Art, Reggae, Yoga and more…YOUR WEEKEND

Judith Klein Art by the Cove

SATURDAY, JUNE 24 – Judith Klein Art Gallery occupies a sweet perch in Kilburn Mills Studio overlooking Clarks Cove – and the new Cove Walk. If you’ve never been, today’s the day to swing by from 5:00 – 8:00pm for the opening reception of their Summer Exhibition. Every year, it’s an eclectic and refreshing show featuring some of the most interesting artists in the region working in Painting, Photography, Mixed Media, Fiber Art, Printmaking and Sculpture. You’ll find the gallery around the back of the building at 127 W. Rodney French Boulevard; hang a right from the New Bedford Antiques Center parking lot and look for the signs to lead you to door 31.

24 Hour People

SATURDAY, JUNE 24 – The Collective NB holds one of their fab 24 Hour Projects this evening from 7:00 – 10:00pm at Gallery X, 169 William Street, NB. They explain how it works here: All the shows we put up on that night will be written, rehearsed, produced and performed in 24hrs. We will have a special musical guest – Rob Velocity will be entertaining with his Musical Talents! Plus a raffle where you can win things from local artists,businesses and restaurants.The first show will be at 7:00pm and the second show (The infamous Stumble Through) at 9:00pm the same night. Admission is a suggested donation of $10. Make reservations by sending an email with the amount of tickets you need and what time you will be attending to

Sea Shanty Sunday

SUNDAY, JUNE 25 – The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street, NB) kicks off their first anniversary celebration at 11:00am this morning – with a special sea shanty chorus! Following in rapid succession are: 11:45 – Unveiling of Founders plaque; 12:15 – Cake by Ellen’s Creations & ice cream from the Ox Cart; 12:45 – Performance by storyteller Jackson Gillman. Plus children’s activities and Ox Cart food truck! Free admission to all events today.

Reggae on West Beach!

SUNDAY, JUNE 25 – Reggae on West Beach – the beautiful brainchild of Brooke Baptiste – returns to New Bedford today from 3:00 – 7:00pm! And this year, it’s for the entire summer! Good to Know Productions, in conjunction with the City of New Bedford Parks, Recreation, and Beaches, will host the 2017 Reggae on West Beach Summer Series June 25, July 30, Aug. 27, and Sept. 24, from 3:00pm-7:00pm, at the West Beach Pavilion located at 237 W. Rodney French Blvd. across from Hazelwood Park. Reggae On West Beach is a free community event that is inclusive, multi-generational, welcoming and family-friendly for all who attend, celebrating Jamaica’s gift to the world: reggae music. It’s a reinvention of the “sound system” parties that have been a staple of Jamaica since the 1950s. Patrons are encouraged to bring beach chairs, pack a picnic, and groove to the vibes. Food trucks will offer a variety of delicious local offerings. Food trucks include Two Sisters, Alice’s Food Truck, and Dorothy Cox selling ice cream and Del’s Lemonade. We could write more – but just take our word for it and just go!

Yoga at the Fort

MONDAY, JUNE 26 – REMINDER: Yoga at the Fort – Fort Tabor/Rodman – continues tonight and every Monday and Thursday through the summer, weather permitting. Class drop-in charge is only $5. Class incorporates movement, meditation, balance and strength. This is open to all levels, newbies to advanced. Bring a mat/towel and water at 6:30pm. More info here

America Divided

TUESDAY, JUNE 27 – Southcoast Fair Housing and Civic Support come to Groundwork! tonight at 6:00pm to co-host a film screening of “America Divided.” The film explores the housing divide in New York City, confronting stark images of inequality. The filmmakers speak with tenants, realtors, homeless people, housing activists, landlords and city officials — investigating the Big Apple’s affordability crisis, hedge fund speculation on residential housing, and a legacy of discrimination that still persists today. Discussion to follow. Refreshments provided. Kid-friendly and free admission in Groundwork’s co-working space at 1213 Purchase Street (use Maxfield Street entrance.)

