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YOUR WEEKEND: March from the Big Sweep to the Big Easy…

Seen & Heard

THURSDAY, MAY 18 through SATURDAY, MAY 20 – The Collective NB takes to the stage again with Seen & Heard: One-Act Plays Honoring Women. The group notes that the staging allows them to “give back to the community that has been so welcoming and supportive of us. Half of all our ticket proceeds will be given in support of The Women’s Center of New Bedford.” (Tickets are $20.) Doors to Seen & Heard, at Gallery X (169 William Street, NB) open at 7:30 pm. They’ll do a run at 8:00 each night (May 18th, 19th, and 20th), and in between shows, expect other forms of live performance, including poetry, and maybe even some music. As always, it’s a BYOB night. The one-act plays are: Relative Strangers by Sheri Wilner; and A Matter of Gender by Sloane Drayson. Email The Collective NB your name and number of guests and which show (the 18th, 19th, or 20th) you’d like to attend at to reserve your seats.

In the Groundwork! Gallery

FRIDAY, MAY 19 – The Groundwork! Gallery is in high gear these days. Just one week after the UMass graduate photo show wowed a packed crowd, The Wearable LIghtness of Being, work by Rhonda Fazio at Groundwork!, opens tonight with a reception at 6:00pm. It’s the fabric and textile artist’s first solo exhibition, and she writes, “Working from the ground up, it’s only right that it should be at a place called ‘Groundwork’.” True, that!

Operation Clean Sweep

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – It always breaks my heart to write, “New Bedford is a filthy city”…but increasingly, the heartache is easing. There is an effort to increase public awareness regarding tossing garbage onto the streets, and certainly the new bins rolled out a few years back have made a huge difference. So, too, has some aggressive street cleaning by the city recently to scoop up some winter sand if not grit. Now, today beginning at 8:30am and lasting until noon, the city-wide cleanup known as Operation Clean Sweep does its considerable bit to shine the apple. Volunteers meet at the St. Luke’s Parking lot at Page and Hawthorn Streets, and you can pre-register and get more details at I’m happy to report that Groundwork! member Mindy Wallis has taken it upon herself to organize a Groundworkers team for the sweep. Go, Mindy, go!

March against Monsanto

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – It’s being billed as “New Bedford’s BIGGEST March Against Monsanto yet!” – which should be enough to get lots of feet over to the meet-up spot in front of the Lawler Library in Buttonwood Park at 10:00am. For those who don’t know, Monsanto is a “publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation” generally regarded as the Evil Empire of food production. Marchers will trek up and down Rte. 6 for maximum visibility until noon, and then Down to Earth Natural Foods (751 Kempton St, NB) will be offering non-GMO smoothies, made with organic plant proteins and whole food supplements by Garden Of Life until 3:00pm. Also, Ashley of Ashley’s Produce will also be at Down To Earth from 12-3pm selling organic veggie starters. Take that, Darth Vader.

It’s a quiet thing….

SATURDAY, MAY 20 – A Silent Writing Marathon hosted by GNB Writers Block happens from 1:00 – 2:30pm this afternoon at Dream Out Loud center (One Johnny Cake Hill, NB). “Bring whatever you’re working on: fiction, playwriting, poetry, memoir, but be prepared to write SILENTLY for one solid hour!” they explain. “Once the timer is set, no talking, no cell phone, just write. We suggest you arrive about 15 minutes before the timer is set to get settled in and comfortable. At the end of the session, you are free to share (if you like – there is zero pressure to do so), mingle, or hit the door running. Bring your own beverage, and if you can, please bring a small donation for the Dream Out Loud Center who is doing us a huge favor by allowing us use of their facility. This is one of our more popular events, so please arrive on time and ready to work!”

Greasy gets Big Easy

SATURDAY, May 20 – Finally this weekend, let loose and check out Matthew Harnett & the Gumbo Allstars at Greasy Luck Brewery (791 Purchase Street, NB) tonight at 10:00pm. You would be correct in guessing that Matthew and the gang are visitors to our city from down The Big Easy way – brought here chiefly thanks to the instigation of Groundwork! Member Shelley Cardoos. As if we didn’t dig her enough already. They’ll be performing tunes from a forthcoming collection, Southern Comfort, and jamming with SouthCoast musicians. Door charge is only $5, which is very easy indeed…

Steven Froias