What follows are just a few of the events happening in New Bedford this week. For more events, visit our arts and culture calendar. And learn how to get your event listed here. We want to hear from you.

New Bedford celebrates Juneteenth this weekend with jazz music, a family-friendly jubilee, a pop-up market to support Black-owned businesses, and a commemoration at City Hall.

Juneteenth, often referred to as America’s true Independence Day, marks the end of slavery across the nation. On June 19, 1865 — a full two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation — the Union Army took control of Galveston, Texas, informing enslaved people in the Confederate state that they were free.

Last year, Juneteenth was designated an official state holiday in Massachusetts, and because it falls on Saturday this year, New Bedford city offices and libraries will be closed on Friday. Also, the city’s Human Relations Commission will host a ceremony on the steps of City Hall at 1 p.m. Friday, with a speaking program about Juneteenth’s historical significance.


Jazz Mural in New Bedford
Photo by David W. Oliveira
3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Jazz concert

The New Bedford Historical Society is celebrating its 5th annual Jazz Juneteenth concert with an inaugural backdrop. Local musicians, like Whaling City Sound and others, will play in front of the new Jazz Mural on Centre Street — an artistic tribute to the legacy of local musicians.

BuyBlackNB tote bag.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Pop-up market

Black businesses have suffered huge losses during the pandemic. So BuyBlackNB is creating a space to support them. Shop a selection of local Black-owned businesses from fashion boutiques to fine art while enjoying music, giveaways, food from local restaurants and community building.

Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Family-friendly jubilee

The second annual event will feature local vendors, food trucks, games, performances and more. It’s happening at the HEAL Center, 95 Cedar St. 

11 a.m.-noon Thursday, June 17

UMass virtual discussion

Join LaSella Hall (Frederick Douglass Unity House), Lee Blake, (New Bedford Historical Society), Gail Fortes (YMCA Southeastern Massachusetts), and other panelists via Zoom for a talk about Juneteenth.

Event logo.


Hyung Sun Kim photo of a Korean fisherwoman.
Thursday June 17-Oct. 17

Dive in to ‘WATER 2021

Design Art Technology Massachusetts (DATMA) launches its public art exhibition “WATER 2021” Thursday with a daylong slate of live and virtual events. Here are some of highlights.

  • Harvesters of the Deep” features life-sized portraits celebrating women working in the fishing industry from Korean shellfish divers to New Bedford fisherwomen. Kiosks are set up along the downtown waterfront.
  • Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep” will put scientific archival photography on display in storefront windows downtown along Union Street between Acushnet Avenue and North 2nd Street.
  • An intricate sound installation by Swiss artist Zimoun will reside at the Star Store gallery through Sept. 13.
  • At 6 p.m., tune in to a virtual launch party hosted by 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment, featuring the city’s Poet Laureate Patricia Gomes, mural artists, musicians and more.


1-5 p.m., Saturday June 19

90’s-’00’s R&B Brunch

Day drink and rock to old-school jams selected by DJ Frankie Rhymin at this R&B party brunch on Juneteenth, all for a good cause. Donate a pair of new or used white Nike Air Force 1 shoes (any size) and get a free drink. The AF1s will be distributed to 20 youths in need for the upcoming school year. The recently opened Morna specializes in Portuguese and Cape Verdean fare. Admission cost does not include food.

Event poster.

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