YOUR WEEKEND and the week ahead

Ride ‘em cowboy

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 – Ashley Ford, a New Bedford institution, holds their 13th annual SVT Cobra, Mustang and all Ford car show today from 9:00am – 3:00pm. “When was the last time you’ve seen a Shelby Cobra GT 500, Mach 1, ‘early’ ’65, 1985 GT with original sticker, and dozens of other classic and rare Mustangs all in one place?” they ask on the Facebook event page. And answer –  “It’s a sight that is seldom seen, and it always delights fans of the car that created the pony class.” And add, “Of course the Mustangs are enough entertainment in themselves, and yet there is music by ‘Johnny Angel’, give-aways, free refreshments and the first 50 entrants will receive a free dash plaque! It’s a great day if you love Mustangs. It’s a great day if you love cars. Heck, it’s just a great day!” Steer yourself to 395 Mt. Pleasant Street to appreciate some car culture this Saturday in New Bedford.

New Life Cup + Block Party

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 – Paul Walsh Field off Parker Street, NB, hosts a huge community-wide event today from noon – 4:00pm. New Life Cup + Block Party is a soccer tournament; live musical performances; kids events; and open to everyone. Swing by and check it out.

Juneteenth Celebration

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 – The Rotch Jones Duff House also gets into the community celebration groove today from 1:00-4:00pm when it hosts the New Bedford Historical Society’s Juneteenth Celebration. Gather in the garden for a day of music, arts and crafts to commemorate the anniversary of Juneteenth, the end of enslavement for millions of African Americans across the U.S. in 1865. Performers include Tammy Denease, storyteller, who will share the story of Mum Bett, who sued Massachusetts for her freedom. Music by El Caribe, a steel drum band and Ponta do So, a traditional Cabo Verdean band. Free admission.

Learn to Quahog

SUNDAY, JUNE 18 – Buzzards Bay Coalition and the New Bedford Parks Recreation & Beaches Department invite you to Fort Taber Park to Learn to Quahog this morning from 9:00-10:30am. Coalition educators will teach you the basics of local quahogging – what you need, how to do it, and where to go. They will also provide rakes, peck baskets, and some waders for you to use. But, if you have your own equipment, feel free to bring it. And remember, “We suggest you wear clothing and shoes that can get wet and sandy, as we will be wading into the water up to our waists. This is a catch-and-release event unless you have a shellfish permit for the city of New Bedford.”  To RSVP to this free, family-friendly event, visit their website here.

Fitness in the Park

TUESDAY, JUNE 20 – It’s across the river in Fairhaven, but we love FITNESS in the PARK, The area’s “longest running and most popular summer fitness classes”! The free classes in Cushman Park take place 8:30-9:30am June 20 – Aug 24. Tuesdays, Yoga in the Park w/ Kripalu Certified Yoga Instructor & Personal Trainer, Jeff Costa (pictured above). Thursdays, Summer Boot Camp w/ Certified Functional Trainer, Wayne Goulart. Get fit at 164 Green Street, Fairhaven.

Business Buzz on the High Seas

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21 – Here’s the scoop: The June Business Buzz, a co-production by Civic Support and Groundwork! Will be “truly one of a kind as all #NOTworking enthusiasts are invited to attend ‘Mr. Pickles Wacky Sailing Race and BBQ’! Check it out – there will be BBQ food, and beer from Buzzards Bay Brewing, as well as the opportunity to check out the cove from the water thanks to the Community Boating Center. Suggested donation is $5 and all proceeds go to the Charles A.R. Pickles Memorial fund, which helps local kids get sailing lessons, scholarships and opportunities to become teachers and future leaders. For any business interested in becoming a boat sponsor in the sailing race, you can purchase tickets for $150. For more information, look elsewhere on this very website.

YOUR WEEKEND and the week ahead in New Bedford

Day of Portugal

BEGINNING FRI, JUNE 9 – New Bedford’s Day of Portugal celebration takes over Acushnet Avenue this weekend with food, music, vendors and lots of old country culture. Events begin Friday night at 6:30pm and continue into Saturday (beginning at 1:00pm) and Sunday (beginning at 8:00am). Come hungry and seize the opportunity to check out everything Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford’s North End has to offer. (A highlight for this writer will be the chance to tour the former Strand Theater, which will one day be the Cape Verdean Cultural Center!)

