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Bread & Roses Blog

News and information from Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization that presents live music to bring hope, healing and joy to the community.

Communications Manager/Producer: From Dayton, Ohio, Marian believes in the power of positive culture to effect meaningful change. She has worked as a ranger for the National Park Service and in public relations, cultural programming and special events management. A singer and writer, she appreciates the culturally creative Bay Area. She met the late Mimi Fariña on Alcatraz in 1995 and came to Bread & Roses Presents shortly afterwards where she has worked as a concert producer and part-time blogger ever since. She has a BA in English from Trinity University, Washington D.C. In her spare time, she looks for swans.

Bread & Roses Presents: A Record-breaking Year in 2016

webmattsandomenicoOver 600 shows presented to more than 30,000 isolated people

Bread & Roses Presents gave a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016 to isolated people in Bay Area senior day care centers, convalescent hospitals, juvenile detention facilities and other institutional settings where residents have few opportunities to view live entertainment by professional performers.

webdonnakeb“The number of shows last year is the most the organization has ever produced since its founding in 1974 by the late Mimi Fariña,” said Executive Director Dave Perron.

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The California Honeydrops Bring Joy to Audience at Health Right 360 Walden House

The classic Wilson Pickett song Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You was an apt message from The California Honeydrops for the men at HealthRight 360 Walden House who are working so hard to turn their lives around.

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With a lot of soul, Delta Blues, Bay Area R&B and a big dash of New Orleans style, The California Honeydrops came out of the recording studio to play a stellar show for Bread & Roses Presents at this drug and alcohol recovery program for men in San Francisco. The audience responded with great enthusiasm to the uplifting songs and incredible musicianship of this vibrant band, an inspiration with their amazing chops and rapport with the audience as well as each other. Much appreciation to their manager Heather Newman, a Bread & Roses volunteer, who facilitated this special concert.

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Volunteers Share Why Hosting Shows Makes A Difference

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Volunteer hosts are an essential part of sustaining our program throughout the year at Bread & Roses Presents. With the help of our hosts, we presented a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016, the most ever. Forty-one active volunteers hosted 350 of these shows last year, a whopping fifty-six percent. We are so grateful for our many volunteers, hosts as well as performers, who bring hope and healing through live music to 34,000 people in the Bay Area annually who are isolated and need uplifting.

Once a year we gather our volunteer hosts together and ask them to share how Bread & Roses has made a difference in their lives as well as the lives of our audiences. Here are a few highlights from the testimonials they shared.

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An Inspiring Night at “Thanks & Giving” Fall Benefit Concert at Delancey Street

There’s no question people have been pre-occupied for a long time by the presidential campaign and recent election. A big cheer to all those who came out to join us for our “Thanks & Giving” Fall benefit concert on Fri. Nov. 18 at Delancey Street Foundation in SF, an isolated audience served by Bread & Roses Presents since 1995.

There’s nothing quite like the magic of live music in a beautiful venue like Delancey Street’s Town Hall with its cathedral-like wooden-beamed ceiling and cozy ambiance with white lamps and tall candles. Rental income from various venues at their San Francisco facility, including Town Hall, helps support the friendly and professional Delancey Street servers and event staff who work hard while in their recovery program.

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Thanks & Giving: Bread & Roses Benefit Concert on Nov. 18 at Delancey Street in SF

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Corte Madera, CA -- November 4, 2016 -- A festive fall concert will benefit Bread & Roses Presents on Fri. Nov. 18 at the Delancey Street Foundation at 600 Embarcadero in San Francisco with Hot Buttered Rum, Jeffrey Halford and Ben Fong-Torres. Proceeds benefit Bread & Roses programs that bring hope and healing through live music in over 600 yearly concerts for isolated Bay Area audiences. Funds raised will support many annual holiday concerts for children, adults and seniors who need music most. The event includes a VIP Reception at 7 pm, General Admission at 8 pm, and the Concert at 8:30 pm. Cash bar available. All concert attendees will receive a special limited edition poster by Alexandra Fischer contributed by Moonalice Posters.  Get your tickets online here or call 415-945-7120.

All the performers for this intimate evening of extraordinary live music play for Bread & Roses isolated audiences. Hot Buttered Rum is rooted in west coast bluegrass and performs what has been called California’s own acoustic music. Singer/songwriter and guitarist Jeffrey Halford opens and is “a talented wordsmith with the soul of a rugged roadhouse rocker.” Celebrated journalist and entertainer Ben Fong-Torres will emcee. He is a SF Chronicle columnist, Moonalice Radio DJ & former senior editor/writer at Rolling Stone Magazine.

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Performers Create Community for Bread & Roses Isolated Audiences

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Mickey Hart, best known as the drummer for the Grateful Dead and a member of our Circle of Advisors, talks about the rhythm of music that connects us all in a common heartbeat. At Bread & Roses Presents, we are fortunate to witness on a daily basis the transformative power of music and the performing arts to bring diverse audiences together in a communal experience. Wiley and Debbie Rankin of Jump for Joy Music, Ross Commons and Gail Muldrow are among the many performers who create community for Bread & Roses isolated audiences in a variety of ways.

