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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.

The Shows: Our Reason For Being

Every day of the year isolated audiences in the Bay Area enjoy the superb, live entertainment that our volunteer performers provide. Our small, dedicated staff expertly matches performers with the right audiences and brings in new artists to enhance our roster. The facilities we serve have only praise for the shows we bring.

As the needs of the community grow, we continue to explore new audiences who thrive on the joy and connection we bring. Recently we added several new facilities to stretch our demographic reach: the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland, Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco, St. Vincent’s Dining Room in San Rafael and the Hanna Boys Center in Glen Ellen. From time to time we help our facility partners with music for special events such as the “National Salute to Our Veterans” day at the San Francisco Veterans Hospital and the annual “Day of Peace” at San Quentin.


The Bay Area is fertile ground for artists, and part of our work is cultivating them to volunteer, to share their gifts with our neighbors in need. We get to be talent scouts for performers who have the kind of repertoire that is uplifting and appropriate for diverse audiences, particularly for youth audiences. New to our roster: Mexican songstress Marisa Nordstrom, clown Bri Tree and hip-hop group Diverse Dialect have been big hits. Young adult and teen performers burgeoning with talent are getting involved, too: Caroline Sky, Emma Botti and Shelby Lanterman are musicians who we are sure to hear more about as their careers develop.


The volume of shows we produce is possible because of the help of our volunteer hosts. These cheerful folks bring and set up PA systems, see to the comfort of the performers and report about each show so that we can maintain the integrity of our programs. Last year they hosted 388 (or 63 percent) of our 617 shows. The benefits of hosting are many. Volunteer Katrina Strack from Marin Academy wrote that hosting taught her “the importance of empathy and gratitude.”

Volunteer and facility inquiries come through the application process on our website regularly. The need is there on both sides. Word-of-mouth is often how we get the high quality people who understand what Bread & Roses is all about. We appreciate referrals to those who want to spread the joy. To apply, click here.


1) Marisa Nordstom at Marin Learning Center in San Rafael Feb. 12, 2016. Photo by Peter Merts

2) Bri Tree Entertainment

Post by Carolyn Gauthier, Vice President of Programs

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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