New Bedford Jazzfest

SATURDAY, JUNE 10 – New Bedford Jazzfest happens on State Pier from 2:00-7:30pm today. The line-up includes: Southcoast Jazz Orchestra (17 piece big band); The Dino Govoni Quartet featuring vocalist Cassandre McKinley; Gerry Gibbs Trio (#1 album 3 weeks Jazz Charts); and Matthew Hartnett & The Gumbo All-Stars (New Orleans jam). Tickets are $25 (kids under 15 free) – but parking is free at 49 State Pier and the Elm St. Garage. In addition to the tunes, expect food trucks, regional arts and crafts vendors and, of course, a full bar. What would jazz be without bourbon…?

Mission 22 Pub Brawl

SUNDAY, JUNE 11 – New Bedford Police Officers Jared Lucas and Donald Williams are conducting a Pub Crawl through downtown NB tonight to benefit Mission 22 – a veteran’s assistance group that seeks to mitigate the sad fact that on average 22 combat veterans a day commit suicide. The pub crawl starts at Rose Alley Ale House then heading to Slainte, Moby Dick Brewery, Pour Farm Tavern and finally, Greasy Luck Brewery.Tickets to attend are $22 and include a T-shirt. Participants will spend an hour at each location. A raffle will be held at each establishment. For more information, call 508-965-2464 or 508-789-8239.

NB Farmers Markets return

THURSDAY, JUNE 15 – The New Bedford Farmers Market returns to Custom House Square Park for the season beginning today at 2:00pm. Yes – from now on, you’ll be able to shop downtown for local produce and other goodies from 2-6:00pm every Thursday through the summer. New this year – People’s Pressed Juice will be squeezing out their own brand of cold-pressed liquid sunshine! Psst…you can get a head start on grocery shopping on Mon. June 12 when the Farmers Market returns to Brooklawn Park from 2:00-6:00pm. Also, check it out at Clasky Common Park on Saturday morning, June 17 from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Communicate NB

THURSDAY, JUNE 15 – New Bedford gets its very own chapter of Toastmasters tonight when Communicate NB launches at 6:00pm at Tia Maria’s European Café. Here’s the 411 from their Facebook page: “Toastmasters is an internationally recognized organization that promotes public speaking, communication and leadership skills. This is a unique opportunity to develop yourself professionally or just to simply challenge yourself and have fun.” Prepare your oration now.

YOUR WEEKEND and the week ahead…

Beginning Fri. June 2 – Purchase Street Records (767 Purchase Street) celebrates six months of being open for business in downtown New Bedford with a 10% OFF all record purchases weekend. That’s right – all records 10% off plus other special deals and (weather permitting) sidewalk sales through Sunday, June 4.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3 – New Bedford gets its PRIDE back – a public LGBTQ Pride Festival in Buttonwood Park happens today from 9:00am – 4:00pm. It begins with Yoga in the Park with Jeff Costa, followed by a Fitness Walk and then lots more entertainment, family activities and more. New Bedford’s resurgent gay community was the feature of one of our recent blog posts – and you can read all about PRIDE and more here.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3 – The Seaport Art Walk officially opens on the State Pier in New Bedford with a celebration from 2:00-5:00pm today. It’s another show-stopping event we previously wrote about, so get the full story here.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3 – The Community Economic Development Center and the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center are pleased to present Fiesta Tipica de Guatemala, “a mini-festival of traditional culture featuring music, dance, demonstrations of traditional crafts, and a concurso (children’s contest for the best traditional clothing)” today on Acushnet Avenue. From 2:00pm-6:00pm, come get your dose of Guatemalan culture at the Phillips Avenue Pocket Park (on the corner of Phillips and Acushnet Avenues, naturally – steps from Lorenzo’s Bakery and Mimo’s Cafe).

SATURDAY, JUNE 3 – Stone Free brings the music of Jimi Hendrix to The Bar (266 Dartmouth Street, NB) tonight beginning at 9:00pm. Come enjoy drinks, chow and a tribute to the music of Hendrix at this great spot.

SUNDAY, JUNE 4 – Striker’s Bar & Grill in the Wonder Bowl (66 Hathaway Road, NB) welcomes Last Comic Standing star and co-star of the Netflix series, “Be a Man” to their Sunday Comic Showcase tonight. Also featuring Featuring the Voice Of The City – Bad Lad and local comedian Larry Soares. Your host for the night Dave Sinclair. Tickets $10.00; show starts at 7:00pm.

