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NEW BEDFORD – Downtown will be lit up with free art and entertainment on September 9 as AHA Live! night takes to the streets to celebrate the role the arts played in New Bedford’s economic recovery.

This month’s theme celebrates 20 years since the opening of the UMass Dartmouth Star Store campus for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Dean A. Lawrence Jenkens said: “. . . students and faculty contribute to the city’s increasingly vibrant cultural life, fueling investment and interest around the Star Store. This artistic ecosystem has been incredibly successful.

“We invite you to take a stroll downtown and check out all the free AHAs!” Nightly entertainment in dozens of venues, plus fabulous food served at the many and diverse restaurants downtown, ”said AHA! Director Lee Heald. “This month’s theme pays homage to the dazzling impact of the CVPC Star Store on the artistic culture of our seaside town.”

AHA! Highlights of the night:

Hip Hop in the garden: 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

New Bedford Whaling National Park Visitor Center

33 Williams Street

Unlimited 3rd Eye Gift

The five pillars of hip-hop, part 5

Hosted by Lonelle Walker

This is the last of 5 monthly events (May-September) exploring the 5 pillars of hip hop (Knowledge, B-Boy / Girl, Graffiti, MC’ing, DJ’ing) through performance, visual art and sharing. Discover the five pillars, the history of these traditions and the origin of their influences.

The Fishing Heritage Center, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

New exhibition at the gallery: Women’s work: at sea, on land, at home, in the community

Reception to welcome all visitors.

Starry Night Craft & the Bookmobile: 3:00 p.m. New Bedford Main Library, 613 Pleasant Street

Look for the bookmobile near Wing’s Court at 5:30 p.m.

New Bedford Art Museum: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

608 Pleasant Street

Dear Malcolm Postcard Project

This summer and fall, the art museum will work with New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park (and exhibition partner Uncommon Threads) to engage the community in the Dear Malcolm Postcard project. Stop by to color, write and cut out a postcard to Malcolm X. The postcards will be collected by NBAM for display at the visitor center at New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park until November.

Go Out and Pop-Up Art Show

Showcasing artwork by young people during this summer’s Get Out & Art program, sponsored by the SouthCoast Community Foundation.

More exhibitions from the art museum, free for all during the AHA evening:

Uncommon Subjects: The Works of Ruth E. Carter

A solo exhibition celebrating the 30-year career of Massachusetts native Ruth E. Carter as an Oscar costume designer. With costumes from Dolmite Is My Name (2019), Roots (2016 reboot), Selma (2014), Do The Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992). The exhibit follows Carter’s creative process and includes sketches, mood boards, iconic costumes, and other ephemera from her Los Angeles studio.

Eadweard Muybridge: Animal locomotion

The latest exhibit at the Art Museum by New Bedford Library Art Curator Allie Copeland. Eadweard Muybridge: Animal location is the library’s latest exhibit featuring historical photographic studies of moving animals and early film screenings.

Lawn games: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Roach-Jones-Duff Garden

396 County Street

Bring a picnic, relax on the lawn and play a game of croquet or pétanque with friends.

Music and Art on William Street Alison Wells Gallery, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

106 Guillaume Street

Shop for local art. New prints and note cards from Alison’s “in the Neighborhood” series on New Bedford (currently on display at the New Bedford Whaling Musuem). More original wok by selected guest artists in stained glass, woodwork, ceramics and macrame.

Outside the Celia boutique, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dance to the music of acoustic duo Montage Bleu with Annett Almeida and Kim Mitchell performing an eclectic mix of covers spanning decades and styles. Enjoy complex arrangements, complex harmonies and multiple instruments!

First AHA in person! Mini concert

Intertwined, 6 pm-7pm

634 Pleasant Street

Interwoven is a gallery of designer spaces that brings together the craft of food and fabric making with its connection to cultures around the world. Provide creative space, gallery exhibitions, private event space, pop-up rental opportunities, consignment sales and more.

Two of New Bedford’s own singers / songwriters:

Hooly J. Chan describes himself as a fairy or an alien. Holly travels the world writing songs and playing the ukulele. She recently wrote and released two albums: “Hospital Socks” and “Make Believe”, both on CD to tell her personal story of her healing journey and to comment on society and the world.