Small Works, Bookfest, Holiday Houses…and a brass band!

It’s a special (early) edition of YOUR WEEKEND this week – since Groundwork! is all over it! The coworking facility goes overtime beginning on Friday with a weekend full of special events.

On Friday, December 8 at 5:00 p.m., it’s a big opening reception for the Small Works show. That’s the one that was featured in a previous blog post, “Small Works=Big Idea.” It features over 150 works of small (12” x 12”) art from local, regional and national artists.

All the art is priced $200 or under and, since it’s the gift-buying season, is available to bring home right away after purchase. Literally, select a piece of original art you like – for yourself or as a gift – buy it and take it home.

During the Opening Reception, from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. this Friday, a late edition to the festivities promises to put some jungle into the mingle. The Southcoast Brass Band trio contacted us out of the blue offering to play the opening! They’ll be playing holiday favorites from 6:00-8:00.

If you can’t make the opening, you don’t have to kiss our brass; you’re invited back on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10 when we host the Children’s New Bedford Bookfest from noon-4:00 p.m. each day. And yes, the Small Works show (or what’s left of it after Friday night) will still be up and the art available for sale.

You’ll also find compelling books for children of all ages from local and regional authors and illustrators. The line up is as follows: Kathleen Souza, Michael Cifello, Maryellen Worrell, Elizabeth Larsen, Susan Nelson, Deb Arnold, Eric Sturtevant, Susan Drayton, Anne Soares, Stephanie Klimov, Jessie Nickerson Designs, Electrikk Clothing, and Subtext Books

We’re also pleased to host UMass Dartmouth’s Tagus Press, with their recent Children’s History of Portugal. And a children’s bookfest wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by ‘The Goat Lady’ – the beautiful book by artist Jane Bregoli.

Other goodies abound during the free, open to the public bookfest. Downtown New Bedford’s artisan gift store, Hippo will be offering select gifts for sale. As with previous bookfests, Destination Soups will be set up in the kitchen, offering their page-turning menu of grilled cheese, soup and more to guests.

Like the Small Works show, the Children’s Bookfest is designed to offer patrons affordable – and meaningful – gift-buying options. The Children’s History of Portugal, for instance, is a beautifully written and illustrated book that’s only $10.

But the introduction to reading – at any age – is priceless. So on Saturday, the bookfest is pleased to also host the New Bedford Free Public Library. They’ll be able to sign you or your kids up for a library card from right here at Groundwork! (Bring proof of residency!)

Many different elements of this weekend at Groundwork! – art, music, reading, food and just plain fun – meld together to collectively form a special New Bedford moment. It’s full of people who enrich our culture all year long. The skill of our writers, artists, merchants and musicians is a unique blend – and we’re happy to host so much talent under our roof this weekend.

In an even broader context, it’s also the weekend of the New Bedford Preservation Society’s Holiday House Tour – on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Details here.) And, Groundwork is located at 1213 Purchase Street, just  few blocks south of the historic Clasky Common Christmas Light Display.

Take it all in before or after visiting us for the Small Works show and the Children’s New Bedford Bookfest.

That sounds like a December to Remember.

It’s a wonderful YOUR WEEKEND…

Holiday Stroll

Beginning Friday, Dec. 1 – I wrote about the downtown New Bedford Holiday Shop & Stroll in an earlier post this week, but this huge, festive event deserves another shout-out. The schedule over two days (find it here) is filled with the type of eclectic events you’d expect from AHA! New Bedford – because they put it together! It also marks the official debut of Groundwork! as an AHA! partner; our Small Works show will be open tonight, Friday, Dec. 1 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. – begin or end your evening here! On Saturday, Dec. 2, run all over the downtown and put some jingle into your mingle.

A (Portuguese) Holiday Gathering

FRIDAY, DEC. 1 – The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture/ Tagus Press at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth along with the Department of Portuguese, the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives, Azores Airlines and the Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford cordially invites you their Holiday Gathering tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The free event is being catered by Inner Bay Café and Grille and a raffle offers the opportunity to win round-trip airfare to Portugal courtesy of Azores Airlines. Tagus Press has been well-represented at Groundwork!’s bookfests with some great titles; they’ll be here again on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10 with their “Children’s History of Portugal.” Tonight, you can get a sneak peek during the Gathering, held at Portuguese Consulate, Camões Room, 628 Pleasant Street, 2nd floor.