TUESDAY, JUNE 6 – The Bay Sox home opener takes place at 6:00pm at Paul Walsh Field by New Bedford High School. If you haven’t seen the Sox in action, get to it this season. At $5, it’s affordable fun for all ages. Find the season schedule here.

Your Weekend & the week ahead…

Will you be here in 5 years?

SATURDAY, MAY 27 – Sure – it’s a holiday weekend. But before the BBQ and maybe beach, get your fill of public policy at “Gentrification in New Bedford.” Hosted by SouthCoast Today (Standard-Times), Ward 4 City Councilor Dana Rebeiro, and Dr. Michael Goodman of the UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center, the free discussion with featured speakers takes place from 1:00-3:00pm today at the downtown New Bedford BCC campus (800 Purchase Street).

Memorial Day Parade

MONDAY, MAY 29 – New Bedford’s Memorial Day Parade steps off from Hathaway Blvd. and Parker St. this morning at 11:30am. But the place to watch it is Clasky Common Park on County Street by J.A. Parker School where special events honoring veterans follow the parade.

Climate Change & Lyme Disease

THURSDAY, JUNE 1 – “Have you ever wondered how the rate of chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease has grown exponentially as the effects of climate change increase?” If you have or haven’t, you still may want to check out Lyme Disease & Climate Change, with Herbalist Brendan Kelly tonight from 5:30-8:00pm at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, presented by Kelly and the Marion Institute. “Using the lens of Chinese medicine, Brendan Kelly, herbalist and author of The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis, will discuss how the warming of our planet mirrors a similar overheating within us and within our culture.” Tickets are $10, and they benefit the Marion Institute. Get some here.

Yoga at the Fort

THURSDAY, JUNE 1 – Yoga at the Fort is on for the season! That fort would be Fort Rodman in New Bedford’s South End, where South Coast Yoga will be holding classes on Monday and Thursday nights during the warm weather months. For only $5! (You can purchase a class card, too, for multiple classes – good at Rodman or Fort Phoenix in neighboring Fairhaven)  The 411: Class incorporates movement, meditation, balance and strength. This is open to all levels, newbies to advanced. Please bring a mat/towel and water. The beginning of the season can be chilly, so layers are good!” Arrive at 6:15pm. Follow South Coast Yoga on Facebook for more information.

YOUR WEEKEND: March from the Big Sweep to the Big Easy…

Seen & Heard

THURSDAY, MAY 18 through SATURDAY, MAY 20 – The Collective NB takes to the stage again with Seen & Heard: One-Act Plays Honoring Women. The group notes that the staging allows them to “give back to the community that has been so welcoming and supportive of us. Half of all our ticket proceeds will be given in support of The Women’s Center of New Bedford.” (Tickets are $20.) Doors to Seen & Heard, at Gallery X (169 William Street, NB) open at 7:30 pm. They’ll do a run at 8:00 each night (May 18th, 19th, and 20th), and in between shows, expect other forms of live performance, including poetry, and maybe even some music. As always, it’s a BYOB night. The one-act plays are: Relative Strangers by Sheri Wilner; and A Matter of Gender by Sloane Drayson. Email The Collective NB your name and number of guests and which show (the 18th, 19th, or 20th) you’d like to attend at to reserve your seats.

In the Groundwork! Gallery

FRIDAY, MAY 19 – The Groundwork! Gallery is in high gear these days. Just one week after the UMass graduate photo show wowed a packed crowd, The Wearable LIghtness of Being, work by Rhonda Fazio at Groundwork!, opens tonight with a reception at 6:00pm. It’s the fabric and textile artist’s first solo exhibition, and she writes, “Working from the ground up, it’s only right that it should be at a place called ‘Groundwork’.” True, that!

