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$25K Funds Downtown Fishing Art

MassDevelopment Awards Grant for Art Celebrating Women in the Fishing Industry: “Harvesters of the Deep” Exhibition in New Bedford
September 02, 2021

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – MassDevelopment has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) for an outdoor public art exhibition in downtown New Bedford that celebrates women who work in the fishing industry worldwide. This “Harvesters of the Deep: Portraits of Fisherwomen from South Korea, America, and the United Kingdom” exhibition, curated specifically for this project, features art installations on several public walkways in the commercial district, with funds supporting construction, artist fees, program promotion, and the purchase of materials. The artwork and related programming are all located within a half-mile radius, and the exhibit sites lead viewers from the high-traffic waterfront zone into the downtown New Bedford’s commerce and cultural zones home to small businesses, local restaurants, overnight accommodations, and cultural organizations. The exhibition is part of “WATER 2021,” a larger series of public art exhibitions that examine the role of water in cultures and economies around the world, on view now until October 15. The funds are awarded through MassDevelopment’s special Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, which was made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors. 

“Before this pandemic, the vibrant centers of our cities and towns were not only a driving force behind the strength of local economies, they were the places where we gathered to dine, to shop, and to be entertained, and the Commonwealth Places program is one way that we can help these areas bounce back stronger than ever,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to support downtowns and town centers through various economic recovery programs, and these Resurgent Places grants are providing non-profit community organizations with the resources to activate public spaces, boost economic activity, and support an equitable recovery.”

“Public art and cultural programming have the power to bring communities together, while also increasing foot traffic to help stimulate local businesses,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “As downtown New Bedford recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, we’re proud to help Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute accomplish these goals by sharing the stories of women in the fishing industry – a sector so central to the city’s past, present, and future.” 

Created in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions to placemaking projects, with the incentive of a funding match from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment announced the opening of the first Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places in June 2020 and from August – October 2020 awarded $224,965 in funding for 21 placemaking projects across Massachusetts. 

In December 2020, MassDevelopment announced the availability of $390,000 in funding for a second Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places. Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $250 to $7,500 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of up to $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. For implementation grants, up to $10,000 per project may be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations. For this project, DATMA crowdfunded more than $15,000.

More information about the program is available at

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) was founded to enhance the evolving dynamic cultural and economic life of Southcoast Massachusetts. DATMA is committed to bringing world-renowned art, design, and technology exhibitions, programs, and initiatives to the visitors and citizens of New Bedford and the region, identified as one of the Commonwealth’s most creative economies by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. As an exhibitor of public art, DATMA collaborates with the business and education sectors of the region to expand public awareness, bringing new cultural assets into the mix. Learn more at

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.