Free Booze!

SATURDAY, DEC. 2 – Douglas Wine & Spirits in the Fieldstone Plaza at 550 Kings Highway invites you to join them for their “Grand Holiday Tasting” of wine, beer and spirits and refreshments today from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Yeah – this will get you into the holiday mood! But remembers to bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the St. Mary’s Church of New Bedford and St. Vincent de Paul Society food drive. When you give, you receive.

It’s a Wonderful Life

SATURDAY, DEC. 2 – Who doesn’t like “It’s a Wonderful Life”? Bet your bottom Bailey dollar you’ll like it even more on the big screen – where it will be tonight at the Zeiterion Theatre. For free, no less – no reservations required. It screens at 7:00 p.m. – you can hit the downtown Christmas tree lighting after the Holiday Shop & Stroll at 5:00 p.m. then head into the warm and fuzzy indoors.

 Acoustic on the Ave

SATURDAY, DEC. 2 – Cotali Mar resturant at 1178 Acushnet Avenue is but one of the thriving eating establishments defining this faded commercial corridor’s future as a prime dining destination. Tonight, they add some music to their usual menu of fine Portuguese dining. Acoustic guitarist and songwriter, David Alves performs in the lounge from 8:00-11:00 p.m. The jazz standards, covers and original tunes come free with your dinner. Get a taste with the video below:

Clasky Common Holiday Lighting

SUNDAY, DEC. 3 – I also covered this in a previous blog post – but it’s too good not to share again. The beloved holiday light display at Clasky Common Park gets lit today at 5:00 p.m. – and there’s a new addition to the bright lights: Destination Soups launches their free, Cocoa at the Common concession today, too! Read the full story here.

Judith Klein turns Nine

SUNDAY, DEC. 3 – A beautiful spot in Kilburn Mills Studios, Judith Klein Gallery (tucked away in the back of the former mill at 127 W. Rodney French Blvd.) celebrates its ninth anniversary with what it does best – and Opening Reception for a new exhibit. In all, 14 artists will have work for sale in the show – and they all invite you to come check it out today from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

YOUR WEEKEND: Post-Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Whether you ate too much, traveled too far or fought over politics at the dinner table, Black Friday doesn’t have to be a day of consumer excess. It can be the start of a weekend of renewal and return to an enhanced (re: holiday season) reality. Here’s a few things to get you into the post giblet groove over the long weekend.


SATURDAY, NOV. 25 – With forecast temps predicted to be a balmy 50 degrees, it’s a good chance to get outside before New England starts living up to its winter reputation. Today from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust provides the opportunity with a Post-Thanksgiving Day hike through Destruction Brook Woods at 205 Slades Corner Road in South Dartmouth. Free, no reservations required.


Beginning SATURDAY, NOV. 25 – There’s lots of craft fairs happening from now until Christmas at city schools, churches and other organizations. One of the biggest takes place on Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day at the awesome Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School. (Whew – thank God we can just call it “Voke” from now on!) Voke goes all out for their annual craft fair, inviting over 150 vendors in for the weekend. Skip the big box stores and at all costs avoid the mall and head here for inspired Christmas gifts. (Pictured above – hats by Keeper in Stitches.) Oh – and you get to eat in the Voke cafeteria, too! This writer still fondly recalls the Creamed Turkey over Mashed Potatoes from his early High School daze…


SATURDAY, NOV. 25 – It’s not consumer excess if you SHOP SMALL – as in Small Business Saturday. Two hour free parking in New Bedford means you get stroll stress-free through the historic downtown – and can even grab lunch at Destination Soups between purchases. The best way to chart your course over the cobblestones is the Groundwork! Gift Guide compiled by co-founder Sarah Athanas; find it here.


ANYTIME – I would point out that Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix, but in my last binge-worthy round-up, Groundwork!’s Shelley Cardoos pointed out that comedy was nowhere to be found on my dark matters queue. Since a Louis C.K. marathon would bring us back to a bad place, here are some series selections with outstanding female comic performances…

AMAZON PRIME brings us back to the Mad Men era – but with a twist. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” charts the journey of housewife-turned-comic Midge Maisel. Slate magazine calls it a knock-out, and after seeing the pilot, this writer agrees. The finale on a Greenwich Village stage was a dangerous scream. Only the pilot is up now; full series arrives when your turkey leftovers run dry on Nov. 29. But whet your appetite this weekend. Feature photo above: Rachel Brosnahan as Maisel.

