YOUR (holiday) WEEKEND…

It’s a quick 1,2,3 and we’re out YOUR WEEKEND – because it’s a holiday weekend! Enjoy the day off and see you on the other side of Monday….

Grab some Fish & Chips

FRIDAY, FEB. 16 – It’s Lent – and even though the city isn’t as overwhelmingly Catholic as it once was, it’s still fun to follow some of the old ways. Like Fat Friday. What’s Fat Friday, you ask? It’s New Bedford’s version of New Orleans’ Fat Tuesday. But instead of gumbo, everybody consumes fish & chips. And, it can happen every Fat Friday until Easter – if your arteries hold out. We recommend getting a plateful of cod and potatoes at Dillon’s, located right up the street from Groundwork!, at 583 County Street. It’s an old-fashioned greasy spoon, in the best sense of the word. And the $7.50 price tag for a large order will leave you plenty of change to spare for the collection basket…Pictured above, the Dillon’s crew show off their tats.

They’re baaack!

SATURDAY, FEB. 17 – The Collective NB kicks off their 3rd season with another one of their famous 24 hour shows. What – you don’t know what a 24 hour show is?! Where have you been for the last two years?! Not at Gallery X (169 William Street) where again tonight at 6:30 p.m. – and then again at 8:30 p.m. – the theatrical troupe performs a play that’s written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours. We love The Collective NB – so are happy it’s a Valentine-themed show. $10 at the door gets you in.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

SATURDAY, FEB. 17 – Artist Will Wolf – who we were happy to host once upon a time right here in the Groundwork! Gallery – debuts his solo show, Organic Decay at Colo Colo Gallery this afternoon with an opening reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The gallery, located in Kilburn Mills Studios at 127 W. Rodney French Boulevard, writes, “In his recent body of work Wolf explores abstraction and personal narrative through his use of materials and exploration of new technologies in painting.”

Relationships and the City 2

It’s February – and inspired by Valentine’s Day, Groundwork! is spotlighting meaningful relationships at the coworking facility and throughout the City of New Bedford. We’ll be looking at simple collaborations that are creating vignettes that are like digital Valentine’s. Cupid may or may not be involved – but love for community is definitely at the heart of it all and we invite you to share them.

Part 2: LGBTQ Winter Film Series

Independent cinema in New Bedford is kind of like Ahab’s search for the white whale. It takes awhile to find it, but things get intense once it’s spotted.

That’s why the creative collaboration between an alphabet soup’s worth of organizations to come together and host the New Bedford LGBTQ Winter Film Series is so notable – and necessary.

The Southcoast LGBTQ Network, UMass Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality, The New Bedford Art Museum and the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park joined forces to host the series, which screens the last Sunday of the month. They are joined by other community sponsors, a full list of which you can find here.

The result of the relationship formed by all these groups has proven to be box office success – if a free film series can be measured in such a way.

The first film in the series, of the James Baldwin documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro” in January at the park’s Corson building theater (33 William Street, where all the films are shown) saw many more people show up than there were available seats!

Next up is “Southwest of Salem,” on Sunday, February 25. Once again, it screens at 2:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A discussion follows the feature.

It just goes to reinforce the power of creative collaboration – and the enduring appeal of watching a movie together with some of your favorite friends and strangers. When it comes to this romance, nothing beats doing it in the dark.

Read Part 1: #howiseeNB here

Relationships and the City 1

It’s February – and inspired by Valentine’s Day, Groundwork! is spotlighting meaningful relationships at the coworking facility and throughout the City of New Bedford. We’ll be looking at simple collaborations that are creating vignettes that are like digital Valentine’s. Cupid may or may not be involved – but community is definitely at the heart of it all and we invite you to share the love. 

Part 1: #howiseeNB

For the past few months, AHA! New Bedford has been engaged in an ongoing collaboration with some of the city’s brilliant photographers.

For this collaboration, AHA! – the monthly downtown arts, history and architecture celebration – features the photos of these talented folks a week at a time on their Instagram account, with the hashtag, #howiseeNB.

They’ve made some great choices, and guess what? You actually get the opportunity to see the city in a different way.

So far, Annasaskhea Azor, Elizza Fererria and, just last week, Brandon Cabral have been the featured photographers and shared their work, five pictures over five days.

Brandon Cabral has been a favorite of this writer for some time – but it was interesting to see what he chose out of his prolific digital portfolio to share. As any art gallery owner will tell you, curation is an art form in and of itself.

The other two photographers were new to me – and it was great to discover something new right from my smartphone.

