Local Artists Collaborate in Art Show Opening

water sideArt. It’s that word that means something different for everyone, even professional artists; yet, it often seems to be a link between one’s body and soul as somehow, someway it brings forth an emotion from everyone. It’s nearly impossible to stare at a piece of art, whether it’s a written piece, painting, sketch, drawing, statue, music, or pottery without it drawing some sort of emotion or thought from somewhere inside of you. At the BIC, we promote a collaborative, creative workspace environment where business professionals, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs spend their days either in private offices or shared space drawing out their creative nature, often seeking advice from other like-minded individuals in the building and solidifying their skills.

On Monday, September 10, 2018, at 6:00 pm, we are inviting the public to come and experience the breathtaking artwork of some of our local artists, which is sure to invoke some emotion, feeling, or thoughts from you as you walk through the BIC exploring the creativity within. What is even more inspiring than the works that you’ll see, is the fact that some of the artists are community youths who have already mastered their creative voice and are excited to share it with the public. All artwork is for sale and a percentage of the proceeds to benefit the ongoing educational programs at the Business Innovation Center.

Whether you’re an art fanatic who could stare at a painting for hours or a casual viewer, there is sure to be something that will have you speaking with your soul and learning more about yourself, your thoughts, and your desires. It’s simply the BIC way to shake you out of your comfort zone in a safe manner and allow you the opportunity and resources to redefine who you are and who you want to be.

 Meet our featured artists.

Fay FayFay

The 14-year-old musician hails from Bristol, Rhode Island with a love of the arts since the age of three when she first started dancing. For the last 5 years, Fay has added the guitar and singing to her artistic expression. She enjoys writing music in her free time, as well as learning her lines for an upcoming production of “The Who’s Tommy”. 

Sabrina 2.jpgb


This 18-year-old from Bristol, Rhode Island is an emerging artist who is preparing for a career as a graphic designer. During her high school years, her artistic interest surrounded the engineering/robotics world as she pursued the STEM endorsement. Near the end of her high school years, she began exploring other mediums and unearthed an uncanny eye for graphic design, sculpting, and painting. The young artist’s works can also be seen in the hand-painted Thirsty Joe’s and other signs around the BIC. Her free time is often spent with friends and family.

Melonie Pic BioMelonie Massa

While exploring the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Melonie was captivated by vintage Sailor’s Valentine for the first time. At the ripe old age of ten, her passion for the maritime treasures became the foundation of her artistic flares. The freeing life of being an artist brings her to the seashore where she hunts for the perfect treasures to transform them into even more beautiful works of arts. Revitalizing a lost art, she creates intricate flowers, jewelry, brooches, and boxes. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are sure to make you stand out with various combs, rings, bracelets, pendants, and earrings. Don’t forget about the cufflinks! And for the mermaid buried inside all of us, Melonie is sure to craft you the"perfectly you" tiara.

Jeanne 2.jpgbJeanne Cardarelli Raimondi

Her passion for creative expression has been with Jeanne for her entire life. The life-long student of art has explored various mediums, settling on oils as well as water media for her creations. Her mixed water media “Sahara” was awarded Jury acceptance to Rhode Island Watercolor Society National Competition. When her paintbrush isn’t in her hand, you can find her indulging in Nantucket Lightship Basketry or writing as she’s a published beauty and fashion editor, writing a monthly column for RI Women Newspaper. Beyond the pieces you see displayed at the BIC, Jeanne’s works grace several art museums and galleries.

Phyllis AbediPhyllis

Phyllis reminds us that it’s never, ever too late to chase your dreams. After raising her family and enjoying an intense career in the medical field, she followed her lifelong dream of being an artist as she settled into her retirement years. The versatility of acrylics became the foundation for her art medium and allows her flexibility in her painting with collage, plein air, and experimental techniques. Her love for art has led her to join an art association and to continue to learn various techniques to perfect her craft.

The art gallery at the BIC is open during regular Thirsty Joe's Café hours

Mon-Thurs 6:30 am - 8 pm, Fri 6:30 am to 9 pm, Sat 10 am - 9 pm, Sun 10 am to 4 pm

If you’re a local artist and you’re interested in participating in a future show, please find Ines at the art show and make sure she has your contact information!


Mass Dev Visit to BIC

Construction and Demolition Kicks Off with Official Tour

On the morning of February 5th, The Business Innovation Center had a visit from MassDevelopment's Community Development Vice Presidents Eleni Varitimos and Mary Ellen DeFrias. After they were greeted by staff and volunteers, they received a pre-demolition tour of the areas to be renovated—as well as an explanation of the programs and services this construction grant will affect. They expressed excitement with the potential impact of this grant on the economic and social fabric of our community through our programs such as Toastmasters club (which recently achieved Distinguished Presidential Status).

