Each season the Zeiterion selects a meaningful and socially-relevant theme to anchor its season-long Artsbridge series. Performances and events are then curated to showcase these topics. By offering thematically-linked shows to the Southcoast community, we create impact and understanding in a deeper and lasting way.

For the 2019/2020 season, the ArtsBridge series highlights two issues: women’s empowerment and civil rights.

This series highlights the centennial of women’s voting rights and the unique power of women to overcome adversity, including:

  • Performance by The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) that includes the piece “I Come As One, But Stand as 10,000,” which addresses the power of the #MeToo movement. Friday, February 7.
  • Free screening of the documentary film He Named Me Malala, , the remarkable story of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Wednesday, March 18.
  • Community event, “Empowerment Through Spoken Word,” an introductory-level poetry workshop. Monday, March 23.
  • SchoolTime performance of Hear My Voice: Win the Vote that highlights the journey to secure the right for women to vote in America. Tuesday, March 24.
  • L.A. Theatreworks’ documentary play Seven, which weaves together the words of seven women who faced life-threatening obstacles before bringing heroic changes to their home countries. Thursday, April 2.
  • Free community and education event, Southcoast Seven, an evening in partnership with The Women’s Center at Bristol Community College and The New Bedford Historical Society to celebrate seven extraordinary local change-makers. Tuesday, April 14.
  • Community event, “Finding Your Voice,” a public speaking workshop geared for women. Monday, May 11.
  • National tour performance of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple, which portrays both racial and gender issues in American history. Saturday, May 16.

These performances spotlight the continuing struggle for racial equality in America, including:

  • Mainstage and SchoolTime performances of We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring Damien Sneed, a concert that celebrates African-American music and the civil rights activists. Monday, January 20, and Tuesday, January 21, respectively.
  • Philadanco’s performance of the piece Endangered Species, which explores aspects of the black male experience. Friday, February 7.
  • SchoolTime performance of Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks, which dispels myths about Parks and her protest. Tuesday, February 25.
  • National tour performance of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple, which portrays both racial and gender issues in American history. Saturday, May 16.

For more information about any of these performances or events, click here for a list in chronological order.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

2014-2015 ArtBridge Programming


  • The Z partnered with the Jewish Federation to host Yom HaShoah (Day of Remembrance) memorial program
  • Our partnership with the Jewish Federation allowed 300 students to attend and the thought-provoking performance of Simon Wiesenthal: Nazi Hunter at no cost
  • Page to Stage book club read and discussed Branded on My Arm and My Soul, A Holocaust Memoir by Abe Landau
  • Special Exhibit curated by Spinner Publications in the Penler Space highlighting Abe Landau’s life, which was open to members of both the Mainstage and School-time audiences prior to the shows.


  • An explosive and inspiring SchoolTime performance for over 900 students
  • 50 Students from Normandin and Hastings Middle Schools participated in a once-in-a-lifetime on-stage Master Class with the artists
  • Pre-performance block party brought in amazing local artists and performance, and was free and open to the public
  • Over 100 complimentary and discounted tickets distributed to students and teachers


  • A master class in contemporary dance was offered to local dancerS at New Bedford Ballet
  • Nativity Preparatory School and Our Sisters School of New Bedford attended free behind the scenes look at performance rehearsal
  • Page to Stage book club read and discussed Martha Graham: A Dancer’s Life
  • Over 100 free and discounted tickets offered to local dancers, students, teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Women’s Center, and Miss New Bedford

2015-2016 ArtsBridge Programming

RAISIN’ CANE: A Harlem Odyssey Starring Jasmine Guy

  • Page to Stage book club reading and discussion of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Masterclass in acting at New Bedford High School with Jasmine Guy for students
  • Hundreds of free tickets to MainStage performance distributed to community organizations in Greater New Bedford
  • SchoolTime performance for local students


  • Page to Stage book club and discussion of No Regrets: the Life of Edith Piaf by Carolyn Burke
  • Collaboration with local French cultural societies on free community Parisian cafe event before the show
  • Free tickets distributed to many community organizations

2016-2017 ArtsBridge Programming


  • Low cost MainStage presentation of the powerful, unique and innovative approach to prevention integrates teens in recovery, their parents and information about adolescent brain development to clarify the myths and realities of teen drug use.
  • SchoolTime performance for local high school students
  • Community art project: audience members were asked to write messages of hope for those recovering from drug addiction. The Zeiterion commissioned a visual artist to turn those notes into a permanent piece of art.


  • Sensory-friendly MainStage magic show by a master illusionist
  • Sensory-friendly Magic Camp for children of all abilities at The Z in the week leading up to the performance. Children who participate in the camp also had the chance to be part of the MainStage performance
  • In-school residency with magician Kevin Spencer
  • Professional Development workshops for Educators and Therapists
  • Page to Stage book club discussion Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Suskind

2017-2018 ArtBridge Programming


  • Connected by three MainStage performances, this three month long series of event focused on redemptive power of storytelling, and a reflection on issues affecting our military veterans, specifically emotional trauma and moral injur
  • Jessica Lang Dance
    • We kicked off the series with a discussion inspired by a moving and immersive dance called Thousand Yard Stare inspired by the unfocused gaze of a traumatized soldier and performed by New York’s Jessica Lang Dance Company. Dance enthusiasts, veterans, and their families, participated in a pre-performance talk led by choreographer and artistic director, Jessica Lang along with Mass Humanities scholar Dr. Bob Meagher, about how and why the piece was created and how the arts can be both a cathartic representation of the trauma of war and a healing tool for veterans.
  • The Things They Carried
    • A one-man play based on the popular novel, followed by a post-performance discussion led by the actor and teaching artist. Prior to the performance over 50 people attended a book discussion moderated by Dr. Meagher focusing on the unique experience of Vietnam veterans.
    • A sold-out SchoolTime performance was followed by a thoughtful talk back with a teaching artist and the students.
  • Almost Sunrise
    • A documentary about the devastating effects of moral injury on veterans. We flew in the director, Michael Collins and the films subject, Tom Voss, to participate in several activities surrounding the screening, including a post-film discussion and a meditative nature walk.
  • Community Activties
    • Drumming through trauma workshop
    • Meditative nature walk at Friend’s Academy