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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.

Innovative Partnership Between Bank of Marin, Fantasy Studios & Graham Nash Helps Support Our Program


Bank of Marin sponsored a private event at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley on Tues. March 21 to benefit Bread & Roses Presents. This innovative partnership helps support our ongoing program of live music for isolated audiences in over 600 annual Bay Area shows. Rock icon Graham Nash with guitarist Shane Fontayne performed a retrospective of his amazing songs beginning with his days in The Hollies, through Crosby Stills Nash & Young and including a song from his recent CD This Path Tonight.” After the concert, he shared anecdotes from his recent memoir Wild Tales. Journalist and rock historian Paul Liberatore moderated a Q & A with Graham followed by an encore of Teach Your Children that he dedicated to Bread & Roses volunteer host Lynn Colombo

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Collaboration With Salesforce & "Pass the Music" Bring Our Mission To Their Creative Team

At their impressive headquarters in downtown San Francisco, Bread & Roses Presents was invited to “pass the music” at Salesforce on September 22 to educate their creative team about our mission. J.D. Swartz from Salesforce shared that it was a welcome break from intensive planning for their Dreamforce conference held every year in early October.

He introduced Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron who gave an update about our organization and noted that today’s performer Megan Slankard is one of over 1,000 volunteers who help bring music in over 600 annual concerts around the Bay Area to audiences of children, adults and seniors who are isolated.


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Congratulations to the 2016 Winners of the “Oh Say, Can You Sing” Contests

Bread & Roses Presents is thrilled by the participation in our second annual “Oh Say, Can You Sing” contests for both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. Congratulations to winners MUSAIC for the Giants and Cathryn Flores for the Oakland A’s. Second-place winners Susan Zelinsky and Felicia Foster each won five hours of recording time at Fantasy Studios. A number of our volunteers and new supporters participated in the contest and nearly $20,000 was raised. A special thanks to our friends at the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Nelson and Salesforce for sponsoring and promoting this year’s contest.


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Performer Collaborations Support Bread & Roses


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.

A volunteer performer for Bread & Roses since 2010, Steve Meckfessel knows what it means to perform his “jazz-infected urban folk” for those who are isolated. He has performed for mental health patients, brought healing songs to adults in homeless shelters and shared his music in drug and alcohol recovery centers playing songs such as “On the Road” (about what to do on the road of life when the going gets tough.)

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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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Marin County Teen Sensation Matt Jaffe Pledges Proceeds from 6/27 Concert to Bread & Roses


mattjBread & Roses volunteer performer Matt Jaffe, with his band The Distractions, will be performing at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley on Thursday June 27 at 8 pm. Opening the evening will be special guests False Priest. A portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit Bread and Roses.

This is an especially poignant concert for Bread & Roses.  Now 18, Matt has been performing for our institutional audiences for over five years -- His concerts for youth audiences have been particularly inspiring. Teens in residential rehab facilities like Our Common Ground in Redwood City and Sonoma Juvenile are working to express their creativity in positive ways and Matt has been an outstanding role model for them.

youngmattA Bread & Roses 'Youth Volunteer Performer of the Year,' Matt was 'discovered' at a local Marin open mic night by former Talking Head, Jerry Harrison.  Jerry and Matt have been working on Matt's first album of original music.

With a growing catalogue of award-winning songs, Matt and fellow Marin teens, Alex Coltharp and Sammie Fischer, have been playing a dizzying array of shows in the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to their performances for Bread & Roses, they have played at diverse venues such as Slim's in SF, the Roxy in LA and Sullivan Hall in NYC. Winners of the 2013 Marin County Battle of the Bands and the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade 'Best Music' award, we are very honored that they are supporting Bread & Roses’ work.

To read more about Matt’s amazing music career, see Paul Liberatore’s recent article in the Marin Independent Journal: Lib at Large: The ‘Wonderful Serendipity’ of Marin’s Matt Jaffe.


Photo Credits:

1. Matt Jaffe and the Distractions playing at the Sweetwater, Mill Valley. Photo courtesy of

2. Young Matt Jaffe performs with Blue Star West at the Cedars in San Rafael, 2009. Photo by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

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Thanks to All Who Supported the 2012 Sudha Sale



A special thanks to all who supported the 9th Annual Holiday Sale "Sudha's Treasures" benefitting two great Bay Area nonprofit organizations, Bread & Roses and the Angel Island Conservancy.  Sudha Pennathur and her husband Ed Messerly from the House of Pennathur recently presented each organization with a check for $16,000 from the proceeds of the event held for two weekends in November.

Photo by Ron Steinau, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

It takes a village to sustain a nonprofit organization. Sudha exemplifies what one creative, committed and hard-working donor can do to help ensure the ongoing success of our mission to bring live music to those who need it most.  Sudha's Sale is a true labor of love as she plans for it throughout the year as she travels to India and other places to design and produce the hand-crafted items that are featured.

