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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.

Gathering of Bread & Roses Renewed Circle of Advisors

The towering blossoms that reached for the sky were an apt metaphor for Bread & Roses Presents gathering of its newly revitalized Circle of Advisors on Wednesday July 19 in a beautiful garden at the Kentfield home of generous hosts Anne and Tony Campodonico. Advisory Circle Committee Co-chairs Stacy Nelson and Tucky Pogue organized the event for old and new friends and dedicated supporters to get together to celebrate our many successes and spark ideas on how to maintain our momentum. 

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

Over 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 experience live entertainment by professional performers.

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Congratulations Michael Pritchard on Lifetime Achievement Award


“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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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.


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.



Making A Difference: New Corporate and Community Partners

We are heartened to be cultivating new relationships beginning last year with many corporate and community partners such as Bank of Marin, Blueshirt Group, Fantasy Studios, Nelson & Associates, Robertson Stephens, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Salesforce and Wareham Development. We are excited to embark on new collaborations including the possibility of presenting workshops through the Institute for STEM Education in the East Bay. 

This year we will be a featured nonprofit at the Bank of Marin’s Running Festival, a half-marathon on May 22 in Novato. We are also honored to have a presence at Bonnie Raitt’s concert at the Fox Theatre in Oakland on April 23 and appreciate her steadfast support for our organization. We are grateful for our long-lasting partnerships with organizations such as the annual Kate Wolf Music Festival June 23-26, 2016.

Stay tuned for some breaking news as we seek to put ourselves forward and generate support in even bigger ways in 2016. A special membership program will debut soon offering new ways to get involved and go behind-the-scenes.



1) Dave Perron with emcee Ronnie Lott at the Sweetwater benefit featuring Keb' Mo' on Nov. 2, 2015. Photo by Peter Merts

2) French musicians Aline Deforge and Emmanuel Presselin of Duo Cours Toujours at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae on Feb. 17, 2016. Photo by Peter Merts

Post by Marian Hubler

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Bread & Roses Presents 2015 – Enhanced Name For Our Fifth Decade & Going Strong!

Executive Director Dave Perron, at the helm since December, reports that “Bread & Roses is going strong.”


New Enhanced Name

web300x300logoTo kick off this year in style, we have a new enhanced name “Bread & Roses Presents” and a new logo to better communicate our timeless mission of bringing hope and healing through live music and performances to isolated people in Bay Area institutions. Thanks to designer Nancy Chan, we now have more contemporary graphics and a new brighter color with images of some of our audiences.

Our ongoing program is vibrant with over 600 shows presented last year. We have ongoing relationships with over 120 different institutions serving youth, adults and seniors in eight counties around the Bay Area.


New Institutional Audiences in 2014

New institutional audiences added in 2014 include the Community Living Center of the Veterans Hospital in Livermore, a residential convalescent facility for senior veterans, as well as A Friendly Manor, a drop-in shelter for adult homeless women in Oakland. We also started serving the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, a residential facility for children needing long-term medical treatment, and their families.


New Volunteers Perform A Record Number of Shows

Thanks to all our performers, the backbone of our organization, with almost 800 individuals, as well as those in groups volunteering in 2014. New volunteers performed a record 170 shows last year for Bread & Roses Presents. Some of our new performers like Tim Andres, Circus of Smiles, Tim Harris, Beth Marlin, Gary LaPow and Spike Sikes, perform monthly shows for diverse audiences at a wide range of facility types throughout the Bay Area.

Some exciting new performers include Greg Dana and his musical puppets from Japan who recently did shows at Timothy Murphy School and the North Bay Children’s Center in Marin and the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble who will play at Laguna Honda Hospital in SF in May.

Volunteers host over fifty percent of our annual shows and help us to greatly extend our reach. We work hard to recruit new volunteers and appreciate your referrals.