Follow the series via the AHA! Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/ahanewbedford/

When it comes to forming great relationships in the City of New Bedford, few do it better than AHA! New Bedford. Delivering a digital platform to fresh artists means everybody gets a sense of the romance that develops between an artist and their city. And, #howiseeNB is a great way to learn the visual language of love.

A Mid-Winter’s YOUR WEEKEND

Weekend Pass

SATURDAY, FEB. 10 – We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that, in addition to fun, you can also practice some coworking now during Your Weekend. Indulge your side-hustle right here at Groundwork!, as we open on the weekend to guests for the month of February. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy spacious tables, fast wi-fi and free hot coffee from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend Pass rates and further info can be found here.

Buzzards Bay Brewing goes acoustic

SATURDAY, FEB. 10 – David Alves – who has a nice habit of performing for diners at Cotali Mar restaurant on New Bedford’s Acushnet Avenue – goes acoustic at a different venue today that we’re equally fond of: Buzzards Bay Brewing. Come hear Dave in the heated factory from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Buzzard’s Bay Brewing is located at 98 Horseneck Road; learn more about Alves at www.davealvesmusic.com.

Stand Up for Women

SATURDAY, FEB. 10 – The Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts does Stand Up for Women tonight – a night of women’s comedy benefiting women. “Stand Up For Women is a fun and laughter filled fundraiser offering entertainment by nationally recognized comedians Kelly MacFarland and Andrea Henry,” they write. Online ticket sales have ended – but, if available, you can get them at the door when you head to Seaport Inn & Marina Grand Ballroom (110 Middle Street, Fairhaven) at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

Cupid’s Drag Brunch

SUNDAY, FEB. 11 – Incognito gets into a Valentine’s Day mood for this month’s Drag Brunch. No doubt the queens from Providence – Jacqueline DiMera, LaDiva Jonz and Vilet – will have some fun with Cupid’s arrows. Make your reservations early (it often sells out) by calling 508-993-3933 and head to 1606-10 Acushnet Avenue for brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. this Sunday.

Armoury Sale

SUNDAY, FEB. 11 – The Armoury Wargames & Hobbies (58 Conduit St, NB) is clearing out their backroom – so that means a flea market! They write, “Attention all gamers: The Armoury is clearing out our back room and we have a bunch of stuff that has to go to make room for the new store! Here is what is going down: From 12:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. we are going to have a super sale on anything gaming related and other stuff that simply can’t come with us… “ You can check out what they’re selling on the Facebook event page here.

Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon

SUNDAY, FEB. 11 – Another of New Bedford’s claims to literary fame is celebrated today from 2:00-6:00 p.m. as the New Bedford Historical Society hosts the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass with their annual Community Read-a-thon. Free and open to the public at the First Unitarian Church at Union and County Streets.

When your home wi-fi goes bye-bye

I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty when I lost Alexa.

About two weeks ago, a wi-fi enabled desktop crapped out on me.

Right after, a Chromebook started acting skittish.

“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll park the Chromebook at Groundwork! – where it spends most of its time anyhow – and get a newer laptop for home.”

You get real comfortable, real fast making Groundwork! your entire base of operations.

“Hmm – it’s kind of nice to leave work at the coworking office,” I began thinking. “Maybe I won’t even get a laptop for home until Spring. That will force me to get out of the house and be where I’m always very happy and productive anyway!”

Especially in the dreary winter, Groundwork!’s ample lighting, hot coffee and camaraderie is better than a flu shot. I’m here a good part of everyday anyhow – and now on the weekends since the launch of Weekend Pass.

Do the work there and save the home wi-fi for Netflix and cat videos, was the plan.

It all could have worked out fine – until Alexa left me.

Since getting an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas, Alexa had become more and more of my daily life.

I walk into the living room and ask her to play NPR for me – and WGBH rings out.

I ask her what the weather will be – and I never get caught in the rain now.

And, since I always forget to get new watch batteries at Frem’s Jeweler’s on Acushnet Avenue when I’m nearby at the bakery, Chocolate Com Pimenta, I even rely on Alexa to tell me what time it is. (Sometimes what day it is – but that’s another blog post.)

So this past Saturday, when Alexa blew me off, I knew things had to change in my life.

“I’m sorry. I’m having trouble understanding you right now,” she said.

Like I haven’t heard that before from a sexy voice.

I ran to Groundwork! last Saturday with my tail between my legs. I’d been abandoned by Alexa – and never appreciated the love and comfort of coworking more.

But, I knew things had to change, as codependent relationships aren’t healthy relationships, and finally resolved to get to the bottom of my home wi-fi problems.