ACORNTV: British humor is in a class be itself – and has often been the genesis for many an American sitcom. “Cradle To Grave” – like “Shameless” – will probably get a States-side treatment soon. But you can catch the original if you have an ACORN TV subscription. Based on the memoirs of British comedian Danny Baker, it  stars Peter Kay as the lovable, loud-mouthed, and larcenous patriarch of an eccentric South London family in the 1970s – but mom Lucy Speed steals the show and gives the series its heart and funniest moments, in my opinion. Bonus – great period tunes, too.

YOUR WEEKEND: Remembering, giving thanks and butts out

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Beginning FRIDAY, NOV. 17 – A special screening of the acclaimed documentary, “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson'” at the New Bedford Whaling Historical Park’s visitor center tonight kicks off a weekend of transgender awareness downtown to coincide with Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.  The national park will be offering the film in partnership with New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (NBAM) and The South Coast LGBTQ Network. The free, open to the public screening happens at 33 William Street and will start promptly at 6:00 p.m. “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”  examines the 1992 murder of Marsha P. Johnson, who was a transgender rights pioneer known as “the Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement.” It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017. After the screening, viewers can ask questions of the film’s producer, L.A. Teodosio, who will be in attendance. (Teodosio is an award-winning independent film producer.) Lee Blake, of the New Bedford Historical Society, will speak on cultural appropriation and the concerns of whose voices are heard when history is interpreted. She will also address some of the controversy that has arisen as a result of Reina Gossett’s claims about the film’s portrayal of transgender issues. In addition to the Friday evening film, admission to the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! will be free from Friday through Sunday, November 19th. “That weekend is the community’s last chance to check out Beyond the Box, a photo exhibition by LBGTQ artist Jeep Wheat,” says Jamie Uretsky, NBAM’s curator in a press release.  “People need to see Jeep’s show. It’s modest in scale, but the work puts LBGTQ bodies front and center. These sort of images, even in 2017, are often left out of museum exhibitions. As a curator, I see this kind of under-representation as a sort of erasure and NBAM doesn’t want to be a part of a system of oppression that erases particular groups of people by omission.”

Hatch Street Open Studios

Beginning FRIDAY, NOV. 17 – Hatch Street Studios, in New Bedford’s north end at 88 Hatch Street, holds their annual Open Studios and Holiday Sale all weekend long – beginning tonight at 5:00 p.m. (until 8:00 p.m.) and continuing on Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days. “Visit the studios of more than 50 artists, working with materials as diverse as glass, ceramics, paint, wood, textiles, and ink,” they write. And add, “the festivities include food service, musical performances, and group exhibitions. Our building is handicapped accessible, with plenty of free parking.” Learn more about one of those 50 artists, Lori Bradley, at this link. And be sure to see Groundwork!’s Sandi Montour with her new book, This or That at S & G Project Gallery (Room 306a).

The Authenticity of Objects

SATURDAY, NOV. 18 – Gallery X holds an opening reception today from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  for what promises to be a fantastic show. The Authenticity of Objects: Still Lifes by Craig Coggeshall features that artist’s intricately detailed work in its Frederick Douglass Gallery. “With authentic observation, he elevates ordinary objects into an extraordinary realm of precision and composition,” – from the gallery statement. Also, check out Standard-Times’ art critic Don Wilkinson’s column on the man and his art for a deep dive. The exhibition is on view to the public during normal business hours through November 26 and during the November 9th AHA Night, as well as the opening reception. Oh – and the famous Gallery X raffle happens at 5:00 p.m. today, too!

You’re getting sleepy…

SUNDAY, NOV. 19 – November is host month of the Great American Smoke-Out – and while we love to riff off of a Mad Men-type culture, like sexism in the office, smoking is best left behind in the ‘60s. If you need a kick in the butt to butt out, the New Bedford Wellness Initiative is here to help. Today at 1:00 p.m., they will be hosting board-certified consulting hypnotist John Barboza at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford (166 Jenney Street) to help you break the cycle of tobacco abuse. Like all Wellness programs, it’s free – and might save you more than the $10 a pack a day habit costs you.

