The City of New Bedford is being recognized for its achievements with arts and culture.  The Massachusetts Cultural Council has named New Bedford the Commonwealth's most creative community.

The Cultural Council says New Bedford has provided sustained leadership, funding and infrastructure for the arts community, and is a model for cities everywhere.

Speaking on his weekly radio program, Mayor Jon Mitchell says the city has strived to embrace the arts. "Being a center of the arts is a good way of drawing in economic activity and getting people to invest in, and visit New Bedford," said the Mayor. He added, "it is also a fun part of living here."

Mayor Mitchell says the city has invested in the arts, and he's looking to do more. "One of the things I proposed was to create an Arts Fund that would be funded by our hotel tax receipts so that we could hire a Cultural Planner and bring the Arts Community to life."

The City Council has supported the Arts Fund concept, but because it's a home rule petition, it still needs the approval of the State Legislature.

The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center is the focal point of New Bedford's arts and cultural community. / TSM