Arts Midwest, arts group produced love letter for New Bedford campaign

NEW BEDFORD — A new “Love Letter for New Bedford” campaign has been launched as a way to empower and promote local artists.

With the help of Creative Ambassadors and a Creating Connection cohort brought together by New Bedford Creative, under the guidance of Arts Midwest, the project will weave stories of connection and creativity into a public narrative and embrace of the arts.

“The creative community, and the artists, really contribute to the quality of life in New Bedford,” said Margo Saulnier, director and creative strategist for New Bedford Creative. “They’re the ones building those connections between friends, family, Neighborhoods and community members.”

The idea to launch the love letter project came after New Bedford was selected by Arts Midwest and the Barr Foundation as the play space for their creative connection initiative.

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A citywide Storytelling project

Michael Johnson, community engagement manager at Arts Midwest, said that after chatting with artists who live and work in the city, he observed a frequent theme: love.

“We are so lucky to have creative, extraordinarily talented individuals who also really care deeply about the community that they live in,” Saulnier said.

“We’re also looking to target folks who aren’t within our arts and culture community,” said Jasmyn Baird, senior creative fellow at the New Bedford Economic Development Council.

“I often hear people think or feel that they aren’t an artist, so they aren’t creative. And I think through this campaign, we’re demystifying that fact and bringing more Unity into our community.”

Decades in the making

Saulnier said that although the art scene in New Bedford may seem like an overnight success, it has been decades in the making. In fact, several programs in the city are celebrating major milestones, such as the Whaling Historic National Park and New Bedford’s Historical Society turning 25 and the Star Store and Aha! celebrating their 20th anniversary.

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