Operation Clean Sweep

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – It always breaks my heart to write, “New Bedford is a filthy city”…but increasingly, the heartache is easing. There is an effort to increase public awareness regarding tossing garbage onto the streets, and certainly the new bins rolled out a few years back have made a huge difference. So, too, has some aggressive street cleaning by the city recently to scoop up some winter sand if not grit. Now, today beginning at 8:30am and lasting until noon, the city-wide cleanup known as Operation Clean Sweep does its considerable bit to shine the apple. Volunteers meet at the St. Luke’s Parking lot at Page and Hawthorn Streets, and you can pre-register and get more details at I’m happy to report that Groundwork! member Mindy Wallis has taken it upon herself to organize a Groundworkers team for the sweep. Go, Mindy, go!

March against Monsanto

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – It’s being billed as “New Bedford’s BIGGEST March Against Monsanto yet!” – which should be enough to get lots of feet over to the meet-up spot in front of the Lawler Library in Buttonwood Park at 10:00am. For those who don’t know, Monsanto is a “publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation” generally regarded as the Evil Empire of food production. Marchers will trek up and down Rte. 6 for maximum visibility until noon, and then Down to Earth Natural Foods (751 Kempton St, NB) will be offering non-GMO smoothies, made with organic plant proteins and whole food supplements by Garden Of Life until 3:00pm. Also, Ashley of Ashley’s Produce will also be at Down To Earth from 12-3pm selling organic veggie starters. Take that, Darth Vader.

It’s a quiet thing….

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – A Silent Writing Marathon hosted by GNB Writers Block happens from 1:00 – 2:30pm this afternoon at Dream Out Loud center (One Johnny Cake Hill, NB). “Bring whatever you’re working on: fiction, playwriting, poetry, memoir, but be prepared to write SILENTLY for one solid hour!” they explain. “Once the timer is set, no talking, no cell phone, just write. We suggest you arrive about 15 minutes before the timer is set to get settled in and comfortable. At the end of the session, you are free to share (if you like – there is zero pressure to do so), mingle, or hit the door running. Bring your own beverage, and if you can, please bring a small donation for the Dream Out Loud Center who is doing us a huge favor by allowing us use of their facility. This is one of our more popular events, so please arrive on time and ready to work!”

Greasy gets Big Easy

SATURDAY, May 20 – Finally this weekend, let loose and check out Matthew Harnett & the Gumbo Allstars at Greasy Luck Brewery (791 Purchase Street, NB) tonight at 10:00pm. You would be correct in guessing that Matthew and the gang are visitors to our city from down The Big Easy way – brought here chiefly thanks to the instigation of Groundwork! Member Shelley Cardoos. As if we didn’t dig her enough already. They’ll be performing tunes from a forthcoming collection, Southern Comfort, and jamming with SouthCoast musicians. Door charge is only $5, which is very easy indeed…

YOUR WEEKEND and beyond…

Tryworks weekend

FRIDAY, MAY 12 through SUNDAY, MAY 14 – It’s a weekend-long reunion, celebration and revival for the legendary Tryworks coffeehouse, which was New Bedford’s folk music epicenter for decades and marks its 50th anniversary this year. You can get all the background on Tryworks in this terrific Lauren Daley Spotlight article from Coastin’ in The Standard-Times. Then, check out the following events happening at the First Unitarian Church in NB at Union and County Streets: FRIDAY – 7:00pm – Open Hoot: come hear music and memories about Tryworks; SATURDAY – Social gathering begins at 4:00pm, POTLUCK dinner at 5, Open Hoot continues at 7; SUNDAY – Special service at 11:00am celebrates the 50th anniversary of Tryworks.

Up, up in the sky…

FRIDAY, MAY 12 – Overhead Arts, the aerial performing arts center founded by Teresa Kochis, holds their Spring adult showcase tonight from 8:30pm – 9:30pm. Adult students will present works-in-progress in this showcase. The $10 tickets benefit Overhead Arts’ 2017 Community Projects. Plus, it’s a party; stick around after for some showcasing and feel free to BYOB! Overhead Arts is located on the second floor of Hatch Street Studios, 88 Hatch Street in the north end off Acushnet Avenue.

Fish Scan

SATURDAY, MAY 13 – Clean out your closets, drawers and maybe raid grandma’s attic for photos and ephemera related to the fishing industry. Today, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center wants to scan it all for their archives – and your digital viewing pleasure. Here’s how it works: Bring your material to the center at 38 Bethel Street, NB from 10am-12noon and leave it with them. They’ll scan it, keep a copy for their use and then return your original material to you – and a thumb drive for you to keep with the scans. Scanning Day is free and open to the public – and the center reminds everyone that, “These documents will help us to tell the story of the fishing industry.”