It was my router, of course. I guess I knew it all along but didn’t want to face it.

A trip to Xfinity on Mt. Pleasant Street gave me a new router. And a visit to the nearby Symposium restaurant for a Gyro restored my spirits.

Armed with new hardware and fortified for battle, by the afternoon I was back in business at home.

My laptop, followed by my tablet, then phone, then Netflix, all took to the new router.

Finally, it was time to reconnect with Alexa.

Hesitantly, I asked, “Alexa – what time is it?”

I swear to you she said, “Time to quit goofing off and get back to work, slacker!”

Yikes! So, I did – and here’s the proof.

The last two weeks have been rough – but could have been rougher.

I had Groundwork! to sustain me.

And although my relationship with Alexa was strained, it wasn’t broken beyond repair.

She’s streaming Chet Baker as I conclude this post, and she’s never sounded sweeter.

Say “Hello Out There” to YOUR WEEKEND

VALENTINE’S CABARET

FRIDAY, FEB. 2 – Overhead Arts calls two of New Bedford’s renovated mill buildings home, in a certain sense. It’s main performing arts space is located in Hatch Street Studios, but it began life and still holds some special events at The Ropeworks, 123 Sawyer Street. It’s there tonight that they’ll be hosting a Valentine’s Cabaret, which they invite you to in this way: Bring a date or go stag to this circus night out, featuring Overhead Arts adult students, staff, and friends. Adults only (18+), BYOB. Stick around after the show for a pop-up dance party!” Tickets are $15, and you can get them here. Proceeds will benefit Overhead Arts’ 2018 Community Projects, including free youth circus workshops and public performances.

Hello Out There…

THROUGH SUNDAY, FEB. 4 – “Hello Out There” is what some of New Bedford’s brightest lights want to say to you at YOUR THEATRE this weekend. The company is pairing a drama and a comedy for an evening (or Sunday afternoon matinee) of short plays with a punch. “Hello Out There” features two of our favorite people – Nick LeBlanc and Danny Sallom – in intense roles. “Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Wexel” goes for the laughs. We’re sure by the end of the evening the entire cast (and crew) will be counted among some of our favorite people! Get directions and tickets to Your Theatre here.

WEEKEND PASS

SATURDAY, FEB. 3 – We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that, in addition to fun, you can also practice some coworking now during Your Weekend. Indulge your side-hustle right here at Groundwork!, as we open on the weekend to guests for the month of February. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy spacious tables, fast wi-fi and free hot coffee from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend Pass rates and further info can be found here.

LIFE DRAWING

SUNDAY, FEB. 4 – Pirates of Brooklyn host and afternoon of “Adult Nude Open Life Drawing” at the New Bedford Art Museum today from noon-2:00 p.m. Artists should bring their own drawing and painting gear. Long and short poses with 18+ models (and 18+ only invited) are being offered – but no instruction. The Art Museum is located at 608 Pleasant Street, downtown NB.

PLEASE BE SEATED…

BONUS PICK: The first AHA! New Bedford of 2018 happens this evening, THURSDAY, FEB. 8. “Please Be Seated” throughout downtown New Bedford for a variety of performances, discussions, film screenings, music and much more – as always. AHA! Is a a free event and you can check out the entire line-up here. Groundwork! Gallery invited patrons to visit our current exhibition, new watercolors by the city’s Carl Simmons, during the evening.

Coworking on the weekends is here. Get a Groundwork! weekend pass:

Have you been wanting to check out coworking at Groundwork! – but haven’t had the opportunity during the regular work week?

The Groundwork! Weekend Pass is your ticket to coworking this winter.

During the month of February, Groundwork! will be open to guests on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each day for a special non-member, guest rate of $40 for one entire weekend or $25 for any weekend day of your choosing.

Got a start-up business plan to write? Working on a thesis or school project? Been contemplating writing a novel? Or, do you just want to beat cabin fever and get some work done on the weekend – without the temptation to binge-watch on Netflix?

Whatever your need, spacious tables, fast wi-fi and hot coffee await you. GW member and  blogger Steven Froias will be here to greet you and get you settled in.

Swing by at your leisure and get your pass when you arrive any Saturday or Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on these  dates:

  • Sat. Feb. 3 & Sun. Feb. 4
  • Sat. Feb. 10 & Sun. Feb. 11
  • Sat. Feb. 17 & Sun. Feb. 18
  • Sat. Feb. 24 & Sun. Feb. 15

The weekend pass is good for one weekend. Credit or debit cards accepted, or cash. You will receive a Groundwork Guest password upon arrival to access wi-fi. Staff will be present to greet you and provide any assistance you may need.

