By Kristen Botas, Contributing Writer
As college students, we are always looking for the best new fun thing to do with our peers. Some of us have pajama movie nights with our friends, others may get all dressed up to go out for a night out on the town and others will attend school entertaining events.
There is always an activity to do on our downtime as students at UMass Dartmouth. Overall some items have a bigger price tag than others.
The ultimate question is: So what if there was a local night of free fun out on the town? And there’s an answer, AHA! Night.
Transportation, from “Ride the Loop” is offered by UMass Dartmouth conveniently located at the UMD CVPA Star Store until 10 p.m.
AHA!, which stands for Art, History & Architecture is New Bedford’s free downtown cultural night that happens every second Thursday of each month from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a new theme each month! This month’s AHA! Night is Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
“AHA! Night involves over 60 downtown museums, galleries, arts organizations, merchants, restaurants, The New Bedford Whaling Museum, The UMD CVPA Star Store and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park,” according to the AHA! Night website.
Once a year Director of AHA! Night, Lee Heald and her committee come together to plan each month’s theme “based on future upcoming events.”
AHA! Night includes many different events such as live music and entertainment, open mic nights, open art exhibits, speeches from inspirational speakers and different activities for all ages!
It gives an opportunity for local artists to express their work to the community and visitors of New Bedford. You never know what wonderful things an underground artist can bring and show to the community!
“AHA! Night is a great way that New Bedford brings together culture and community, while introducing people to downtown,” said Heald
This month’s theme is “Herstory, History, Ourstory!”
“This month’s themes was inspired by Black History Month, Women’s History Month and finally the election. The election brings change. February is change month and what you can do to be the change! New Bedford’s growing and we (as a community) can be a part of a change… Proud to be a part of positive change,” said Heald
Some planned events for this night include:
• “Visit the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Wheeler Bay Learning Center (114 Front Street) to create one-of-a-kind valentines from recycled materials. 5-8pm
• Family valentine making with New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches at theNew Bedford Free Public Library (613 Pleasant Street). Participants are encouraged to write a story about why the person they are making the card for is special to them.
• Illustrated presentation and talk on Seventh Street Abolition Row, New Bedford’s connection to 19th century freedom seekers, and the Underground Railroad. Discover the stories of many who fled to New Bedford for freedom from enslavement and the community members who actively assisted their flight and resettlement in free states. 6:30pm at the New Bedford Free Public Library (613 Pleasant Street, Floor 3). Sponsored by the New Bedford Historical Society.
• The Monteirobots bring live jazz to the Cork Dining Room (90 Front Street), 8pm to midnight.
• Spoon Full of Sugar: Navigating Heartbreak with Humor artist panel discussion with Regions’ Gallery Artist Pat Falco and Vault Gallery Artist Brooke Goldstein. Artist reception following the panel. 6:30 pm with artist reception to follow.”
There are many more events such as these that can be found on the AHA! Nights website (http://www.ahanewbedford.org/) and to explore more information for more details of the night!
Heald encourages everyone to “Come and find your AHA!”