Staff Changes at Bread & Roses

EBforWebCongratulations Elissa Burke for being promoted to Director of Development. Alameda resident Miles Karp has also recently joined us as Development/Events Associate. Ann Huseman from San Rafael has also joined our staff as Business Manager. Farewell to former Development Director Susan Gordon and Business Manager Janet Lewis. We thank them for their years of service and wish them well in their new endeavors.


Ann Huseman & Miles Karp, Photos by Peter Merts

Stay tuned for lots of exciting fundraising events in the pipeline to sustain our organization for the years to come. Our upcoming benefit At The Crossroads on Wed. May 13 will be our first time at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Rhythm Village and Tea Leaf Green will headline a really great night of live music with a special guest performance by Joan Baez. We hope you will join us!


“Raise Money, Get Younger and Get Famous”

Our goal is to make our organization more widely known, recruit the next generations to join us and find new and innovative ways to raise the funds to make it all happen. It will take a tribe to maintain our momentum and to move forward to serve more audiences in our fifth decade. Let us know if you have ideas or want to get involved. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for all your unwavering support and belief in our mission to make Bread & Roses Presents an even more extraordinary organization. With your continued help, we can make our founder Mimi Fariña’s vision a thriving force in the Bay Area for years to come, and one that will continue to be emulated by others...throughout the country and beyond.



Bread & Roses Presents Logo Design by Nancy Chan

Elissa Burke Photo by Peter Merts

Post by Marian Hubler

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Dave Perron Appointed Executive Director at Bread & Roses

web DaveThe Bread & Roses Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Perron as the new Executive Director of its agency.  A visionary leader, proven fundraiser and innovative thinker, Perron will head Bread & Roses during its fifth decade of bringing hope and healing through live music to isolated audiences in the Bay Area.

A former Bread & Roses board member and Kentfield resident, Perron worked with our founder the late Mimi Fariña in the early 90's. “When Mimi started Bread & Roses in 1974, she was creative, innovative and courageous in her vision for the organization. I intend to continue her great legacy with the same enthusiasm and unwavering purpose," he said.

He follows outgoing Executive Director Cassandra Flipper whose stellar leadership guided the agency for the past 14 years. She will continue her association with Bread & Roses as a member of its Circle of Advisors.    

Perron worked for some heavy hitters in the past. He is a former Vice President of the Oakland A’s where he was Director of Public Affairs & Community Relations and Executive Director of its Community Fund under President Walter Haas for eleven years. Said Haas, “I have nearly a thirty-year history with Dave as it pertains to charitable organizations. Under his new leadership, I know the Bread & Roses community is getting a proven veteran.”

As Vice President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Perron was instrumental in building partnerships with professional athletes and sponsors including a program that grew to $11.8 million in one month at Safeway checkout stands. Legendary manager and Hall of Famer Tony La Russa said, “I have worked with Dave and he has been my good friend for many years. His passion, commitment, creativity and experience have been the defining elements in his work in the philanthropic world.”

Perron most recently served as a consultant for various organizations including Not For Sale, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting people from human trafficking. He has also worked with musicians including his stepson, Jeff Austin Black, whom he helped sell over 85,000 CDs.  

In addition to Bread & Roses, Perron has served as an advisor on a number of nonprofit boards including Reggie Jackson’s Mr. October Foundation For KidsPete Carroll’s A Better LA and San Domenico School. He also volunteered for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Marin for twelve years.

Bread & Roses Board Member Stacy Nelson has donated her time and the resources of her executive search firm Stacy Nelson and Associates, LLC, to facilitate the appointment of Perron. Of his appointment, she said “Dave Perron is a creative entrepreneur who can lift the organization to a new level. He will provide great vision, new energy and expertise to support and sustain the mission of Bread & Roses.”  

Founded in 1974, Bread & Roses uplifts the human spirit by providing hope, healing and joy through live music in over 600 annual programs around the San Francisco Bay Area for people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society.

