Thank You New Bedford Creative and the ARTnet Grant

May 04 2023

IN-FOCUS ARTICLE: Our Next Chapter Will Soon Begin – Thank You ARTnet!

When Jeff Wotton and I began to talk about creating a community digital archive back in 2012, little did we know what it would turn out to be. At this writing on May 4, 2023, we have created 147 podcast episodes. We have a backlog of more podcasts and articles and continue to schedule more.

One of our greatest and most visible achievements has been our collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s Common Ground: Community Stories project and exhibit. The exhibit is on until this August. From the beginning, we have sought out and featured the Visual, Performing, Literary, and Culinary Artists who live, work, or are somehow connected to the creative community of the South Coast of Massachusetts.

Our articles and podcasts document their backgrounds, passions, dreams, and accomplishments. The In-Focus Podcasts are up close and personal conversations with the makers, performers, supporters, and cultural impresarios of the remarkable creative community of South Coast Massachusetts including New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Westport, and beyond.

The In-Focus Articles focus on the South Coast’s makers, creators, performers, and supporters of the local arts and culture scene and also chronicle our artists for posterity. The topics we continue to seek out include Artists from the creative community of the South Coast’s past and present, stories about scholars, journalists, researchers, and genealogists who are seeking information on specific Artists or, Artists they are focused on from days gone by.

One of our goals was and continues to be seeking out as many of the area’s contemporary (living) and historical (dead) artists as possible. And for that reason, we selected the dandelion head for our first logo.

“Nobody loves the head of a dandelion. Maybe because they are so many, strong, and soon.”

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

This story is to pay homage to our inspiration – the dandelion and, to express our thanks to New Bedford Creative and the ARTnet grant opportunity that they made available to South Coast artists, creative institutions, and organizations Someone once wrote, “Always strive to be like a dandelion. Whenever they fall apart and break down, they rise up much stronger and more hopeful.”

When you visit the New Bedford Creative website, you’ll see this statement, “In New Bedford, the creative community is an engaged and powerful partner, inspiring social, economic, and cultural growth. In this authentic seaport city, each and every person enjoys an opportunity to experience a diversity of cultures. Art is everywhere, encouraging fun, provoking thought, and nurturing the soul.”

Our creative community then, reflects the humble dandelion as described in the article, Dandelion Meaning, Benefits, and Variety of Colours, “Dandelions have a great significance in many cultures across the world. The plant is believed to be a symbol of hope, growth, and healing. The noticeable seed head of the plant has more value than the yellow flower. The yellow flower heads form round balls of silver-tufted fruits. According to popular belief, these seed heads are blown while making a wish, causing the seeds to scatter away.

It is again reflected in ARTnet “…a new artist recovery and training network to help artists recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic by providing financial support, business planning support, training workshops, and access to a network of creative-entrepreneur peers.” According to the information found on the New Bedford Creative website, “applications are currently closed. If funds are still available, we will open the program back up in spring 2023. To be included on the waiting list, please email Marianella Perry at with the subject “ARTnet waiting list.”

So, what is our next chapter all about? With the ARTnet grant will begin the process of seeking nonprofit status. What are the advantages of becoming a nonprofit? First, there is greater access to larger grants earmarked specifically for non-profits. It will also allow us to seek tax-deductible donations. With our nonprofit status, donations made by businesses and individuals are tax-deductible. And there are also possible state sales and property taxes exemptions.

One of our many goals as a non-profit is not only to be a repository for information and art but also to give artists, their family members, friends, or acquaintances who were artists from the South Coast’s past, an opportunity to bookmark a page in history. It is also to create paid project opportunities for article writers, podcasters, editors, transcriptionists, social media handlers, and researchers as well as podcasters focusing on community-specific genres such as the Cape Verdean community and its contribution to jazz as just one example. 


New Bedford, MA 02744



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Ron Fortier is a Fairhaven-based painter and the co-founder and documentarian of The Artists Index.

Our gracious sponsors invite you to celebrate the art of life of the creative communities of the South Coast!