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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.

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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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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.

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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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Thank You For A Cornucopia of Shows in 2015

Thanks to all our supporters who help us present a cornucopia of Bread & Roses shows every year. It takes a tribe to fulfill our mission and we are especially grateful to our volunteer performers and hosts, the backbone of our organization.

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What does a typical day of shows look like for Bread & Roses Presents? You might see 15-year-old Caroline Sky singing at a home for the developmentally disabled, Dirty Cello bringing rock and blues to adults in an addiction treatment facility, 70-year-old Si Perkoff playing boogie-woogie jazz piano in a convalescent home, The Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir singing gospel tunes to homeless families, Boswick the Clown performing for children, whose main languages are Spanish or Vietnamese, in a low-income daycare program, Aaron Kierbel leading a percussion workshop in a special needs school or Ian Dogole helping teens in rehab play instruments from around the world.

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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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Performers at Dreamforce Bring High Visibility to Bread & Roses Presents

Bread & Roses Presents was thrilled to have a presence at Dreamforce 2015, the annual technology conference sponsored by Salesforce and attended by 150,000 people from all over the world. We presented music on the main stage in DreamPark at Moscone Center in San Francisco on Tues. Sept. 15 from 10am to 2pm featuring Bread & Roses performers Garrin Benfield, Matt Jaffe & The Distractions, Hot Buttered Rum and Mark Hummel & His Blues Survivors. Teja Gerken also played guitar for the wellness center.

With a warm sun and blue sky overhead, conference attendees in-between sessions appreciated the chance to hear some really great local music, the same music enjoyed by Bread & Roses isolated Bay Area audiences throughout the year.

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Volunteer Hosts Needed: Bob Rose Reports From the Field

Volunteers host over fifty percent of our daily institutional shows for Bread & Roses Presents. They expand our outreach throughout the Bay Area every month. We simply couldn’t do 600 shows a year without our host program. More volunteer hosts are always needed, particularly for isolated audiences at some of our outlying locations including the East Bay, on the Peninsula and in San Francisco.

Hosts are part of the mainstay of our program, acting as our ambassadors in the field and interacting with the performers, institutional staff and audiences. They setup sound as needed, take care of logistics ahead of time and make sure the staff has the audience in place by the time of each show. They emcee the shows, report on the benefits our audiences receive and track the statistics we need for fundraising.

We have a training program for all new volunteer hosts and an online application on our website. Referrals from our community continue to be an important source of new volunteers. We appreciate your help!

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Volunteers Celebrated in Style at 2015 JAM

Bread & Roses Presents 2015 volunteer appreciation and recognition celebration, also known as “The JAM,” was held in great style on Sunday July 26, 2015 at the beautiful home of Toby and John Nady in Piedmont. We have a long history of celebrating our volunteers at an annual event in a very special venue. It is our way of thanking our many performers, hosts, event volunteers, board members and other supporters for their many contributions throughout the year towards bringing live music to people who need it most in varied institutional settings around the Bay Area.

Event Producer Lisa Starbird led a reception team to greet volunteers. All enjoyed a catered box lunch from Insalata’s and libations on the lovely grounds before the special awards presentation at 2 pm.

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Marin Academy Senior Katrina Strack Reflects Upon Her Internship At Bread & Roses Presents

At Marin Academy High School, seniors are encouraged to participate in a project during the month before graduation that is meant to provide a learning experience outside of the classroom and give students a new perspective before heading off to college.

As I looked ahead towards graduation and felt my final days of high school slipping away from me, I was overwhelmed. My activities and schoolwork started to feel meaningless, like they were just stepping stones on a path I was walking far too quickly. Everything was moving too fast. I hoped that my upcoming senior project, a month-long internship at Bread & Roses Presents would pull me out of my funk. Little did I realize just how much it would.

Coming into this project, I was familiar with its powerful mission: to bring the healing power of music to isolated people. I knew that most adults in the Bay Area were familiar with Bread & Roses Presents, but I didn’t understand how such an incredible organization managed to fly under the radar of most teenagers. By interning in the Bread & Roses office and hosting performances at various facilities, I aimed to find out why Bread & Roses should matter to local teenagers.

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At The Crossroads May 13 Benefit At Terrapin: A Fun Evening & Big Success

 

 
On a lovely evening in mid-May, Bread & Roses Presents hosted its annual spring benefit at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was our first time presenting a fundraiser at this wonderful venue with its special ambiance and dedication to live music.

About two hundred supporters joined us for the event, beginning with a pre-concert reception on the beautiful patio overlooking the canal. Guests enjoyed delicious canapés along with fine wines contributed by Kokomo Winery of Sonoma. Everyone had the opportunity to preview the exciting music and sports live auction items on the terrace.

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Day of Peace: A Highlight of Our Ongoing Program at San Quentin

On Saturday April 25, Bread & Roses Presents was honored to partner with the Day of Peace Committee in San Quentin State Prison on a daylong special event celebrating peace as an alternative to violence. As our contribution, we arranged for a number of talented performing artists to be part of the program including country singer Nathan Lee who came all the way from Nashville to participate.

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Bread & Roses has brought music to San Quentin since the 70s when our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, started the organization. Through the years, Mimi produced periodic concerts with celebrities on the outdoor prison yard. This year, we are bringing monthly programs to the prison, alternating between providing music for special events, concerts in the chapel and special instrumental and songwriting workshops.

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Spectacular Live Music At The Crossroads Benefit on May 13

Bread & Roses Presents will host a spectacular evening of live music on Wed. May 13, 2015 from 6:30-10 pm at our upcoming benefit concert At The Crossroads at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Rhythm Village and Tea Leaf Green will headline the concert along with a special guest performance by Joan Baez. In addition, singer-songwriter Emree Franklin will open the second set and Olympic Gold Medal Skier Jonny Moseley will emcee the fun and festive evening.   

 

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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.

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Welcome Reception for Dave Perron at Seager Gray Gallery - February 5, 2015

 

Thanks to Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray of the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley for providing a beautiful space to welcome Bread & Roses Presents Executive Director Dave Perron.

A lively mix of long-time supporters and new friends came together to meet and mingle amid contemporary pieces of world-class art in the latest exhibition "Material Matters." Volunteer performer Teja Gerken played entrancing acoustic finger-style guitar, adding the perfect ambience to the event.

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Excellence in Leadership Award Presented to Cassandra Flipper at Heart of Marin Awards

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A huge congratulations to Cassandra Flipper, former Bread & Roses executive director, the winner of the "Excellence in Leadership Award" at the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL)'s 22nd Annual 2014 Heart of Marin Awards Ceremony at the Marin Civic Center on Thursday January 8, 2015. Marin's vibrant nonprofit community was represented with over eight hundred attendees from a wide spectrum of organizations.  

Tom Peters of the Marin Community Foundation presented the award to Cassandra Flipper as the executive director who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and whose vision has inspired meaningful and lasting change benefiting Bread & Roses and the community. Bread & Roses also received a $5,000 donation from CVNL thanks to the Marin Community Foundation's sponsorship of the award.

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A Taste of Boz Scaggs - Fall Benefit at Great American Music Hall Nov. 24

Thanks for making our November 24 Fall Benefit a great success!

 

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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.    

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