The COVID-19 pandemic took a took on New Bedford's cultural community, but none more than the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. The "Z" was closed for 19 months, and lost 90 percent of its revenue before reopening in October 2021.

Executive Director Rosemary Gill often says the Zeiterion was "first to close, and last to reopen" during the pandemic. That has all changed now with a full schedule of shows and performances during 2022.

Rosemary Gill joined me this week on Townsquare Sunday to talk about the Zeiterion's reopening and what it has meant for the city's cultural community.

There are still some COVID challenges ahead, like whether or not to lift the mask mandate. Gill said while Governor Charlie Baker has announced he's lifting the mask mandate across Massachusetts on February 28, masks at the "Z" will still be required. She said bringing a thousand people or more together indoors still requires some level of safety, but she added the issue is being studied and talked about everyday. Gill said that almost all patrons are wearing masks without complaint, happy to be able to get out in the community and enjoy live performances again.

Gill also issued strong support for Mayor Jon Mitchell's plan to devote the largest chunk of federal ARPA money ($18 million) to the city's cultural community. She called it "essential for the city's economy." Her Townsquare Sunday interview can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 and 11 on 1420 WBSM. The program spotlights individuals and organizations working to improve the quality of life in Greater New Bedford.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

Look Inside New Bedford's Abandoned Orpheum Theatre

New Bedford's Orpheum Theatre has been vacant for decades, but artifacts remain in place as an ode to its rich history. Let's go inside.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Inside New Bedford's Capitol Theater

New Bedford's long-dormant Capitol Theater is set to undergo a $6 million restoration project that will convert the former movie house into a mixed-use facility. Here's how it looks today.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.