What role should art play in moving the city forward? That's the question that New Bedford's Art & Culture Planning Project is asking residents as they draft their first city-wide strategic Arts & Culture plan.

New Bedford has always had a vibrant creative community and the artists, performers, galleries, and cultural institutions that flourish here has created an even stronger culture center.  This boom has lead to 45 leaders from the community coming together to form the Arts and Culture Plan Steering Committee this past January. After completing Phase 1 of this project (Assessment) they are moving onto Phase 2 of the project: Visioning.

This is the phase that is giving the entire city the opportunity to provide their input. The committee isn't looking for just the art communities feedback- they truly want everyone's feedback.  The information will be collected and analyzed so the team can identify themes that will then create a preliminary vision of what the city's arts, culture, and creative future will look like.

So think about it: What Role Should Art Play in Moving New Bedford Forward?

  1. How can the arts impact/transform/benefit the city?
  2. What are your ideas to include arts and culture in the city's development and master plans?
  3. What's your vision for the future of New Bedford and how do the arts support that?

I'm starting to receive many replies - and all of the answers have a huge range -- some are ideas for projects or programs, some are concerns or complaints, some are big overarching goals or commitments. All are great, as it gives us a greater sense of community. ... By the end, we aim to have a vision that inspires and excites everyone.

-- Margo Saulnier, Arts & Culture Strategist, NB

If the question sparks your interest, your comments, complaints, and ideas can be sent to Margo Saulnier: @ artsnewbedford@gmail.com. These comments will remain confidential.