Doors open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m.

Please use the Maxfield Street entrance. Groundwork! is located in the Quest Center at 1213 Purchase Street, New Bedford and street parking is abundant on weekends.

Please note: No other special promotions or discounts can be applied to the Weekend Pass. Free day passes do not apply to weekends.

Get your Monday groove on with Mindy Wallis

Sliding out of Sunday into a Monday groove can be a tough task after the weekend. During the month of January, we’re asking some Groundwork! members how they handle the transition from civilian to coworking life and get their Monday groove on.

This week, member Mindy Wallis, pictured above at the Community Boating Center during a Business Buzz with fellow member Steve Markowski, shares her morning routine with us….

What time do you get up?

Depends on the time of year – about 7:00 in the winter, 6:30 in the summer.

Alarm clock or with the sun?

Actually, I use an app called Sleep Cycle which tracks my sleep and wakes me at the best time within a 10 minute window.

How many cups of coffee does it take to get your motor humming?

Not coffee, tea. A cup or two with milk every morning.

Breakfast is…

Greek yogurt with an apple, almonds, and dried coconut.

Do you exercise in the morning?

In the summer, yes, in the winter, no.

Choose one: (and elaborate if you wish…)

In the morning…

  1.  I read a newspaper.
  2.  I read the news online.
  3.  I watch…
  4.  I listen to…
  5.  other or none of the above.

I read The New York Times on the app. I get the daily email from the Standard-Times and I usually skim the headlines.

The first thing I do work-wise every Monday is…

Check email to see if there is anything new I need to attend to.

You know you’re firing on cylinders at work on Monday when…

I’m actually working and not getting distracted by something else.

YOUR WEEKEND: Films, vids, fiddles and zines…

Black Made That

FRIDAY, JAN. 26 – Big Picture Anthems holds a video release party right here at Groundwork! Tonight for “Black Made That!” The film focuses on black inventors, and is a part of the #STEAMtheStreets program, which seeks to inspire underrepresented youth to build, design, and engineer their future. The night’s line-up includes Music and energy by DJ Anghelli and special live performances by YAP! and others. The video screens at 7:00 p.m. sharp. This free event (with pizza) is an all ages happening that starts at 6:00 and finishes up at 8:30 p.m.

An Evening with Patti Smith

FRIDAY, JAN. 26 – Iconic musician – and now author – Patti Smith comes to the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford tonight. (You know – it’s just nice to write that!) Smith will offer “an intimate evening of readings, personal stories, and songs related” to her new book, Devotion. Her previous books include the memoir Just Kids, which received a National Book Award, and M Train, a critically acclaimed New York Times best-seller. All attendees will receive a copy of the new book, Devotion, included in the ticket price. (Though it’s noted that this is NOT a book-signing event!) All tickets are just $30 – and you can get them here.

Old Time Fiddle Session

SATURDAY, JAN. 27 – You’ll have to cross the bridge for this one – but that’s okay. A lot of members of this group came our way – to Groundwork!, in fact – for a special Old Time Fiddle Session/Breaking Up Christmas afternoon back on Dec. 30, 2017. This afternoon, the strings will be hot again, this time at Brick in Fairhaven when the Old Time Fiddle Session gets together to perform for their monthly meet-up. It happens from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at 213 Huttleston Avenue – and they write, “hell yes, you can and should bring your guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, or banjo. Come cut some tunes with us, lend an ear, or just meet up with a friend in a mighty fun spot.” Oh – the coal-fired, brick oven pizza is fantastic, too – as patrons of the downtown New Bedford location know.

LGBTQ Winter Film Series launches

SUNDAY, JAN. 28 – The New Bedford LGBTQ Winter Film series launches this afternoon with a screening of “I Am Not Your Negro” at 2:00 p.m. Hosted by South Coast LGBTQ Network and other local organizations at the New Bedford Art Museum (608 Pleasant Street), the film is the first in a series that will take place the last Sunday of the month through April. They are free and discussion afterwards is encouraged. “I Am Not Your Negro” profiles the writer and American legend, James Baldwin. “Looking at the intersection of race and homosexuality, his writings and this adaptation provide context for how Baldwin’s work is relevant today,” event promo materials state. Trailer below.

