Portuguese American Journal

Community: Fabric Arts Festival returns to Portuguese New England – Fall River, MA

The Casa dos Açores de Nova Inglaterra (CANI) is hosting the fourth edition of the annual Fabric Arts Festival (FABRIC), to honor the urban and social fabric of the city of Fall River and the neighboring cities of Providence and New Bedford, which are deeply rooted in the Portuguese cultural heritage.

Initiated in Fall River, FABRIC is organized under the leadership of Michael Benevides, with Portugal-based curator Jesse James, and a production team on both continents. Dozens of artists will showcase their work at multiple locations.

Scheduled to run from October 5th to 14th, FABRIC will encompass a diverse array of events, including music concerts, art exhibitions, public art installations, gastronomy, and educational workshops.

For the first time, FABRIC will be held not only within the heart of Fall River (MA) but also extend their reach to the cities of Providence (RI), and New Bedford (MA).

According to Michael Benevides, co-founder of the festival, “The connection aims to invite audiences to view Fall River and the region as a territory of arrivals and geographic intersections, with a program inspired by the diasporic aesthetics, languages, and codes that shape the region.”

“We’re excited for the fourth edition of Fabric Arts Festival to present a program comprised of contemporary Portuguese, North American, and international artists, continuing on a path of articulation and collaboration between local agents (artists, spaces, companies, institutions) and the invited artists/collectives by the festival,” stated Jesse James, FABRIC co-founder.

For the most part, activities are free and open to the public. Find tickets and scheduled events here. For events and participating artists visit FABRIC.



Fall River (MA), with a total population of 95,072, is home to the largest Portuguese-American community (43.9%) in the United States, many claiming Azorean origin, mostly from São Miguel Island, who contributed significantly to the city’s demographic makeup. The city has a long history of Portuguese immigration, dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when many Portuguese immigrants, primarily from the Azores and Madeira islands, came to the United States in search of better economic opportunities. Many families can trace their ancestry back to several generations, which played a vital role in the city’s textile industry. 


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