Pictured above left to right: Carlos Mendes, Hendrick Hernandez-Resto, Lucia Mateo, Santos Ortega, and Eric Ramos. (Not pictured: Santos Aj, who was unable to attend the Love The Ave Champions ceremony.)
Introducing the Love The Ave Champions 2023
When artist Eden Soares went to scope out the landscape in the Nye Street Pocket Park for the installation of a new #LoveTheAve mural this past summer, he encountered a problem. The original plan was to mount the plywood ‘canvas’ onto the wall of a building adjacent to the park. However, as renovation has just begun on the property, that plan wasn’t feasible.
Fortunately, Carlos Mendes was on the scene. Carlos and his young family had been enthusiastic patrons of Love The Ave Wednesdays. He sized up the situation and on the spot offered up a solution. He would construct what amounted to a bespoke easel created from 2 x 4s capable of holding the plywood and allowing Eden to set up anywhere he wished in the park.
And then he went to work and delivered just that as a donation to the cause – without fuss or fanfare.
And that’s why Carlos Mendes – and five others – were recognized as Love The Ave Champions on Monday, Oct. 16 during a special ceremony at Cafe Europa on Acushnet Avenue.
Each of the Love The Ave Champions are defined by their willingness to pitch in and contribute something of themselves to this north end New Bedford neighborhood. Each brings particular gifts to that task.
Carlos Mendes brought his background in construction, reflected in his investment in city residential real estate.
Eric Ramos, owner of 787 Barber Shop at 1407 Acushnet Avenue, brings his business acumen and pride of place to Love The Ave. Hendrick Hernando-Resto brought his skills as a performer to the task of hosting Love The Ave Wednesdays. Santos Ortega brings his ability to bring together all elements of the community together as a PAACA Outreach Coordinator in the belief that safe and enjoyable spaces like the Nye Street Pocket Park are essential to that mission.
Meanwhile, Santos Aj is a tireless advocate for critical immigration issues, such as access to driver’s licenses, to this gloriously diverse neighborhood. And finally, each and every day Lucia Mateo channels her energy and expertise into her role at the Community Economic Development Center, where she has become a dedicated leader for the Guatemalan community.
These six outstanding individuals were Love The Ave Champions on Monday, Oct. 16 because they’re champions every day. It was especially wonderful to recognize their contributions on that evening, but it’s even better to work side by side with them day in and day out in the New Bedford TDI District and throughout the city as we together build a stronger community that’s defined by their love.
- The New Bedford/Acushnet Ave TDI Team
Southcoast Community Foundation
Since 1995, the SouthCoast Community Foundation has served as a catalyst for philanthropic giving. As a tax-exempt, public charity, the SouthCoast Community Foundation offers donors the guidance and flexibility to fulfill their philanthropic goals. The SouthCoast Community Foundation allocates individual, family, and corporate funds to meet community needs. To date, the organization has distributed over $50 million from more than 200 funds to humanitarian, educational, and cultural organizations in the region.
In pursuit of its mission, Southcoast Community Foundation embeds itself in the community. We know because just this past Thursday, Oct. 26 the New Bedford TDI District, Community Economic Development Center, New Bedford Creative, Cape Verdean Association and many others participated in a walking tour of Acushnet Avenue with members of the Foundation, and took part in a panel discussion at Global Learning Public Charter School afterwards.
It was a pleasure to walk The Ave with the Southcoast Community Foundation, and in the slideshow below you can walk along with images from that day.
BONUS READ: Check out this WBSM story about the Capitol Theater project, a joint effort by the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) and Waterfront Area Historic LeaguE (W.H.A.L.E.)
Be sure to put these dates on your calendar during November:
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15 – Minds With Purpose’s Massachusetts Fashion Tour will walk the runway at Hatch Street Studio, 88 Hatch Street, New Bedford, on Wednesday, November 15, from 6-9 PM. Minds With Purpose is a dynamic community-driven organization. Its Massachusetts Fashion Week Tour is a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to fostering community empowerment and economic development within five of Massachusetts’ gateway cities. Each stop of the tour will include a live shopping experience powered by Bogosplit, a curated marketplace with a digital and in-person storefront located at Copley Place
The Grand Kickoff at Hatch Street Studios in New Bedford celebrates the city’s rich maritime history and cultural diversity. It will feature panel discussions, creative mingling, and entertainment, setting the stage for the entire tour. A familiar face is the host: #NBCreative’s Hendrick Hernandez will guide you through an inspiring evening of fashion, culture, and community.
FRIDAY, NOV. 17 – A New Bedford TDI District Real Estate Workshop will take place on Friday, November 17, from 11 AM-1 PM at Café Europa, 1256 Acushnet Avenue. Details TBA. Be sure to follow Love The Ave on Facebook for additional details as they become available (as well all listed events!).
BEGINNING FRIDAY, NOV. 17 – Hatch Street Studios Open Studios Weekend: Opening Night Friday, November 17, 5pm-8pm; Saturday, November 18, 10am-5pm; Sunday, November 19, 11am-5pm: The artists of 88-90 Hatch Street just off The Ave in New Bedford’s north end are opening the hatch! You are cordially invited into their creative workspaces during this Open Studios tour. Stop by and see where the magic happens and experience the delight of wandering from studio to studio, discovering the arts in all mediums, while listening to live music, and attending art demos and workshops. It’s also your one stop holiday shopping!
- The Acushnet Avenue New Bedford TDI District is focused on the revitalization of the Acushnet Avenue corridor in New Bedford. The goal of the MassDevelopment program is to stimulate economic growth, encourage community development, improve infrastructure, enhance public spaces, and attract private investment to the area. The program involves working closely with local stakeholders, businesses, and residents to identify priorities and implement initiatives that address the unique needs of the neighborhood. Adelsa Mendes is the TDI fellow for the New Bedford TDI District. You can reach her at [email protected]