Fundraising is always a challenge, especially for nonprofits, but the Dartmouth Cultural Center is doing just fine, thank you.

Plans for the historic preservation of the Elm Street building that houses the Center can move ahead, now that the Center, with help from the Dartmouth Community Preservation Council and Town Meeting has approved  $260,000 for the project.

That amount, added to a $160,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council earlier this year, clears the way for renovations to begin.

President Pauline Santos stopped by Townsquare Sunday this week to share the good news.

The Cultural Center is located in the original Southworth Library building on Elm Street, one of the oldest buildings in town. The fundraising success means some important work can now be done to keep the building standing and viable for years to come.

"The first phase will be making the building handicapped-accessible," Santos said.  "The second phase will be improving the exterior of the building, and the third phase will include upgrades to the lighting, electrical system and the heating unit."

Santos said she's unsure when the work will start, but the goal is to keep the Center open while the renovations are taking place.

Dartmouth Cultural Center via Facebook
Dartmouth Cultural Center via Facebook

There are upcoming exhibits at the Dartmouth Cultural Center in the months of November and December.

"A Marketplace for Local Artists" is being held on November 16, where local artists can bring in their work, chat with others about it, and perhaps make a sale.

In December, the Southcoast Artist group will move in with their "Holiday Exhibit." Their exhibit will be up from December 1 through January 6.

Santos said the Center continues to look for volunteers for a variety of positions, from gallery-sitting to marketing and membership.

"Right now, there are seven board members and we do it all. It's a lot!" she said.

You can learn more by visiting the Dartmouth Cultural Center website.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly community affairs program heard Sundays on WBSM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

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