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neenah cruz new bedford

Entrepreneur Creates Space for the Arts in Her Hometown

Neenah Cruz has been dancing since the age of two, when she discovered her love and passion for the performing arts. After teaching dance and choreography for 15 years in many different facilities and studios, she decided it was time to do something for herself and positively impact people’s lives. She came back to her hometown and opened New Bedford Performing Arts Center in September 2019.   

She had only had her business open for six months when the pandemic hit. Despite feeling lost and worried, she was determined not to let her business die even before it had a chance to succeed. She researched for things to help her and applied for the Summer 2020 South Coast Business Accelerator. “I didn’t feel any confidence in running a business. Once people are in, I’m very comfortable and know what to do.  But how do I get people through the door? How do I put my business out there?” 

Surrounding herself with like-minded people who had a dream and a goal and understood the hardships of everything was her favorite part of the program.  She said that being pushed out of her comfort zone (especially the final presentations!) was an essential part of her growth process and helped her become the forefront of her business. 

Today, she has more than doubled her number of students, and her business outlook is positive. “EforAll is a huge part of my success. The fact that I have a growing company where I feel like I’m making a positive impact in the community, I credit to EforAll.”  

Instagram: @newbedfordpac19                      Facebook: /NewBedfordPAC