Mom’s Rule

SUNDAY, MAY 14 – It’s Mother’s Day – and we’re big fans of mothers here at Groundwork! Co-founders Sarah Athanas and Dena Haden have moms who rock, and your own faithful scribe’s parental unit would never be confused for Joan Crawford. We recommend showing mom a good time at any number of New Bedford brunch spots or eateries – or maybe a brew pub if the old gal is down with it.


BONUS PICK: WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 – Groundwork! member and By Any Means Visionary founder, Ben Gilbarg is launching a new initiative this coming week – which always means something good for the community at large. Tonight right here at Groundwork!, the public is invited to a presentation and reception for  #STEAMtheSTREETS from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Here’s the 411: STEAMtheSTREETS is a national awareness campaign using music, video and star power to inspire underrepresented youth to pursue STEM/STEAM career pathways. Ben writes, “Over 1.4 million tech. jobs will go unfilled in the year 2020 if we don’t build the proper career pipelines. Only 25% of schools offer high quality computer science programs. Without the education and exposure, many young people think that technology jobs are scary or out of touch or just not for them. On Wed. May 17, at New Bedford’s co-working space – Groundwork, Big Picture Anthems will be holding a presentation and reception for the dynamic outreach campaign #STEAMtheSTREETS. Hear more about the campaign and ways you can get involved. Interact with our live panel, and share in the Q & A and reception portions of the event. No Problemo and Mary’s Steamed Cheeseburgers will provide complimentary food. This event is FREE. To read our deck and watch our video, visit”

YOUR WEEKEND: Picassos in the parking lot, streetfests and more…

Picassos in the parking lot

SATURDAY, MAY 6 – They’re labeling it “epic” – and we can’t disagree. The artist condo community, The Ropeworks at 123 Sawyer Street in New Bedford’s north end is holding a yard sale today from 8:00am until 6:00pm. Who knows what a bunch of artists and other creative types will be selling? You can probably bet it won’t be boring stuff from grandma’s attic! We have only one quibble – 8:00am!? We thought most artists were just getting to bed at that hour. The Ropeworks has an ample parking lot to accommodate goods for sale and parking – plus, it’s right beside Market Basket so you can do your grocery shopping after being thrifty.

Haskell Public Gardens to go

SATURDAY, MAY 6 – Labeled New Bedford’s hidden gem, Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens does something it does very well today – sell plants. Yes, it’s their annual Spring plant sale beginning at 9:00am (for members only) and then open from 10 until 1:00pm to the general public. For sale at 787 Shawmut Avenue in NB will be Annuals, Perennials, Trees and Shrubs galore, plus special hard to find plants that were a hallmark of the historic Haskell Nurseries on this site. Members also get 10% off their purchases. Scope out the gardens for a preview of this summer’s art happening, Maps & Legends Two: If By Sea, curated by…me! (Opening Fri. July 14.)

Viva Portugal Festa

SATURDAY, MAY 6 – Like the New Bedford Bookfest, it was a simple idea that became a huge success. On this weekend last year, Viva Portugal Festa debuted on the streets surrounding the Zeiterion Theatre in downtown New Bedford and found instant success. Here’s the overview from the FB event page: Full of music, history, food and fun, this street fair showcases the richness of Southcoast’s vibrant Portuguese-American culture.” Agreed. Especially on that food part. Last year, I waddled home up Union Street stuffed – but still found room later for the sweet rice pudding I snagged before I left! New this year at the festa: Best Sweet Bread of the Southcoast taste-test and a read-a-thon of the Portuguese epic poem by Luís Vaz de Camões. And, the day-long celebration of Portugal is capped by fado legend Carlos do Carmo’s performance on the Zeiterion stage at 8PM. (Click for more information.)

Cinco de Mayo Mi Antojo Festival

SATURDAY, MAY 6 – It’s a day later but don’t let your weekend go by without a Cinco de Mayo celebration! Head to 95 Rivet Street in NB’s south end and check out Mi Antojo Mexican Restaurant’s block party this afternoon beginning at 2:30pm. Enjoy a special performance by Mariachi singer Veronica Robles and great food. Free admission and kid friendly right down the street from graceful Goulart Square. Sweet!