Earlier this month, the BIC began making initial progress towards our May 31 completion goal, as furniture was cleared and demolition began in the part of the building to house the future cafe facilities. Additionally, computer hardware and Virtual Reality equipment was set up and tested for when it will be rental and education—yet another of the many perks that will be made available to BIC members this summer.

The BIC has been buzzing with preparation as our architect, Anton Dias, has measured and massaged plans into place for our quirky layout and non-profit budget. "We really appreciate the work Anton's doing here." said BIC founder, Chris Nielsen "His vision for this place is helping us reach more safety and code upgrade goals that wouldn't have been possible without him steering us in the right direction."

With the architectural plan and the official grant review now complete, hiring is also underway. We have recently brought on team members to launch the cafe and grow our programs and community outreach. We are assembling a top-notch team and the calendar for our summer programs should be released in March. As a preview, we expect to have offerings available in VR program, professional development training, video streaming, multi-media production classes; as well as art shows as part of the social and educational outreach.

It's going to be an exciting few months leading up to summer; stay tuned!

Ines Profile

With new events and big projectsin the works, the BIC is so happy to welcome Ines Valenzuela-Loureiro to the Business Innovation Center.

Ines brings 11 years of management experience along with 28 years of customer service and public relations—one of her passions. She is a recent Graduate of UMass Dartmouth, where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Management and Small Business Administration, with a Minor in Sociology. Ines was accepted into the MBA program at Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts In Dartmouth and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Leadership.

Through educations, mentorship, and facilitated workspaces, The BIC strives to be a place where entrepreneurship, education, and fun builds community among people from a wide variety of backgrounds and age groups. Ines has experienced first-hand the value of our community’s rich multi-cultural heritage. Born in New York, Ines was brought up in S. Miguel, Açores, and speaks Portuguese as her first language. This background provides her insight into the social and business development experiences of the thousands of immigrants, and their children, which are such an integral part of the Fall River community.

"I'm so excited to join the BIC and have an opportunity to facilitate education and outreach programs.

From a personal perspective, I'm especially looking forward to participating teen mentorship and education programs. For years I've felt drawn to helping teens. No matter how busy my schedule was, I would always make time to include my daughters' friends when they needed somewhere to go and someone to talk to. Our tiny apartment is regularly filled with young people and has become the neighborhood go-to house for teens to hang out in a safe space. It planted in me the seeds of a vision to partner with a local non-profit where I could accomplish even more to do something posative in our community."

The BIC is a place where I can help both teens and people of all ages to develop their business ideas, learn new skills and technology, and have a safe place to learn, grow, and connect with others.

We're excited to have you too Ines! This next year will have some big opportunities to connect with our community and make a difference.

ed duganWe're excited to introduce our new BIC Media Labs director, Ed Dugan.

Ed has a strong background in community-based digital media production and a multidisciplinary background in broadcast, videography, digital media production, and social media and live event promotion. And he joins the team as someone who understands the future roll BIC Media Labs seeks to fill in the local community.

The vision for the BIC Media Labs is to find a middle path between commercial broadcast and guerilla smartphone media—the sweet spot between "commercial studio" and "garage band". Content today must be relevant, and quick to produce, but that doesn't mean we should throw out production values and just grab the nearest smartphone! The best content has both immediacy and quality, and it must be stylistically current and well-produced if it hopes to reach a wide audience. BIC Media Labs is a self-contained production studio that's not only professional but accessible to the wider community of digital multimedia and content producers.

In his own words: 

I am excited to be one of the Business Innovation Center's new staff members and I plan to become deeply engaged with the center's activities as its expansion is completed. As the center's Director of the BIC Media Labs, I plan to develop and expand our recording schedules and to include a variety of programming derived from multiple sources, including local businesses, clubs, organizations and arts collaboratives.

I intend to support and build upon our current programming, such as the “Full Steam Ahead” broadcast. I plan to include additional programming that might be of interest to local viewers, such as newsworthy items regarding Boston's South Shore. I will be pleased to support the BIC's efforts to benefit local organizations and businesses, by reaching out to them and including them in our programming, promotions and on-air local reporting. I will facilitate in broadening the BIC's relationship to the Fall River community by demonstrating goodwill to these organizations in all communications.

I am also looking forward to teaching workshops at the BIC. With a rich background and a diversity of skills, I am able to offer a variety of classes, including video production, graphic design and science applications; as well as crafts, exercise, theater arts and photography. The BIC is a proponent of community cohesion and unity. I plan to help to foster this vision, and to help to promote the BIC Café as a center of community vitality and our welcoming access point to the services the BIC provides.


We look forward to working with Ed and seeing these and projects take off. Stay tuned on Meetup for the next digital media production event and come give him a warm welcome!


Talent Search

Auditions for Musicians, Singers, Spokesmodels (online actors).

Sign up for your audition slot by registering. Once we have your information we will contact you for the best time. Be part of the new Southcoast Talent Connection.

Call 508-644-1553 to schedule your audition.

CLICK HERE to Register

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