Jump for Joy Music Offers Respite

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Collaboration With Salesforce & "Pass the Music" Bring Our Mission To Their Creative Team

At their impressive headquarters in downtown San Francisco, Bread & Roses Presents was invited to “pass the music” at Salesforce on September 22 to educate their creative team about our mission. J.D. Swartz from Salesforce shared that it was a welcome break from intensive planning for their Dreamforce conference held every year in early October.

He introduced Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron who gave an update about our organization and noted that today’s performer Megan Slankard is one of over 1,000 volunteers who help bring music in over 600 annual concerts around the Bay Area to audiences of children, adults and seniors who are isolated.

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Audience Interaction at Recent Programs Shows the Power of Connection

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Audience interaction is the best way to see the power of connection at every Bread & Roses show. Our volunteer hosts report on the impact that our program has on the audiences we serve. Here are excerpts from a few recent shows that beautifully illustrate the healing power that live music has for those who are isolated and need uplifting.

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Volunteer Celebration “The JAM” 2016 -- A Day of Joy, Appreciation & Music

Once a year we gather together our volunteer community to celebrate and recognize the many accomplishments of our tribe of dedicated performers, hosts and other supporters who help us produce over 600 annual concerts for isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area.

“The JAM” is always a special day, for it is the one time during the year that our volunteers have the chance to meet and play music with each other. Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed everyone and said “It’s all about the volunteers and how they support our community in an intimate way.”

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Rock the Bank – Raj Gopal & Friends Benefit Concert for Bread & Roses

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Board Member Raj Gopal put on a fun evening of rock & rollin’ with music, singing, fundraising and celebration for Bread & Roses Presents on June 29 in downtown San Francisco. Fellow board member Alex Wellins and Blueshirt Group provided the venue in the Next15 building. Many of Raj's colleagues from his office a few doors down at Bank of the West attended, including Dan Beck, the bank’s CFO, who as Raj noted “knows the saxophone as well as numbers and he’s not afraid to show it!”

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A Fantastic Night of Music at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit Concert May 26

A fantastic night of music from beginning to end was the experience of the lucky guests who attended our spring benefit concert “Bringin’ It Home” on May 26 at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was also a special night, for almost all of the performers are volunteers for our institutional audiences in need of joy and uplifting through live music.

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Peter Merts, Volunteer Photographer: Images of Joy in Shows for Isolated Audiences

Darkness Into Light at the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehab Center in San Francisco, Chris Donohoe at Center Point in San Rafael, Aline deForge and Emmanuel Presselin at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae, Marisa Nordstrom at Marin Learning Center in Marin City, Fancy von Pancerton at North Bay Children's Center in Novato,  Miss Kitty at the Marin Learning Center, The Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at Vision Impaired of Marin in San Rafael, Sylvia & the Silvertones at Center for Elders Independence in Oakland, Aaron Kierbel at BAHIA in Oakland, these are just some of the recent institutional shows that Peter Merts has helped us document (and are seen in this order in the above slide show).

A San Rafael photographer, Peter has been a volunteer for Bread & Roses Presents for over thirty years. He is a great example of the many ways that donated professional services help to accomplish our mission and move us forward. We have been fortunate that photographers including Robert Altman, Jay Blakesberg, Ken Friedman, the late Jim Marshall, Bill Nichols and many others have contributed to our cause.

Peter first heard about our program when he attended a B&R Festival of Music in the late 70s at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. A few months later, he was at his job in a Marin restaurant where he noticed our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, was one of his customers. He introduced himself and asked if he could help. He began as a volunteer by providing food backstage for three days at the next festival. Not long afterwards, he was a staff event coordinator until he left in 1982. He’s been volunteering ever since.

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New Volunteers from the Hellman Family Play for Bread & Roses

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“Let there be songs to fill the air…” From Ripple (American Beauty, The Grateful Dead)

On Wednesday March 9, the delightful band "Marco & The Polos," comprised of the late Warren Hellman's four children -- son Mick and his sisters Frances, Judith and Tricia Hellman Gibbs – played their first Bread & Roses concert for an audience of appreciative seniors at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae. All four sang, alternating leads and harmonies, with Mick on drums and Tricia playing both guitar and banjo.

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Congratulations Michael Pritchard on Lifetime Achievement Award

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“Two men stared out from prison bars. One saw mud, but the other saw stars.” - Michael Pritchard

Congratulations to Michael Pritchard for receiving a well deserved 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Sun. We are so honored that he is our ambassador-at-large and a volunteer for our organization since the early days. Michael also received national recognition in the Huffington Post for his recent interview with humorist Mark C. Miller. 

