It's shaping up to be a busy and festive December at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center at 38 Bethel Street.

The agenda includes shellfish decorating, films, unique items in their gift shop, and a new oral history project entitled "Casting a Wider Net."

Executive Director Laura Orleans visited Townsquare Sunday this week to outline upcoming activities at the center.

The oral history project is supported by Mass. Humanities and will center around different nationalities working in the fishing industry, like Cape Verdean, Central-American, Vietnamese and others.

"We're actually recruiting people from those communities who are interested in doing an oral history interview." Orleans said. "The goal is to develop an exhibit to share those stories, and that exhibit will travel to other cities yet to be determined."

On December 14, AHA! Night, the Fishing Heritage Center is hosting a special program on shellfish decorating and hot chocolate.

The following night, December 15, another film in the center's Dock-U-Mentary series will be shown at the National Park Visitors Center at 33 William Street. The film is Artifishal: The Fight to Save the Wild Salmon. The film begins at 7 p.m. and there is free admission.

Facebook Photo
Facebook Photo

Orleans said the Fishing Heritage Center's gift shop is well-stocked for the holidays.

"Our gift shop manager has done a great job gathering items from local artists, many of whom are affiliated with the fishing industry," she said.

Items include paintings, flounder-shaped platters, books, apparel and much more.

Coming in January, a video and discussion program about the Kirby Paint Company of New Bedford. Kirby has been supplying paint for New Bedford whaling ships, fishing boats and pleasure craft for more than 150 years.

The program is January 19 at 7 p.m. at the National Park Visitors Center on William Street. Admission is free but you are advised to register for tickets at

Also in January is a special presentation of The Little Mermaid, featuring students from the Global Learning Charter Public School. It's scheduled for 6 p.m. on January 25 at 38 Bethel Street, with free admission.

Townsquare Sunday is a community affairs program heard Sundays on WBSM.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

A Look Inside Westport's Historic Handy House

Westport's Handy House is a 2.5-story wood frame structure with a side-gable roof and clapboard exterior. The house was built in the early 1700s, somewhere between 1710 and 1713, and was occupied by various residents until its most recent owner Eleanor Tripp passed away in August 2003 at 93 years old.

Gallery Credit: Barry Richard

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