Co-Creative Center Launches Commonwealth Places Crowdfunding Campaign

September 27, 2016


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment
(617) 330-2086 & (617) 448-9077

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity
(617) 750-6008

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

MassDevelopment and the Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE) today announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. The campaign will support the development of a 10,000-square-foot mixed-use space intended to stimulate the local creative markets and serve as a hub for local artisans, makers and musicians. The formerly vacant, historic buildings at 139 and 141 Union Street will house a makerspace, collaborative learning center, arts gallery, co-work space, two new eateries, and four apartments. To learn more about the project and to donate, click here.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by November 23, 2016, at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program.

“WHALE is at the heart of the New Bedford Transformative Development Initiative District and has been a key part of the downtown revitalization in this Gateway City,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment has been pleased to support WHALE through other programs, such as the Cultural Facilities Fund, and we wish the organization the best of luck in this crowdfunding campaign.”

Through this project, WHALE hopes to expand the local resources available to New Bedford’s creative economy, and to provide training and hands-on experiences that will develop the next generation of New Bedford creatives. WHALE is holding information sessions and fundraising in October to support the campaign (for more information, visit the campaign website):

  • Oct. 3, 5 p.m.: Info session at Groundwork! Coworking, New Bedford
  • Oct. 7-10: Local Artists Exhibit at The Saltworks Carriage House, Dartmouth. Percentage of sales goes to support Co-Creative Center.
  • Oct. 13, 5 p.m.: Tour the space at 139 Union Street
  • Every Tuesday in October: Not Your Average Joe’s in Dartmouth will donate 15 percent of your meal’s bill to the project if you mention the campaign

“The Co-Creative Center will be a vibrant hub of creative activity in New Bedford for makers and artists and will also continue WHALE’s tradition of restoring buildings that transform our cultural community. We thank MassDevelopment and supporters for this window of opportunity,” said Teri Bernert, Executive Director of WHALE.

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative effort from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. Communities, nonprofits and other entities can learn more and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units. For more about MassDevelopment and its initiatives, visit