Community Artist in Residence (CAIR)

NBAM’s CAIR Program creates an access point for community members to engage more deeply with NBAM and the Downtown Seaport Cultural District. The Program offers local artists space, time, and resources to develop their work. The 2020-2021 CAIR artists will be nominated by the Immigrants Assistance Center, NBAM, New Bedford Historical Society, and the Tomaquag Museum.

12/4/2020 – 2/14/2021

Local organizations nominate CAIR artists, and the Tomaquag Museum nominated artist, educator, and activist Dawn Spears. Dawn’s residency is sponsored by New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

Dawn Spears (Narragansett/Choctaw) is a doll maker, photographer, multimedia artist, who uses cultural symbolism and the vibrant colors of our natural world as inspiration for her work.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to check out what Dawn’s been working on!


The Tomaquag Museum is an Indigenous museum in Exeter, Rhode Island that is dedicated to educating the public and promotes thoughtful dialogue regarding Indigenous history, culture, arts, and Mother Earth, and connects to Native issues of today. Through their Indigenous Empowerment Network, they work to support Indigenous artists, youth, and community through advocacy, education, small business development, and cultural continuation.

Please visit to learn more.