Inspired by a 1912 poem by James OppenheimMimi Fariña selected "Bread & Roses" to convey the spirit of the nonprofit she founded in 1974 to bring the healing power of music and other live art to institutionalized children, teens, adults and elders. Over the years, Bread & Roses has received awards for its community impact and its overall effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, other organizations around the country have been inspired by its mission to start similar programs. To volunteer or make a donation, visit

Follow Dave on Twitter at @DPerronBandR


Post by Marian Hubler.

For media inquiries, call (415) 945-7127 ext. 109 or email

Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

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Bread & Roses Licenses Rights to Song for the "Pride" Movie



Bread & Roses licensed the rights to the Bread & Roses song for the film called "Pride" now being shown in Bay Area theatres. The movie features a stirring version of the Bread & Roses song with lyrics by James Oppenheim and music by our founder, the late Mimi Fariña. Based on an inspirational true story, the film follows a group of gay activists in London: "Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners" who rally to support the rights of Welsh coal miners who went on strike in 1983 for better working conditions.  

In the film, Bread & Roses is sung first by talented Welsh vocalist Bronwen Lewis, who is joined in a moving rendition by the entire ensemble of miners and activists in the miners’ community hall. This scene alone demonstrates the timeless nature of the sentiment of the song for which our organization was named.

Bread & Roses Board member Paul Kirincic saw the film with his wife Mary Alice when they were recently visiting Northern Irelenad. "The song was so very moving," he said. "It was the first time I had seen it performed, either live or on film. The film’s use of the song was magical, with bread and roses being the perfect symbols for the story… The scene was one of the best parts of the movie and emphasized the struggle of the common man against the powerful forces aligned against the workers who need both physical and emotional strength. It literally took my breath away."

Our organization bought the intellectual property rights to the Mimi & Richard Fariña Song & Literary Catalogue from the estate of Mimi Fariña in 2002, and the licensing program is managed by The Rights Workshop in San Francisco. The most requested song in the catalog after Bread & Roses is Pack Up Your Sorrows co-written by Mimi’s sister Pauline Marden Bryan and Richard Fariña.

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Stevie Coyle recorded The Falcon, written by Richard Fariña, on his debut solo album Ten-In-One. He said "I’ve loved the song since I first heard it at the age of fourteen. It is a beautiful anti-war anthem with rhythmic guitar and stunning two-part harmonies. I don’t consider it quite old enough to be folk music, but it soon will be with its universal themes."

Listen when you can to the other Richard & Mimi Fariña songs, some of which are recorded on their "Best of Mimi & Richard Fariña" two-CD compilation set. Get in touch with the Rights Workshop if you’d like to record a new version of one of their time-honored classic songs.  Licensing fees benefit our ongoing program of bringing hope and healing through live music to those who need it most.  

A few of us had the chance to sing the Bread & Roses song at the Folk Alliance FAR-West conference luncheon honoring Cassandra Flipper as 2014 Ambassador of the Year. You can hear it performed on Sat. October 18 in Oakland HERE:



far westsinging

(l-r) Elaine Dempsey, Marian Hubler, Dave & Chappell Holt, Victoria Blythe, Greg Beattie, Carolyn Gauthier and Cassandra Flipper sing the Bread & Roses song at the Folk Alliance FAR-West Awards ceremony.  Cassandra is holding a portrait of our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, by Joan Baez who painted it for Cassandra. Photo by Cloud Moss, Courtesy of Bread & Roses


As we go marching, marching in the beauty of the day

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray

Are touched by all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses

For the people hear us singing: Bread & Roses, Bread & Roses.