Sunday can be funny

SUNDAY, MAY 7 – If ever there was a reason to go out on a school night – a Sunday, no less – it is Comedy X Stand-Up Showcase at Gallery X beginning at 8:00pm. Hosted by Christopher Swanson tonight are: Sean Sullivan – Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham; Sam Ike – Boston Comedy Festival, Rogue Island Comedy Festival; Christa Weiss – opened for Maria Bamford, Michael Che; Mark Gallagher – Comedy Studio, “One Men Show.”; Jere Pilapil – Nerdist Comedy Podcast Network, NPR’s “Stories to Scenes”; Nick Ortolani – Comedy Studio Comic in Residence; Eric Monroe – RI Comedy Connection, Comix at Foxwoods; and “Surprise special guest! Plus, “Comedy X Band…?”! Gallery X is located at 169 William Street, NB. Tickets are $10.

YOUR WEEKEND: Carl in concert; Sarah goes to the mat; and more…

Don’t tie yourself into knots

SATURDAY, APRIL 29 – This annual event always piqued my interest – and last year, I finally got to check it out. R & W Rope is one of those unique New Bedford businesses with a specialized scope and reputation for quality. Today, you can discover both at ROPEFEST, held at the company headquarters at 39 Tarklin Place (off Church Street) from 8:00am until 4:00pm. “It’s a demo day, instructional, fair, and huge sale — all rolled into one fantastic event,” they write. Some of the many demonstrations, exhibitions, promotions and tutorials include:

– Splicing, winch maintenance, and hardware inspection tutorials from the R&W Rope – Rigging Solutions team

– Rock climbing and outdoor product demos from R&W Rope Outdoors staff

– Decorative knot tying exhibition

– Climbing wall for all ages

– Arborist and tree cutting demonstration

– Lifesaving and rescue demonstration from Boston Fire Department trainers

– Children’s paracord crafts

– Free food and refreshments

– Gift Certificate and gift bag giveaways

It all adds up to fun (and 20-40% off a lot merchandise for the day!) Find out more about R & W on their website.

World-famous in four acts

SATURDAY, APRIL 29 – The Collective NB is back at Gallery X (169 William Street) tonight with one of their world-famous 24-hour Projects. In case you missed the world-famous part, here’s the 411: You’ll get to see four brand new shows that have been written, cast, and rehearsed in all under 24 hours. And, there are two chances to see them. “We’ll do a normal run at 7:00pm,” The Collective tells theatre-goers on their event page, “and then have a stumble through at 9:00pm…and we never know what’s going to happen at a stumble through! It’s a $10 suggested donation, and a BYOB night.

The Resistance will be filmed

SATURDAY, APRIL 29 – Grassroots Renaissance man, Carl Simmons comes in off the streets of New Bedford tonight to perform at No Problemo (813 Purchase Street) at 10:00pm. As listeners of this Ground Control podcast may remember, Carl is a man and a musician – and he’ll be bringing both skills to the stage tonight in a benefit performance to raise money for the New Bedford Free Public Library DVD collection. He’ll be joined by N X Nes and Anthony Savino in concert and the donation is $5. Resistance films on the wish list include: The Weather Underground; How to Survive a Plague; The Stonewall Uprising; and Freedom Riders (among others).

Yoga for the masses!

SUNDAY, APRIL 30 – Groundwork! co-founder Sarah Athanas gets out of the co-working office this afternoon to lead the first in a four-week FREE series of Yoga classes at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford. Start the stretch at 1:00pm and bring your own mat. Sarah writes that she, “will be teaching a Forrest-inspired style geared towards beginners that will feel great for everyone.” The Boys & Girls Club is located at 166 Jenney Street in the city’s West End. Follow New Bedford Wellness Initiative to stay in the loop; attend class to bend yourself into one.

Buttonwood Park Drum Circle

SUNDAY, APRIL 30 – New on my radar this week is a  weekly Drum Circle and Community Hang-out at Buttonwood Park. Details are as follows: An informal community gathering where you can bring or try out an instrument, hang out and listen, socialize, enjoy the beautiful park, dance, draw, take pictures, try out the slack line, play some capoeira or practice tai chi, participate in and contribute to community building, and have fun!” From 2:00pm until sunset – look for the group by the playground. Follow them on Facebook here.

