AHA!

Join us for the August 14 AHA! when Art, History, and Architecture come alive in Downtown New Bedford! As the sun goes down and the stars come out, celebrate with live music and garden parties, all on a Midsummer’s Night Eve. The free family-friendly event is held rain or shine the second Thursday of each month from 5:00 to 9:00 pm in historic downtown New Bedford, but feel free to come early and stay late.

Here are just a few of the evening’s events. For a full list of the night’s events, visit www.ahanewbedford.org.

- William Shakespeare’s classic play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the garden of the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County St.) by a troupe of local high school drama students.

- Tea time! Head to Gatlin’s Framing and Subtext Books (209 Union St.) to taste a loose-leaf tea or two.

- Put your feet up and relax with a free midsummer’s night massage, courtesy of Bristol Community College Therapeutic Massage Clinic students from 5:00 to 7:00 pm (800 Purchase St.)

- Take the kids for hands-on activities in the Jacobs Family Gallery at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill) or the Buzzards Bay Coalition (Hamilton and Front Street). Plus a ‘campfire’ with the Way Cool Sunday School and fun with Schooner Ernestina at Custom House Park.

- Looking for Live Music? Head to the Garden Concerts at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitor Center (33 William St.) 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Plus, the Seamen’s Bethel (15 Johnny Cake Hill) presents the Harpoon Harmonizers.

- UMass-Dartmouth’s CVPA Star Store Gallery (715 Purchase St.) hosts Royal Hartigan and Blood Drum Spirit, a new global jazz ensemble whose members have toured throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and Asia. Performance from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Crapo Gallery.

- Rock out at the Sax Therapy Sessions on Centre Street, presented by Whaling City Sound and Fiber Optic Center, Inc. This week’s concert: The John Harrison Trio. Head to the Kaller Beef Building parking lot on Centre Street for sets at 5:30 and 7:15 pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank.

- The House of Music hosts its 5th annual “Everybody’s Dance Contest” on Purchase Street. Sign-up from 4:00 to 6:45 pm; contest begins at 7:00 pm.

- Sidewalk Sounds features Jose Almeida from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on the Front Street Plaza.

- Molly O’Leary and Dave Conlon are the featured performers at Café Arpeggio’s Open Mic event from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at 800 Purchase Street.

- We Art NB! Crowell’s Fine Art and Fine Framing (382 Acushnet Ave.) hosts a group show, the last show in this historic location.

- The Wall at Travessia Urban Winery (760 Purchase St.) presents “Such a Dream” by photographer Stacie Edwards. Meet the artist plus taste Travessia’s sustainably-produced local wines, Shy Brothers Farm cheeses, and Taza Chocolates from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

- UGLY Gallery (246 Union St.) hosts Flore.scence, contemporary pop-art illustrations by Brooklyn artist Christopher Flore Florentino.

- The New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (608 Pleasant St.) presents Visions and Rhythm, a multi-media genre-bending electronica performance featuring local artist Richard Barrieau, Charles Xavier and the New England Core.

- Opening reception for Boats at Gallery 65 on William Street.

- Catch the city shuttle in front of the National Park Service and ride to the South End for an Open House at the Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Military Museum (1000c Rodney French Blvd.) and the Judith Klein Art Studio (127 Rodney French Blvd.)

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @ahanewbedford, and join us on Instagram @ahanewbedford.

All activities are FREE and open to the public. Year-round programming is funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council’s John and Abigail Adams Arts Program, The Island Foundation, The NEA, The City of New Bedford, the AHA! partners, individual supporters and in-kind marketing support from The Wanderer and edibleSouth Shore/South Coast. For more information, call 508-996-8253 x205.

First time visitors may want to start AHA! Night at the National Park Visitor Center (33 William Street). Complete program flyers with maps are also available at all AHA! venues starting the Tuesday prior to each event.

Directions: From I-195 E or W, take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte. 18 to second traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal, take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue on two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking is also available for free after 6:00 pm.

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