First Verse of the Bread & Roses Poem by James Oppenheim, 1912

Music by Mimi Fariña

Post by Marian Hubler 

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New Board Members Revitalize Bread & Roses

We are happy to announce that three new members are joining the Bread & Roses board of directors: Greg Beattie of Veritas Corporate Law; Catherine Less of Baker Street Advisors; and Stacy Nelson of Stacy Nelson & Associates LLC. We are thrilled to have such talented individuals join us.

b2ap3_thumbnail_GregBeattie.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_CLess.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_stacynelson.jpg

For almost twenty years, Greg Beattie of Lafayette, CA, along with his wife the talented vocalist Victoria Blythe, has been a volunteer performer with his band Calaveras. Their moving song Ready to Fly was inspired by a story they heard while playing for a senior convalescent audience for Bread & Roses. In addition to being a talented songwriter and musician, Greg has a law degree from Harvard and a B.A. from Stanford. He is the co-founder of his own boutique law firm, Veritas Corporate Law in Berkeley and San Francisco, CA.

Catherine Less of San Rafael, CA has been a committed Bread & Roses supporter and major donor since 1988 who has attended many benefits through the years. She has performed for Bread & Roses institutional audiences with the Lighthouse Singers and has a B.A. in Music from U.C. Berkeley. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), who currently works as Vice President of Baker Street Advisors, a comprehensive investment firm in San Francisco, CA.

Stacy Nelson,also of San Rafael, CA, is an executive recruiter and human resources consultant with her own company Stacy Nelson and Associates, LLC.  She has been a longtime supporter and champion of Bread & Roses with her husband (and prior board member) Mark Nelson, and son Aidan Nelson, a guitarist and volunteer performer. She was a key member of our 2014 Spring Benefit planning committee and has started a Youth Advisory Council for Bread & Roses at the Marin Academy. She has a degree from George Mason University in Washington. D.C., and is also a trustee at Saint Mark’s School.

Bread & Roses also wishes to acknowledge the hard work and committed service of outgoing board members Jim Callahan of Piedmont Piano Co., Patricia Dedekian of Calliope Consulting and Jocelyn Kane of the SF Entertainment Commission. Their many contributions helped to sustain our organization and they will be missed.


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Bread & Roses on NBC Bay Area Proud

Garvin Thomas of NBC Bay Area Proud interviewed Bread & Roses performer Judy Lagomarsino (AKA Miss Kitty) for their Bay Area Proud series. After filming a Bread & Roses show at BAHIA in Berkeley, he talked to Judy about her life as a performer and how she became interested in giving back through her music. We couldn't be more proud of Judy, and grateful to Garvin for spreading the word!




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Celebrate Mimi Fariña’s Legacy: Join the Bread & Roses Founder's Circle

Mimi Farina

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Bread & Roses founder, Mimi Fariña. Yet, her legacy lives on through the work that Bread & Roses accomplishes every day by bringing quality live music to individuals who are isolated and institutionalized. This work is made possible through the generosity of our volunteers and donors. And right now, there has never been a more exciting time to support our work...

  • Because you have witnessed the power of live music to transform and and inspire in profound and unexpected ways.
  • Because we urgently need your help to continue our important work.
  • Because 100% of the board have contributed to a challenge grant to thank you for your generosity - thereby doubling the impact of your gift.
  • And because right now, a gift of any size will make you a founding member of our new FOUNDER'S CIRCLE - established in honor of our founder, Mimi Fariña.

Thirty-seven years ago Mimi Fariña founded Bread & Roses with the compassionate desire to offer hope and joy to isolated audiences through the healing power of live music. Since then, Bread & Roses has grown considerably, presenting nearly 600 shows ayear to nearly 27,000 individuals being cared for in 120 Bay Area facilities.

These are some examples of how our audience members have responded to Bread & Roses shows:

"The music makes me want to live longer," said an elderly woman living apart from family and friends in a convalescent home for low-income residents.

"Today became the best day of my life," said a teen at a juvenile hall after a Bread & Roses performer invited her to the stage to sing.

"Please know that your organization will be remembered the duration of my lifetime for the gift of hope you have given me through music and song," said Don, a man recovering from addiction.