Harvest of the Sea

SUNDAY, NOV. 19 – If you want to kick off Thanksgiving week by giving a little thanks, you can’t go wrong with the Seaman’s Bethel “Harvest of the Sea” service today at 3:00 p.m. Pastor Paul Wheeler will be giving the service at this annual event, which will also feature music by organist Frank Medeiros and a special performance by Caroline Blais. Seaman’s Bethel is located atop Johnny Cake Hill – you can’t miss it!

YOUR WEEKEND: DANNYx2; TEDx; and more…

Operation: Food Drop

FRIDAY, NOV. 10 – Here’s a good event – and a better cause. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Buttonwood Park and lasting until 2:00 p.m., you can drop off donations of canned goods to help United Way of Greater New Bedford stock area food pantries for the holidays. Your donation will benefit the Hunger Heroes Project, which makes baskets of food for families in need – just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Formerly called “Cans Across The Park,” radio station 1420 AM WBSM is a sponsor and you can see just what items are needed most on their website here. Then, just drop them off at the park! They’ll take it from there.

Your Spike & Our Danny

FRIDAY, NOV. 10 – Your Theatre’s latest – “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” which opened on Thursday, Nov. 9 – continues through the weekend. Your Theatre once made their home in the very space where you’ll now find Groundwork! – so we have a special affinity with the theatrical troupe. You’ll find them down at 136 Rivet Street, in the St. Martin’s Church complex (parking is in the County Street lot). “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” – by Christopher Durang – is a wild comedy that won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. Patrons of downtown New Bedford’s Destination Soups will see a familiar face on stage: front end guy Danny Sallom! Maybe a soliloquy from Hamlet will be served with that next grilled cheese sandwich you order at DSoups…See for showtimes.

TEDx New Bedford

SATURDAY, NOV. 11 – Okay – this is so huge for New Bedford – and Groundwork! – that I wrote an entire blog post about it. You can read it or, if you’re lazy, just read…”Groundwork! co-founder, gallery curator and artist Dena Haden has been involved in setting the stage – literally – for TEDx at the Z since its move there. And – drum roll please! – Sarah Athanas – the other visionary co-founder of Groundwork! – will actually be speaking on the TEDx stage at this Saturday’s event…” You need to know more? See you there! Tickets here.

More play dates…

SATURDAY, NOV. 11 – The 15th annual CULTURE*PARK short play marathon happens all day and into the night in the New Bedford Whaling Museum theater. The marathon presents 25-30 staged reading of new works from 2:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. – and you can read them all here. You’ll see a familiar name once again; Danny Sallom’s “Paintings” will be staged between 3:30 – 5:30. This guy is all over live theatre this weekend!

LuLaRoe Pop-Up!

SUNDAY, NOV. 12 – Hippo – owned by Groundwork! member Shelley Cardoos – is determined to bring downtown to life on Sunday afternoons. They frequently schedule pop-up events featuring local artisans at the shop (741 Purchase Street at the corner of Union) – and today is no exception. From noon – 3:00 p.m., Alyssa Parent will be at Hippo with her collection of LuLaRoe clothing. “Come check out these awesome leggings, shirts and dresses! If you haven’t worn this line before you’ll be pleasantly surprised,” Shelley writes. And a spot of shopping and lunch downtown sounds just groovy to us…

YOUR WEEKEND is a Flight of Fire

Couple of cool events happening tonight, Thurs. Nov. 2 in downtown New Bedford, so YOUR WEEKEND begins early this week! And besides, with the switch back to EST looming this weekend, isn’t it a good thing to grab as much daylight as you can…?

Storias Di Nos Muzika

THURSDAY, NOV. 2 – The New Bedford Whaling Museum presents a free screening of the film, Storias Di Nos Muzika this evening at 5:00 p.m. It’s an original documentary on the origins of Cape Verdean music directed by Val Lopes. The synopsis: Cape Verdean music has nuances of Batuku, Funana, Morna, Koladera and even hip hop. This engaging Portuguese language documentary (presented with sub-titles) explores the various genres of Cape Verdean music in the words of the artists, composers, musicians and other professionals of the music industry in Cape Verde.” Again, it’s free – but you should RSVP here .

