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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.

"Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians"; Bread & Roses in post film Q & A on 1/12

The film "Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians" will be shown at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission Street, Suite 109 in San Francisco on Sat., Jan. 12, 2013 at 7 pm as a benefit for the William James Association Prison Arts Project. Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier will participate in the Q & A after the film with other panelists.


TRAILER - Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (2012) from Ben Harbert on Vimeo.


Bringing live music to prisons and jails was a passion for Bread & Roses’ founder the late Mimi Fariña. After she died in 2001, she asked that we continue this work in her name for both adult and juvenile detention audiences. Some of her most memorable early experiences of performing for institutionalized audiences were at Soledad, Folsom and San Quentin prisons in the 1970s.


Keb' Mo' at San Quentin 6/23/01 with Bonnie Raitt for "A Celebration of Sobriety and Recovery".
Photos by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

Over the years Bread & Roses has had a long-term working relationship with San Quentin State Prison in Marin County. We have presented large shows on the yard with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’ and others through the years. In addition, Bread & Roses has brought in performers to do workshops with some of the inmate musicians through the Arts-in-Corrections Program. Roy Rogers, Rhiannon, Audrey Auld, Gabe Harris’ Rhythm Village, members of SoVoSó and Mark Hummel are some of the performers who have participated in this program.


Michael Franti at San Quentin for yard show with Spearhead. 5/12/07
Photo by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

Recent collaboration with the William James Association has allowed us to provide these services to incarcerated musicians at San Quentin through their Prison Arts Project (PAP). The screening on Saturday, January 12 will benefit PAP's ongoing programs and Bread & Roses continuing partnership with the Association.

“Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians” was shot over two years in three Louisiana prisons. The film weaves together interviews and performances of extraordinary inmate musicians. It plays like a concert film, but instead of bright lights and big stages, these musicians rap in okra fields, soothe themselves with R&B in lockdown and create gospel harmonies on the yard.

After the screening there will be a Q&A with the filmmaker Ben Harbert, former prison musicians, music teachers and Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier. Please join us in supporting music programming for men and women in jails and prisons who have little access to the arts and its redemptive power to provide hope and healing for those who need it most.


Audrey Auld with Kurt Huget at San Quentin on 10/14/06.
Photo by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses.



To RSVP & purchase tickets ($10 each), click here or visit Intersection for the Arts website.


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Alive Inside Video Trailer - Music Reconnects Us to 'Our Most Alive Selves'

As highlighted in the feature story of our Fall 2012 newsletter, the rough cut trailer of the upcoming documentary, Alive Inside, provides a compelling insight into the power of music to help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease reconnect to their memories and most alive selves. We hope you will enjoy the video. We look forward to hearing from you about the ways in which you have seen music, and in particular, live music, reconnect individuals of all ages to their hearts, minds and spirits.



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Happy Movie Features Michael Pritchard @ The Rafael 9/30 - 10/5

Michael Pritchard as Emcee at Bread & Roses Volunteer Celebration on August 28, 2011

For the past several years, Michael Pritchard has been Bread & Roses ambassador-at-large. As a comedian and motivational speaker,  he helps us convey the heart of our work and inspires all to continue Mimi Farina's legacy of providing  hope and healing through live music and the performing arts to those isolated in institutions who need it most. As emcee at our recent volunteer celebration at the Freight & Salvage, Michael reminded us that it is generosity of spirit that connects us and makes us happy. 


Appearing in the new independent documentary The Happy Movie,  Michael Pritchard helps us understand how to measure happiness. Those of us who live in the Bay Area can see the film Friday September 30 &  Saturday October 1 at 7 pm at The Rafael Film Center in San Rafael and afterwards hear Michael in a Q & A with Associate Producer Omid Heidari.   The Happy Movie will be shown at The Rafael for six days only (through Oct. 5) so don't miss the opportunity to see it.  It will also be screened on Monday Oct. 24 at 5:30 pm in Palo Alto as part of the United Nations Association Film Festival co-sponsored by the Stanford Film Society and the UNA Mid-Peninsula Chapter.  

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