcast and learning about women’s history in our region.

Film: The Girl That Lit the World
Jarynette Gonzalez directed, scored, and produced this short film about a young woman overcoming her fears and taking a chance to pursue her dream of becoming a rapper. An aspiring music producer and songwriter herself, Jarynette was born and raised in New Bedford. Her film debuted at the Lunafest Southcoast film festival in New Bedford in January 2019.

Music Video: Taking Back the Power
YAP! and Big Picture Anthems partnered to create “Taking Back the Power,” a new anthem for the Women’s Rights Movement featuring six talented artists from around the country.

Lighting the Way: Spoken Word Contest 
In partnership with the Bristol Community College Women’s Center and the YWCA, students aged 12 to 24 participated in a spoken word contest where they shared writing inspired by women featured in “Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast.”  


Past AHA! Event at the Museum February 14

Film Screening: Melville in Love
Melville in Love is a full-length documentary on Herman Melville, the writing of Moby-Dick, and Melville’s secret love affair with Sarah Morewood, based on the recent book by noted biographer Michael Shelden.  View movie trailer here.
Learn more


Past AHA!  Events at the Museum December 13

Local History Guild conversations (monthly on AHA! Nights)
Topic: What’s in Your Postcards? Art, History, and Architecture in Public Pictorial Formats

Sippican School Band Holiday Performance
Location: Paul Cuffe Park


Past AHA!  Events at the Museum November 8

Local History Guild conversations (monthly on AHA! Nights)
OFF-SITE: Fort Taber Military Museum – 1000C Rodney French Boulevard

Film Screening
A Plastic Ocean Learn more

Exhibit Opening & Great War and Azores Lecture
Portugal E A Grande Guerra Contextos E Protagonistas –
Portugal and the World War I Contexts and Protagonists

Learn more


Past AHA! Events at the Museum October 11

Local History Guild conversations (monthly on AHA! Nights at the Museum)
Topic: Historic Houses: Techniques, Ideas, and Goals for their Interpretation

Immigrant’s Assistance Center Movie Screening
Reel Portuguese Traditions

Film Screening & Panel Discussion
The Last Azorean Whalemen
Directed by Nick Francis & Produced by Luis Filipe Dias
Presented by the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society  


Past AHA! Events at the Museum September 13

Gallery Talk: After Ryder
by photographer Nicholas Whitman

Local History Guild conversations (monthly on AHA! Nights at the Museum)
Topic: The National Park Service and its Local Communities

E for All Graduation Ceremony
2018 Summer Accelerator Showcase & Celebration



Courage, Perseverance, and Trust: The Manjiro Story
Presented by the New Bedford Ballet

Attendees traveled back in time to 1841 as New Bedford Youth Ballet performed “Courage, Perseverance, and Trust: The Manjiro Story” based on the extraordinary life of Manjiro Nakahama. Manjiro was the first Japanese person to live and learn English in the United States after his rescue at sea in 1841 by the John Howland, a New Bedford whaleship. Upon returning to his homeland, he helped facilitate its opening to American relations in 1854. Through his understanding of navigation and seamanship, he also helped build Japan’s first ocean-going vessels.

Check out the exhibition Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama to learn more about the fascinating story of Manjiro.