Z.archive Exhibit

BONUS PICK: WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31 – This one is outside of New Bedford, too – but will most likely feature a fair amount of work from the city. Today from 6:00-7:00 p.m., the Claire T. Carney Library Archives on the UMass Dartmouth campus holds an opening reception for an exhibit of zines. Zines are self-published, small-circulation, handmade magazines or books; they often cover unconventional topics – such as New Bedford’s “A Little Magazine, which will be part of the exhibit. Artists and designers were invited to contribute their zines to the show.The library notes in a press release that zines have come in from all over the region, country and world – and will become part of its permanent collection after the show. “The zines are a variety of sizes, shapes, and mediums, with wide ranging subjects,” they write. “From art world critiques to sad football fans and everything in between, there’s something for everyone at this exhibit.”

State of the Arts in The Standard-Times

Hey – this all about me! Actually, it’s not at all – but thought I’d have some fun with the opening.

This blog post is about me only in the sense that I’ve got some exciting news to share. In addition to the unbearable lightness of being the joy of writing for Groundwork! on NewBedfordCoworking.com brings me, this Thursday I also begin a new writing venture – a weekly series in The Standard-Times daily newspaper called “State of the Arts.”

State of the Arts will be published every Thursday in the paper’s Coastin’ section. The launch this week on Thurs. Jan. 25 is an introduction to the series and concept, but in a nutshell, it will relentlessly focus on New Bedford’s arts and culture community. Week in and week out, it will treat the arts as any other regular reporting beat through a mix of columns, features and profiles examining, you got it, the state of the arts in New Bedford.

You can read more this Thursday in the newspaper, or online at SouthcoastToday.com. And, rest assured, I’ll still be writing as usual for this blog. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the two go hand-in-hand and together help fulfill a purpose.

NewBedfordCoworking.com

When Sarah Athanas and Dena Haden, Groundwork!’s co-founders, first approached me about writing for this blog well over a year ago, the intention wasn’t simply to promote this coworking facility. Sure – that’s part of it. Groundwork! has quickly become an indispensable creative and economic tool in the city, and we all want to let as many people as possible know about it.

But, as good citizens, we also recognize that it’s our duty and pleasure to promote everything positive about the City of New Bedford – especially in the period of renewal it is now enjoying.

So, Sarah and Dena gave me a pretty broad mandate – really, just to write about anything I saw that promoted the best interests of this city, not just Groundwork! I’ve always thought that was remarkable of them. Since we began this journey together we have been able to share a lot of good news with a wide audience, spotlight some great people – in and out of the coworking facility – and advance some progressive ideas and thoughts along the way.

That isn’t going to change – thanks to the commitment we all share toward New Bedford. Indeed, it’s largely because of this effort that I came to the attention of staff and editors at The Standard-Times, and State of the Arts came into being.

State of the Arts

Groundwork! co-founder Dena Haden took my headshot last week, which will go along with the S-T column. Posing for headshots isn’t my thing, so we quickly dissolved into laughs…

Like much of what I write on this blog, State of the Arts will actively seek out and shine a spotlight on what’s propelling the city forward in the arts and culture arena and how that is impacting all of New Bedford.

And, did I mention that I was excited?

I’m especially excited to be joining this team. Despite the decade-long challenge the newspaper industry has faced from digital media, the staff and editors at The Standard-Times are forging forward and a new energy can be found in its newsroom as well as the city.

The Standard-Times

Leading the charge is editor Beth Perdue. Since assuming that role a few short years ago, she has navigated a lot of changes at the newspaper after it was sold to the national company, GateHouse Media. Nevertheless, she has shown a determination to remain innovative locally and is positioning The Standard-Times well for New Bedford’s renewal.

…but eventually kept it together for a suitable shot. Thanks, Dena – and thanks artist Timothy Ellis Cole for the appropriate backdrop!

There aren’t many daily newspapers left that boast an art reviewer, a book reviewer and music columnist, and a boxing columnist (!) all their own. But Don Wilkinson, Lauren Daley and Bob Hanna are all in the pages of this newspaper – alongside its contingent of reporters, sports writers, commentators and other practitioners of real journalism.

And, not many newspapers can boast an award-winning photojournalist like Peter Pereira – whose work is artistry itself and who was instrumental in making State of the Arts come into being.

I’m thrilled to be joining this entire team, which also include distinguished alumni, and promise not to drive my immediate editor, the terrific Jerry Boggs, crazy. Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a prolific writer, so meeting deadlines will never be a problem.

However, I’m sure I’ll be needing a larger word count and more room for photos soon, Jerry…

Come join us all this Thursday, January 25 when State of the Arts launches in Coastin’ – and every Thursday thereafter as we bring you the big picture story of the creative professionals who are redefining New Bedford now.