Bread And Roses

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Bread & Roses is fortunate that Michael Pritchard is not only our Ambassador-At-Large but has been an ambassador of hope for many of our institutional audiences through the years. A gifted motivational speaker, Michael brings all of his life experiences to every program in a way that is immediate, compelling, humorous and life-affirming for those who most need to hear his message of the importance of having self esteem and caring about others.

Following a recent program for teens at Mt. McKinley School at Contra Costa Juvenile Hall in Martinez, teacher Ray Booker told Michael "It really makes a difference when you visit. You colorfully put into words and sounds many of the random and not-so-random thoughts they get but haven't found a way to express yet."

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!


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.



Bread & Roses is honored to be listed as a featured nonprofit on the Great Nonprofits website. We were also grateful to be included in their recent blog post about the top ten volunteer opportunities in San Francisco.


It was a thrill for us to see a full-page ad from the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) in both San Francisco Magazine and Marin Magazine featuring Bread & Roses.  Central to the ad is this inspiring quote from Bread & Roses supporter and former board chair Susan Gilardi:

Photographer Peter Merts recently posted a blog about his volunteer work for Bread & Roses on Photo Philanthropy’s website “Notes From the Field: Peter Merts on Working with Bread & Roses.”

Nicolas Bearde at Mission YMCA, photo courtesy of Peter MertsWe are so grateful that Peter Merts has been actively documenting our work for the past ten years.  He has been involved in supporting Bread & Roses for over thirty years having worked with Mimi Fariña as an event coordinator in the late 70s and early 80s.    We are truly blessed to have his continuing contributions; the beautiful images that help us tell our story in so many ways.

Take our upcoming benefit on Match 22 at the Regency Ballroom for example.  Peter’s images grace our invitation and program.  His  photos also make up a large part of the slide show we will be screening for the first time at the event showing the power of the institutional shows recently performed by our benefit musicians. 

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.

Video courtesy of Ken Guanga of the Menlo Park Patch.

With red, white and blue balloons bobbing cheerfully in the breeze, the band Moonalice played an upbeat Bread & Roses concert for the veterans at the VA Hospital in Menlo Park on Labor Day 2011. Blessed with beautiful sunny weather, this early afternoon special event was held on Monday, September 5 on a small stage in a grassy area to the right of the front door of the Community Living Center.  

Our audience was a mix of veterans -- most from World War II who lived in the nursing unit close by and enjoyed the performance from a covered deck. They were assisted by other vets from the Vietnam era who came from a residential rehab program in a nearby building. 

Photo: Moonalice performing a Bread & Roses show
at Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco.

A band of seasoned musicians, Moonalice features Roger McNamee on rhythm guitar, bass and vocals; Ann McNamee on keyboards and vocals; Pete Sears on keyboards, guitar, vocals and bass; Barry Sless on lead, pedal steel and bass guitars; and John Molo on drums and vocals.  

Pete Sears launched the set with "Down the Road", a crowd pleaser and apt metaphor for this traveling band that goes all over the country playing outdoor festivals and parks as a living embodiment of their belief that music is a communal experience that should be shared.

OIGC Director, Terrance Kelly takes a turn at the microphone.

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir -- their name says it all. Buddhists, Christians, Jews and others join their voices to sing traditional and contemporary Black Gospel music. Many races and ethnicities blend into one beautiful chorus. Residents of Crossroads Homeless Shelter in Oakland were engulfed by the powerful sound that filled their dining hall during a recent Bread & Roses concert there. Some laughed, some cried as songs of trials and faith touched their hearts. “Never Alone,” “All I Need,” and upon request “Amazing Grace” buoyed the spirits of folks facing a hard time in their lives.


Volunteer host Barb Withers who attended the show wrote, “There was a shared energy in the room and it just kept encircling everyone with love and strength. It was hard to believe how much the music filled the room, and as it did, more and more of the audience stood smiling, clapping and singing to the inspiring music.”

Choir member connects with audience member

After the show, a young choir member said that she was especially happy to be working with Bread & Roses. She had been inspired by seeing shows while attending a high school for students with special needs. She was now able to give back to the organization that gave to her.

OIGC has been blessing Bread & Roses audiences since 1990, performing regularly in detention centers, rehab facilities and shelters.

by Carolyn Gauthier, Program Director

Photos by Peter Merts

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Having written songs recorded by Emmylou Harris and Joe Cocker, Marshall Chapman is very plugged in to the songwriting socket. Her styles range from Alternative Country to Rock 'n Roll, and her intelligent humor pervades all of her writing including her books. While in the Bay Area recently to promote her  new book, They Came to Nashville on West Coast Live, she performed her first institutional concert for Bread & Roses.

On June 19, 2011 Marshall shared songs and stories with the men and women working on their sobriety at New Bridge Foundation in Berkeley. "Music and 12-step programs saved my life," she told them. Songs about her life before, during and after recovery (from substance abuse) were met with great enthusiasm and empathy. "Why Can't You Be Like Other Girls" told of how she didn't fit the mold growing up in South Carolina. "Goodbye Forever" chronicled her obsession and difficulty in kicking a bad relationship. And the happy ending song reminded everyone that "It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood."

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Bread & Roses Topics

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Bread & Roses
233 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 100
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Phone: (415) 945-7120