Purchase Street’s Multi-Media YOUR WEEKEND

If you need to quantify the distance New Bedford has traveled in just one year, all you need to do is look at the amazing array of events happenings from one end of Purchase Street to another this very weekend.

Nationally, it’s record store day on Saturday, April 22. And this year, New Bedford is in the thick of it – thanks to Purchase Street Records.

That same day and also on Sunday, April 23, the spring edition of the New Bedford Bookfest happens right here at Groundwork! Burnishing the city’s reputation as regional hub, dozens of authors, publishers, booksellers and hundreds of book lovers will make their way to this stretch of Purchase Street from all over Massachusetts and beyond.

Doubling down on the words and adding art into the mix, on Saturday night Alison Wells Fine Art Studio and Gallery will host bookfest authors for a special reading event.

And finally, down the other end of Purchase Street at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, the International Portuguese Music Awards is live onstage Saturday night.

Yeah – it’s a big weekend in New Bedford. Full of all the things that define a city and move it forward into the future. So let’s get right to it and take a deeper dive into these stellar events:

Record Store Day at Purchase Street Records

Beginning at 10:00am, Purchase Street Records joins its national brethren by celebrating the independent music store. At 767 Purchase Street, they’ll do that with exclusive sales as well as DJ Chromatics (of All Chrome fame) spinning vinyl and hosting 94 HJY in the house. Expect several giveaways all day long – and 10% off all record purchases. Afterwards, ‘80s Hair & Metal band, San Dimas perform across the street at the Pour Farm Tavern for an after-party. Purchase Street Records has energized the entire block – and now they’re putting their own spin on Record Store Day and putting New Bedford on the vinyl map!

New Bedford Bookfest at Groundwork!

New Bedford has long been on the literary map thanks to a chap called Melville – but in the 21st century, our very own New Bedford Bookfest is the ‘X’ that marks the spot. The two-day bookfest is free and open to the public from 11:00am to 4:00pm both Saturday and Sunday. At 1213 Purchase Street, you’ll discover dozens of local, regional and national authors – with their beautiful books available for sale. Special events include: On Saturday: 11;30am – a presentation by Spinner Publications on Urban Renewal in New Bedford; at 1:30pm – Brooklyn author and photographer Matt Lambros discussing The Rise & Fall of the American Movie Theater from his book of abandoned cinemas, “After the Final Curtain,” and a reading by Spinner author Catherine Mclaughlin at 3:15 from her book, “Blue Collars.”

On Sunday, April 23, author Courtney Morgan from Colorado flies in for a reading at 11:30am, followed by a special author talk between Standard-Times BookLovers columnist Lauren Daley and South Dartmouth’’s own Holly FitzGerald at 1:30pm. To top it all off, Destination Soups will be serving from the Groundwork! Kitchen both days! Read more about everything happening at

After Bookfest at Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery

Bringing bookfest into the night, Alison Wells hosts an impressive line-up of poets, writers and artists at 106 William Street beginning at 6:00pm. Co-organized by bookfest participant and publisher, Nick LeBlanc, it will feature New Bedford’s Poet Laureate Patricia Gomes and an all-star local line-up of outstanding writers. A few open mic spots are available!

International Portuguese Music Awards at the Z

Adding an international flavor to Purchase Street’s big weekend is the Zeiterion Theater. Saturday night at 7:00pm, the stage is taken over by the International Portuguese Music Awards for a one-of-a-kind gala. The International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) is an annual awards show recognizing outstanding achievement in the music industry by artists of Portuguese ancestry. The award show also features performances by prominent artists and is televised online – right from downtown New Bedford! – and on various media outlets. This year, the IPMA Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Daniela Mercury – the Latin Grammy award-winning superstar with over 20 million records sold and the most number one hits by any Brazilian female singer ever. Yep – it’s a big deal at the Z and for New Bedford. See more here.

A packed weekend like this doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of many creative people working in tandem to energize the city with their talent and industry. We’ve long held that the city is poised for a new era of growth and greater cultural relevance. That day is here. Hang on for the ride!