2019 has been a transitional year for the Business Innovation Center. We finally completed the core renovations of our Cafe expansion and started building our education programming model. We have assembled a fantastic STEAM Team to help us deliver a wide range of expertise and fun into our programs.
We launched our VISOR Program which stands for Visual Insights and Strategic Occupational Readiness. This is a unique curriculum model designed to prepare young adults with life skills and insights that can help them navigate the many uncertainties in the future of work. We explore priority skills and insights that will be most important as technological and climate changes accelerate. The VISOR program is intended as a jobs and lifelong learning alignment program. VISOR teaches the foundations of entrepreneurialism, productivity skills for virtual work environments and an in-depth understanding of the behavior sciences used in gamification. The VISOR Program is agile and can be modified to add value in a number of ways and complement other programs.
We were fortunate to have received funding through MASSHIRE New Bedford to deliver VISOR as a 720-hour certificate program, to youth between 16 and 24, through the career center in New Bedford. This also allowed us to open an extended location resource at the co-creative space in downtown New Bedford.
Our 2020 after school, family STEAM Team Workshops were made possible by a generous grant from the Episcopal City Mission. These workshops are scheduled over a six month season, 4 nights per week, January through June. This allowed us to create an ambassador program of 20 ten month scholarships for low income and underserved youth. Through this program, Ambassadors receive the full benefits and resources of the BIC for broadening their skills and insights into Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Register today and find out more CLICK HERE
Coworking Space Membership and business networking has grown and is attracting a unique blend of businesses to the BIC. This momentum will lead to several member-driven workshop programs ranging from technology, health, and wellness to Immigration law. See our meetups for more info:
Our TAG Networking group is celebrating its fourth year and helping several local businesses grow their businesses through referrals. Join us the first and third Wednesday of every month from 8:15 am till 9:30 am.
Professional development opportunities continue to thrive through our Fall River Innovators Toastmasters Club. This is our 4th year and for the past three years we have achieved the highest status of "Presidential Distinguished". This is a great group of folks working through a world-class curriculum designed to grow skills in leadership and public speaking. Join us any second or fourth Thursday of the Month from 6 pm till 8 pm.
Check out the promo video for VISOR we produced in house.
One of the many exciting things I am looking forward to in 2020 is how we will build interest and programming in our NEW Streaming Video "Podcast" Studio with our BIC Media Labs Programming. This year we made significant improvements to both our music and video production studios. We upgraded much of our software and hardware computer systems and installed new lighting in our video studio. The new production platform will make it much easier to teach students how to use the equipment and allow us to offer several new communities access to video streaming, podcasting and broadcasting services. This will help our members build new audiences and the ability to communicate event and activity information quickly and efficiently.
I am proud that our "communities of communities" here are growing momentum. We have attracted some interesting and fun people to share ideas and fellowship on our journey of personal and professional development.
We hope to see you and your friends again soon at the BIC.
This month’s Business Innovation Center Photography Art show features the work of Steve Carlson, for over forty years this “amateur photographer” has gathered a collection that surpasses 1,800 images which he careful catalogs and keeps in his files. His work covers a wide variety of subjects from architecture to wildlife. Carlson “believes everybody needs a creative outlet”, and photography is one of his favorite channels of creativity.
Even though Carlson appreciates and is firmly immersed in all the technological advances the digital age has to offer, he strongly believes that it is a photographer's responsibility to capture the essence of the image with the camera. Photoshop, in his opinion, should be used to enhance and possibly help bring out the vision conceived when the picture was originally taken. However, he feels that Photoshop, albeit useful should not be used to alter an inadequate image and turn it into a masterpiece.
Carlson likes to experiment with new methods and techniques such as shooting star trails or creating abstracts using food coloring and water in pursuit of a perfectly creative image. His natural creativity has landed this photographer in a few precarious situations while chasing the coveted image, from nearly being trampled on by a buffalo to a close encounter with a moving vehicle while taking pictures in streets of San Francisco. No stranger to local law enforcement, Carlson has on occasion left police officers curious enough to stop and see what he was up to on perplexing instances.
Although firmly committed to the digital age, he still enjoys taking out one of his vintage film cameras to shoot a roll of film. Carlson’s collection of 20 vintage cameras includes a Polaroid land camera and two Brownie box cameras. His vintage video camera collection includes a Bell and Howell Directors model, the same camera model that filmed the Kennedy assassination.
Steve Carlson, a Vietnam veteran. after leaving active service, received a commission from the Rhode Island National Guard and served in both the Rhode Island National Guard and the Army Reserve before leaving the service as a Captain. After 40 years with the U.S. Postal Service where he spent his last 20 years serving as a Safety Specialist, Carlson is now retired.
Carlson loves to cook particularly on his grill. He considers cooking one of his other creative outlets and he is known for chasing everyone out of his kitchen when he is cooking. The multi-talented photographer-chef has been married to his wife Ruth for over 40 years, they have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren including one granddaughter. His youngest son's son Nolan is a special needs child with muscular dystrophy and autism. Carlson has another passion, football, and despite living in the New England Area for many years although he roots for the Patriots, his heart is still a San Francisco 49er.
Christopher Rodriques’ passion for food has consumed the last ten years of his professional life when he first enrolled in a culinary program at Bristol Community College where he would later graduate Cum Laude. He quickly realized his future in the food industry and made his mark at Johnson & Wales University where he would later graduate Summa Cum Laude. Throughout this time, Chris became known for his entertaining and unique pairing of foods that would slide down your throat, leaving you in a heavenly oasis, something not often found within classroom walls, but within the soul.
This Fall River chef encountered an opportunity which brought him a step closer to fulfilling his lifetime dream of running his own café. Deep within the heart of Fall River, he helped design the culinary menu around “Thirsty Joe’s, Café for the Hungry Mind.” The trendy café is tucked into the first floor of the Business Innovation Center at 385 Columbia Street in Fall River, Mass, where his creativity surrounds the most exquisite pizzas, topped by none other.
The café reaches beyond great food and thirst quenching beverages, it feeds the minds of local entrepreneurs and businessmen while providing a popular spot for locals who want to indulge in local coffee and cuisine. “Our café highlights local favorites, such as Custom House coffee, providing a sustainability in the area by using local resources. we look forward to being an integral part of the future of Fall River and the BIC.” The café is reminiscent of the streets of Europe, with sleek furniture that was hand-selected and revived just for the café’s intimate space. Chris’ culinary masterpieces of exquisitely crafted pizzas bring fresh produce, coupled with flavorful coffee, pastries and the soon to be famous “Muf-kins”, right to locals in the Historic Cultural Corridor near the heart of Downtown Fall River.
To not only enjoy a discounted rate, but also the full resources the BIC offers, various levels of memberships are available, which is sure to fit perfectly into any entrepreneur or business person’s budget and schedule. In addition to membership discounts, the café will also offer events designed to unite like-minded individuals in the café for personal and professional growth, while connecting over pastries, pizza, and coffee.
Chris has several credentials and training from SafeServe to Allergen Awareness to ensure the best preservation of food, safety, and equipment. His careful attention is spent ensuring the oven and refrigeration temperatures are optimal while maintaining the ambiance of a European bistro tucked away in the heart of Fall River.
Art. 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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 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!