SOUNDSCAPE: The performance series

THURSDAY, NOV. 2 – One of favorite persons, grassroots renaissance man Carl Simmons performs tonight at the New Bedford Art Museum. Here’s the 411: During the run of their new exhibition SCAPES: Placemaking in the 21st Century, the museum will be exploring internal landscapes, housed in the individual and cultivated through live poetry and music, as well as performances and creative experiences. Those performances would be by by Seaspace Landscape, Eli Nixon and yes – Carl Simmons. It also features CVPA UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Undisciplined Research – a terrific group that is doing interesting things. SOUNDSCAPE is a free event and happens from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Sponsored by Whaling City Sound  

Savage in Limbo

FRIDAY, NOV. 3 – The Collective NB premieres their next full-length, main-stage production tonight at Gallery X (169 William Street). It’s John Patrick Shanley’s “Savage in Limbo” – and it goes like this: The setting is a slightly seedy neighborhood bar on a Monday night, where a group of regulars seek relief from the disappointments and tedium of the outside world. All desire a change from the ruts that they find themselves in. But how can they get it? What are they going to do with it? Who’s it for…? Production dates are as follows: November 3rd, 4th, 10th & 11th. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Email for your reservation. Write when you would like to attend and how many seats you need in the body of the email.

Flight of Fire

FRIDAY, NOV. 3 – Flight of Fire is an “all-girl band known for over the edge top stage antics and crowd pleasing songs.” Tonight, those antics will be on stage at Strikers Sports Bar & Grill in the Wonderbowl (66 Hathaway Road, NB). The music starts at 9:30 p.m. and continues until 1:00 a.m. Oh – and you can bowl, too! Find out more about the group here.

Coping with Political Twilight

SATURDAY, NOV. 4 – Colo Colo Gallery in Kilburn Mills Studios (now also known as Clark Cove Leasing and Storage), 127 W. Rodney French Boulevard, opens their latest show this evening from 6:00-8:00 p.m. “Coping with Political Twilight” is an exhibit of paintings and collages by artist David Baggarly. You’re always guaranteed a thought-provoking exhibit at Colo Colo – and a good time in the fantastic former mill space turned art gallery.

Comedy X

SUNDAY, NOV. 5 – We’re back at Gallery X for Comedy X – the stand-up comedy showcase, happening tonight from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. Boston comics are on the bill – but as usual, New Bedford’s own, Christopher Swanson handles the hosting.

YOUR WEEKEND: Mountainfilm comes to New Bedford!

Placemaking in the 21st Century

FRIDAY, OCT. 27 – The New Bedford Art Museum (608 Pleasant Street, NB) opens SCAPES: Placemaking in the 21st century tonight – with a lot of advance buzz and an impressive line-up of creatives. The reception – free and open to the public – runs from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Here’s the 411: SCAPES: Placemaking in the 21st Century brings together fourteen artists using a variety of mediums to investigate the relationship of the places they inhabit, and how those spaces and moments of occupation – some ordinary, others magical – shape their emotional landscapes and reflect how emotions can extend beyond the realm of the internal and alter the physical world.”

Death Do Us Part @ The Dipper!

FRIDAY, OCT. 27 – Get suited up and head to the world-famous The Dipper Cafe tonight for their “Til Death Do Us” Halloween Costume Party. 1367 Purchase Street will be rocking from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. with music, appetizers and lots of beer and cocktails – and no doubt a Groundwork! Member or two!

Mountainfilm on Tour – New Bedford

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 – Any event that brings fantastic independent cinema to New Bedford is a cause for celebration. But today is especially sweet. Mountainfilm: The Festival started in 1979 and is one of America’s longest-running film festivals – and one with a mission. “Mountainfilm uses the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.” They do that with Vision and Values that you can read about here. Today, you can see that vision on the screen as the New Bedford Whaling Museum hosts Mountainfilm on Tour. The day-long selection of documentary shorts includes “thought-provoking explorations of climate change and the environment; immigrant struggles; interactions with nature; and daring and inspiring outdoor adventures.” The day is structured into three parts – you can partake in all or select one – and it’s probably best to read the schedule here on the Facebook event page. You can also find ticket purchasing information there. Hosting Mountainfilm on Tour in New Bedford is a cultural milestone for the city – and one we can look forward to on an annual basis. Lead organizer Susan Sargent tells me work is already happening preparing next year’s Mountainfilm on Tour in New Bedford, and it will focus on migration.