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Performer Collaborations Support Bread & Roses

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Steve Meckfessel Leads the Way with Freight & Salvage Benefit Sunday March 13

Singer-songwriter/guitarist and urban folk artist Steve Meckfessel shared a double bill with modern day troubadour Beth Wood at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Sunday March 13 at 7 pm. In round robin style, he played a selection of his well-crafted and wise original songs from his second album Under Beautiful Skies. Multi-instrumentalist and soulful songstress Beth Wood also shared some of her most recent songs from her latest album Sometimes Love.

The concert was a benefit for Bread & Roses as well as three other local music nonprofits. Fifty-two attendees placed their tickets in a jar, resulting in an upcoming gift of $5200 to our organization from several anonymous donors. 

“I am blown away by the work that Bread & Roses does bringing more than one show every day to people in the Bay Area who need live music most. As a performer, I get to be a first-hand witness to the connection that happens from the power of music and I am happy to support the organization,” said Steve Meckfessel.

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Blasting Off Into 2016: Momentum Builds in Our 42nd Year

“As a former board member for Bread & Roses some thirty years ago, I take heart in seeing that the hope and healing we bring through live music is needed now as much as ever. It is an honor to continue to bring our founder Mimi Fariña’s enduring legacy to isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area,” says Executive Director Dave Perron.

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Last year was a pivotal time for Bread & Roses Presents -- a year of transition as we move into our fifth decade. We had a banner year for our program in 2015 as we produced 617 shows, our most since our founding in 1974. We brought joy and uplifting music to over 34,000 audience members in 120 facilities in eight counties throughout the Bay Area. We also had 388 shows hosed by volunteers, over ten percent more than the previous year.

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Special Fall Concerts Help to Propel Us Forward

Bread & Roses Presents is honored to feature over a thousand different individual performers and groups at our institutional shows almost every day of the year. We simply could not do our program without them.

We are also fortunate to have performers of note help us mainly with fundraising concerts throughout the years or from time to time donate a portion of the proceeds from an upcoming public concert to help support our mission.

Extraordinary acoustic blues maestro Keb’ Mo’ performed a very special benefit concert at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday November 2. Executive Director Dave Perron told the sold-out crowd, “Bread & Roses has a lot of heart and there is a lot of heart in this room tonight as our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, lived in Mill Valley, and is undoubtedly here in spirit.”

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Bread & Roses Receives CalNonprofits Community Engagement Award on Nov. 4

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Bread & Roses was given a $10,000 Community Engagement Award on Wed. Nov. 4 at the CalNonprofits 2015 Annual Policy Convention in Oakland. Development Director Elissa Burke attended the conference and submitted the winning nomination. Executive Director Dave Perron received the award from Cindy Duenas from the CalNonprofits Board and Monica Trevino of CalNonprofits Insurance Services, the award sponsor.

"We were honored to be chosen as the sole winner from among 148 nominees state-wide," said Elissa Burke.  While giving the award, she noted that the presenters remarked "Our judges were impressed with your reach and all the different ways you not only engage your community but also partner with and promote other nonprofit organizations.​"

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Keb’ Mo’ To Perform at Sweetwater Benefit Nov. 2: Roger McNamee Opens

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Bread & Roses Presents will host a special benefit concert with master contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday, November 2 at 8 pm. Roger McNamee will open. NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott will emcee the show. VIP tickets are $145. They include admission at 6 pm, a meet-and-greet and photos with Keb’ Mo,’ complimentary hors d'oeuvres & wine. General admission tickets are $75 for this all ages show with doors at 7:45pm. Space permitting, tickets will be sold on-site. Advance ticket purchase is recommended at www.breadandroses.org.

“We are thrilled to have Keb’ Mo’ back to play a benefit for Bread & Roses Presents following his recent success performing in “A Celebration of American Creativity” at the White House.  We are grateful to have him help us bring the gift of music to those in the Bay Area who need it most,” said Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron.

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Steve Earle Thrills New Supporters at Bread & Roses Benefit at Fantasy Studios

 
Steve Earle captivated his audience of new Bread & Roses supporters in a special intimate concert at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley on Thursday, October 1. New friends came to learn more about our work and enjoy the special ambiance of a unique concert in Studio D thanks to our hosts at Wareham Development who sponsored this benefit on our behalf.

His heartfelt testimonial about the impact of our mission set the tone for a stirring evening of his authentic music. “Bread & Roses does important work that deserves to be supported,” he said. “Music has the capacity to change the world.”

A beloved, internationally known rock, country and folk singer-songwriter/guitarist, Nashville-based Steve Earle is also a bandleader, record producer, author and actor. A three-time Grammy award-winner, he has released 16 studio albums. A musician's songwriter, his songs have been recorded by many diverse artists from Johnny Cash to Emmylou Harris. He is the subject of two biographies, “Steve Earle: Fearless Heart, Outlaw Poet” by David McGee and Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle by Lauren St. John.

In 2008, he produced Joan Baez's 50th anniversary release Day After Tomorrow for which he contributed a number of timely songs. He is an often rebellious, ever iconic Americana artist and activist, always nimble and eloquent as he responds in his songwriting to the most topical issues of the day.

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