Join the Founder's Circle today and ensure that Mimi's caring legacy lives on. In doing so, you will inspire hope, change a life, and bring comfort to those who need it most.

Video courtesy of Michael Mc Connell at Media Local Studios.
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SPECIAL OFFER! Discount Tickets to Teatro ZinZanni with Joan Baez on Sun. July 31st!!

My how time flies when you are having fun! Teatro ZinZanni is offering the Bread & Roses community a special ticket price for their current show: Maestro's Enchantment on Sunday, July 31st.

Joan Baez has been illuminating Teatro ZinZanni's Spiegeltent since June and she will be starring her last performance of Maestro's Enchantment that day.

Due to popular demand, Madame ZinZanni has added one more matinee show to the schedule for 11:30am on July 31st. As a special offer to our fabulous Bread & Roses community, you can reserve tickets at the special price of $76 for this last matinee show. Call Teatro ZinZanni's box office at 415-438-2668 and mention "Maestro's Roses" to purchase tickets with this special offer today!



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Digital sales of Audrey Auld's "Bread and Roses" song benefit our work

Audrey Auld - Come Find Me cover art

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Audrey Auld has generously offered to donate all digital sales of  her "Bread and Roses" song released on her new CD Come Find Me. She wrote the song in 2006 when she went into San Quentin to do a workshop for Bread & Roses. Since she was not allowed to bring in more than her guitar or give anything to the inmates when she went in, her song was her gift.

The song is now available for downloads through iTunes and is included in Audrey's recent songbook "Write Out Loud." For more info, visit Audrey at

Originally from Tasmania, Audrey met her husband while he was surfing on a beach in Australia. Since he was from Bolinas, he convinced her to move to the Bay Area where she volunteered for Bread & Roses. After they got married, they moved to Nashville where Audrey is currently based.  Since she tours for most of the year, we are thrilled that Audrey will be back to do some additional concerts for Bread & Roses when she is in the area this fall. 


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Thanks to Swing Society & Teja Gerkin for their recent performances

A big thank you to The Swing Society and guitarist Teja Gerken who both provided music at events for Bread & Roses on Thursday October 20.   Our favorite octogenarian swingers, The Swing Society, performed big band hits and vintage jazz songs with vocalist Heather Harris (who we also know as the activity director at The Tamalpais),  as part of the featured entertainment at the Senior Information Fair at the Marin Civic Center.  

Teja Gerken provided beautiful acoustic guitar music at a benefit reception later that evening at the Rock Flower Paper retail store in San Anselmo that was founded by Bread & Roses board member Katie Smith.  Teja also works as an editor at Acoustic Guitar Magazine, which is part of String Letter Publishing.  By the way, if you are looking for an acoustic guitar teacher, check out String Letter Music School

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Mill Valley Market Rings Up Gifts for Bread & Roses


Bread & Roses is grateful to be a beneficiary of Mill Valley Market's SHOP & GIVE donation program. With the SHOP & GIVE program, we receive a donation every time you shop at the market and mention Bread & Roses to the cashier. That's it! No hidden fees or deductions. The full amount of your qualified donation will directly benefit our programs. Please help us this season by participating in this wonderful SHOP & GIVE program.

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New Logo

We hope that you like our updated image which is introduced by a new rose logo.

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string letter MUSIC school

String Letter Publishing announces new community music school.

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Breaking the Sound Barrier

Look what we accomplished in 2009! Read our feature story and more in the Fall Newsletter.

  • 613 Shows in a Single Year!
  • 27,776 Audience Members
  • 118 Facilities Served

More shows, larger audiences, greater outreach to youth audiences and more service in the East Bay – all in an era of shrinking resources and difficult financial times. This is the Bread & Roses story to date in 2009.

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Executive Director’s Message

Welcome to the Bread & Roses website. Here you will get a glimpse of the healing power of music that touches thousands of people isolated in San Francisco Bay Area institutions—all  because of the performances that Bread & Roses presents every day.

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