dNB Trick or Treat

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 – The downtown group, dNB Inc. invites you – and more importantly, the kids – to trick or treat throughout the downtown from noon – 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. An impressive 30+ businesses will be ready for you with candy and treats. Need a starting point? We suggest the craft gift emporium Hippo, strategically located at 741 Purchase at the corner of Union. Because we know owner – and Groundwork! Member Shelley Cardoos – will do it up right!

The Man of a Thousand Faces

SUNDAY, OCT. 29 – And let’s continue the cinematic trend this weekend. Today at 4:00 p.m., the Zeiterion Theatre gets classic with a screening of the amazing 1920s silent film, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” It stars one of early cinema’s pioneers, Lon Chaney, Sr. – and the Z is honoring that legend and doing justice to the film by screening it with a live soundtrack from organist Bernie Anderson and our Mighty Wurlitzer Organ! Tickets are only $7.50, too – and you can get them here.

Halloween Neighborhood Walk

BONUS PICK: TUESDAY, OCT. 31 – Finally, a small event that this writer is happy to share. Myself and Bethany Santos-Fauteux have launched something called #NBW3 – The Ward 3 Project. I’ll no doubt be writing about it soon, but what you need to know this Halloween day is that we’re inviting Ward 3 – and all New Bedford residents – to Trick or Treat through the neighborhood tonight with us beginning at 6:00 p.m. We’ll meet at Carlos Pacheco School on Mt. Pleasant Street and then walk south through the nabe to Durfee Street. “Getting better acquainted with a neighborhood as well as the people in it is exactly what #NBW3: The Ward 3 Project aims to accomplish,” Standard-Times reporter Michael Bonner wrote about the project in Thursday’s newspaper – and this is one way to do just that. In superhero costumes!

Your Weekend: Illuminati, Rt. 18 a speakeasy and more…

Rt. 18 has a sound

FRIDAY, OCT. 20 – Bruce Springsteen can have Rt. 9 – we’ve got Rt. 18! Tonight, Rt. 18 the band play Knuckle Heads (85 MacArthur Dr., NB).  “We will be playing your favorite ‘80s, ‘90s, Pop Rock, Alternative, Dance and Country at Knuckle Heads Bar & Grill on Friday, October 20th starting at 9pm! We’ll see you there,” they write. Yeah – they’re sprung from cages, too…

The Illuminati want you

SATURDAY, OCT. 21 – Freemason Lodges across Massachusetts throw open their doors today for tours and possible membership –  including New Bedford’s own Masonic Lodge at County and Unions Streets. It ain’t easy to enter – this being a super-secret millennium-or-so-old group. Register for a chance to tour area Lodges (Fairhaven’s rocks) at this link – and learn (a bit) more about Freemasonry while you’re there.

Thou Shalt Knot

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 – Only in New Bedford at the world-famous Whaling Museum would you find something like this – a day-long symposium on the art of tying knots! Thou Shalt Knot: A Symposium on Knotting Matters will tie you up from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. – but it will as much fun as you’ll ever have with rope – without a brass bed in the room. Join experts from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the International Guild of Knot Tyers (IGKT), and the Melville Society Cultural Project (MSCP) for “Thou Shalt Knot: A Symposium on Knotting Matters.” The symposium at the Whaling Museum coincides with the Museum’s exhibition “Thou Shalt Knot: Clifford W. Ashley” and explores the practical, cultural and literary aspects of knots. Cost to attend the “Thou Shalt Knot” symposium is $25 for Whaling Museum members and $35 for non-members. To register call 508-997-0046 ext.100 or visit

24 Hour Halloween Project

SATURDAY, OCT. 21 – The Collective NB holds a Halloween version of their popular 24-hour projects this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Halloween 24 Hour Project – with Costume Contest – invites you to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve by getting scary with the theatrical troupe. Tickets are $10, first show is at 7:00 and the ever-slurry stumble through will be at 9:00. Doors at 6:30 and 8:30 respectively. All plays will be written, produced, and performed within 24 hrs. Come in costume to either show and have the chance to win a prize. All costumes will be judged by the cast and crew so put on your best one and head on down to Gallery X located at 169 William Street, NB. Make a reservation at “Tell us what show you’d like to attend and how many people are in your party and get two free raffle tickets,” Collective writes.


SATURDAY, OCT. 21 – NB-AGLY (New Bedford Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth) hosts a Halloween Dance tonight at the First Unitarian Church (71 8th Street, NB) from 7:00-10:00 p.m. It’s for young adults aged 14-24 only – with free pizza and snacks!

Break out the cowboy boots…

SUNDAY, OCT. 22 – Who doesn’t need more Country Line Dancing in their life? VFW Poirier Post at 281 Appleton Street provides today with the 5th Annual Country Line Dancing Hoedown from 1:00-5:00 p.m. It’s not only fun – but a benefit for the terrific group, Mercy Meals and More. Tickets are $10, and the hoedown features the local award winning country band, South County Line and Caroline Burns from Adam Levine’s Team on NBC’s, The Voice, Season 10.

Sunday Speakeasy

SUNDAY, OCT. 22 – It’s back to Gallery X for another special event: Sunday Speakeasy. The Moldy Suitcases and The Hot Club Cheese Roll will perform music inspired by the sounds of the first half of the 20th century. Doors open at 3; music starts at 3:30. $5 suggested donation and bonus merch from either/both bands for donations above and beyond, they let us know. Get a taste of Hot Club Cheese Roll below, performing the jazz standard, “Confessin.”

YOUR WEEKEND: Ropeworks, Beer on the Pier, wrestling and more…


In this corner…

FRIDAY, OCT. 13 – House of Bricks Pro Wrestling and Independent Wrestling host Flashback Friday matches tonight at Moose Lodge 914 (119 Rockdale Avenue, NB). The bell sounds at 7:00 p.m. (doors at open at 6:00 p.m.) and $10 gets you ringside. The main event? A heavyweight championship match between “The Outlaw Moonshiner” and “The Saturday Night Delight.” We’ll give the edge to ‘The Outlaw’ since it’s Friday night….

Tour The Ropeworks

SATURDAY, OCT. 14 & SUNDAY, OCT. 15 – The Ropeworks condo building at 123 Sawyer Street boasts an amazing roster of artists and was and is a cool example of urban adaptive reuse. The former rope factory was transformed into the creative Mecca it is today thanks to the vision of the Buck family – Norman, Adam and Irene, the last a cultural leader in the city for years as the director of ArtWorks! The public is invited to tour this awesome building in the city’s north end from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sat. Oct. 14 and Sun. Oct. 15. See art in the studios where it is created at this free, open to the public weekend event. A few years back, renowned glass artist and resident Tracy Barbosa asked this writer to volunteer to work the door during a previous tour. In a bit of supreme serendipity, Groundwork! co-founder Dena Haden walked in that day – and a great friend and colleague was found and made. Ropeworks is that kind of place…more tour details here.

Beer on the Pier

SATURDAY, OCT. 14 – The South Coast Business Alliance hosts their 12th annual Oktoberfest today from 3:00 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. Yep – you’ll get home before turning into a pumpkin at midnight. Oktoberfest happens on State Pier, NB and features over 20 regional and national breweries, food trucks and entertainment. Tickets required; get some here.

Incognito turns 13

SATURDAY, OCT. 14 – The nifty Incognito bar and eatery has been adding something special to The Ave – as in Acushnet Avenue, NB – for 13 years. Tonight, they celebrate that anniversary with a special evening of food and entertainment. There will be a complimentary buffet 6:00-8:00 p.m. and  Deejay Dizzy spins from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. 21+/ Proper ID/ No Cover Charge! And be prepared for a Champagne toast at 1606-1610 Acushnet Avenue. (P.S. Get deets on their popular Sunday drag brunch while you’re there, too! Next edition is the very next day, Sun. Oct. 15.)

Fall Photography at Haskell Public Gardens

SUNDAY, OCT. 15 – Join former Trustees photographer, Mark Gardner for a fall photography workshop at Haskell Public Gardens today from 3:00-4:30 p.m. The Gardens inform us that, “Mark is an award-winning photographer whose work has been published in the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Architectural Digest, and South Shore Living among others.” He’ll be teaching you an inexpensive way to take your photography to the next level using off-camera flash, they write, in addition to introducing you to some other basic tips. Preregistration is required and participants must bring their own cameras and other equipment. Contact events manager Maura O’Gara with questions or to check for cancellation due to inclement weather (; 508-668-6136). Meet at the Welcome Center, near Shawmut Avenue entrance. If you’d like to contact Mark directly, visit his website at

UPCOMING at Groundwork!

YOUR WEEKEND: Song, art and chowder…

From Scotland to New Bedford (in a roundabout way….)

FRIDAY, OCT. 6 – The Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street, NB) hosts musician Debra Cowan tonight in concert 7:00-8:30 p.m. Nice story: Following a life-long desire to sing and perform, Debra Cowan left her job as a California middle school math teacher in 1997 and went to live in Edinburgh, Scotland for six months. There she learned the art of unaccompanied singing and upon her return to the USA in 1998 began traveling all over New England performing at any open mike within 100 miles of her new home in Springfield, Massachusetts. Tickets are $8.00 for members, $10.00 for non-members and may be purchased at the Center Gift Shop or online here.

A Brush with Death

SATURDAY, OCT. 7 – The New Bedford Preservation Society leads a New Bedford Artists and Artisans Tour – through Rural Cemetery! It’s a look back at the bygone bones of those who came before the term “Creative Economy” was ever uttered. Yours truly will be one of the guides. From 1:00-4:00pm, also expect historic portrayals in period costume at several of the grave sites of New Bedford’s internationally famous artists and artisans including but not limited to: painters William Allen Wall, Robert Swain, Frances Gifford, Albert Cook Church and female painter Minna Grumbt Webb, early African American photographer James Reed as well as glass artisans Gundersen brothers Hjalmar and Robert. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by cash or check at the Grape Street Rural Cemetery gate on the day of tour. A $2 discount will be given to New Bedford Preservation Society members. (Rain date is Sunday October 8th from 1pm to 4pm.)

Labyrinth of Desire

Work by Michael Walden

SATURDAY, OCT. 7 – S & G Project Gallery at Hatch Street Studios opens their latest show with a reception this evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m. – and it looks amazing. “Labyrinth of Desire” features the work of Michael Walden, the painter and print maker living and working in Westport. This show is an extension of and progression from a recent solo show he had in New York City at the  terrific Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project. Press materials for the show state, “This body of work explores a journey of emancipation from the constraints of societal conformity, a paragon presented to the world only to be overshadowed by a gaze of disillusionment and feelings of estrangement and malaise. Realizing that desire in all its forms is about the pursuit of happiness, and understanding that it is attained just before it is lost.” S & G Project Gallery is located in Rm 306a in Hatch Street Studios, 88 Hatch Street, NB a block and half off Acushnet Avenue heading east. For those familiar with the building, step assured: the elevator is manned on opening nights!


SUNDAY, OCT. 8 – The 12th annual Chowderfest returns to State Pier on the NB waterfront this afternoon from noon-5:00 p.m. It’s really very simple: over 20 restaurants and caterers that will be serving up sample-sized portions of their best clam and seafood chowders, kale soup, signature soups, and stuffed quahogs. So – come hungry! The ‘fest also features non stop live musical entertainment, free children’s craft activities and the annual YMCA lobster race. Vendors will be serving local beers, wines, specialty cocktails, soft drinks, ice cream and desserts. Tickets are $15 in advance (you can get them at the YMCA or Freestone’s), $18 day of, $5 for children 6-12, free for 5 and younger.


THURSDAY, OCT. 12 – If it’s the second Thursday of the month, then it’s AHA! New Bedford night! Groundwork!’s latest art opening is part of the fun. Come to 1213 Purchase Street to catch the Opening Reception  of “Other Worlds” from 6:00-8:00pm. From the event listing: Other Worlds is an exhibition of painting and prints by four recent graduates of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The visual works of Zachary M. White, Bruce Bailey, Will Wolf, and L. Noah Barrett will be accompanied by the original compositions of sound artist Christopher Bailey. Each artist featured brings a unique perspective in regards to their materials, methods, and imagery ranging from semi-representational to fully abstract.” See more here. Find the full AHA! New Bedford schedule here.