The unwavering support of Stan Hoffman and his team at the Corte Madera Town Center --who donated the former Ann Taylor loft space for our special  "pop-up" store this year -- was also critical to the success of this year's sale. Their kindness and generosity meant that all the shoppers had a beautiful environment in which to select their treasures -- from beautiful scarves to unique jewelry all made by master artisans

Sudha_and_DougWe also could not have accomplished the sale without the help of our many volunteers from both Bread & Roses and The Angel Island Conservancy who assisted with everything from set-up to load-out but especially staffing the sale itself. Special thanks to Doug McConnell who helped create enthusiasm at our preview event. Photographers Ron Steinau and Jon D'Alessio ably documented the sale. Performers Arthur Javier and Sofi Rox set a wonderful tone by playing on two successive Saturdays.  Shoppers enjoyed in-kind contributions from local restaurants the California Pizza Kitchen, PF Chang's, Pacific Catch, Peet's Coffee and Jessie et Laurent at the opening party.

For more information about the designer Sudha Pennathur, click here to see her website and blog about the first weekend of the sale (Nov. 9-11).

We hope to see you next year! To be added to the e-mail list for the sale and other future benefit events, contact:



Top Photo Collage: Courtesy Sudha Pennathur; Photo of Sudha by Usha Kris 

Additional Photos by Ron Steinau, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

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Share Your Reviews of Bread & Roses on Great Nonprofits Website


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.

One of our client contacts had the following to say in a review posted on the site:


Bread and Roses consistently reaches out to those people who are out of the mainstream due to physical, financial or other limitations. These folks especially need the magic that music provides in healing the soul. I witnessed this magic while working at a women's shelter in San Francisco. Bread and Roses always kept us in their schedule without our even having to ask. What a blessing to the community they are!


We invite you to submit a review about your experience with our organization. If you are able to do so, we thank you in advance for joining the conversation and helping us spread the word about the benefits of our work through social media. We appreciate your help in sharing what it means to bring hope and healing through live music to those who need it most.


If you do post a review, we'd love to know with a comment to this post as well.


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“What Will Inspire You?”


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:

Music, especially a live performance, can uplift spirits, inspire and stir your heart…I’ve witnessed special needs kids who can barely speak start singing. I’ve watched as a tear formed in the eye of a 92-year-old woman in a nursing home when she recognized a song. It’s overpowering. Every single show has an impact.

The ad also includes an excerpt from the 1912 poem by James Oppenheim that inspired Mimi Fariña to give us the name Bread & Roses:

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;

Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread but give us roses.

As part of MCF’s new “What Will Inspire You” campaign in honor of its 25th anniversary, the Bread & Roses ad celebrates the impact we have had bringing hope, healing and joy to isolated Bay Area audiences for nearly four decades.  The ad campaign, along with a trailer for local movie theatres and other collateral pieces, was created to showcase the generosity and inspiration of its donors in six program areas: the arts/live music, education, affordable housing, healthcare, the environment and food/nutrition.

Susan Gilardi and her husband are among the many families with donor-advised funds at Marin Community Foundation whose passion and generosity do so much to keep the nonprofit community in Marin vibrant and effective.

The Gilardis

Bread & Roses has received support from MCF and from the Gilardis for many years—support that enables us to share live music with audiences at 124 facilities in the Bay Area, more than 40 of which are in Marin County.

We’d love to know what you think.  What inspires you to make a difference?




Ad by Kate Harris Designs, The Marin Community Foundation

Susan & Dennis Gilardi - Photo by Andrew de Lory


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Support Bread & Roses by "Going Local"

Did you know that you can help Bread & Roses while at the same time supporting the local farmers and small businesses in Marin? Simply shop at Mill Valley Market. Through their “Shop and Give” program, Mill Valley Market will donate 2% of your total purchase to the nonprofit of your choice. Bread & Roses has been a beneficiary of this program since 2007, and we are grateful to Mill Valley Market for their support and generosity over the years.

Mill Valley Market is located in Mill Valley at 12 Corte Madera Avenue. It is a third-generation, family-run market that supports local vendors and grows and sells its own produce from farms up in Sonoma County. All of their produce, eggs and meat are fresh, organic and of the highest quality. For more information, check out their website. You can also find a recent article in the Pacific Sun’s Marinivore Magazine that features Mill Valley Market.

So, if you desire to shop locally, and in doing so support your local community, check out Mill Valley Market. While at the check stand, be sure to mention Bread & Roses so that 2 % of your purchase will be donated to our ongoing efforts to bring live music to our neighbors most in need.

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Busking for Bread & Roses

Micah Press and his jazz combo at the San Rafael farmer's market.


Fall is a time when many nonprofits step up their fundraising efforts in order to meet end-of-year goals. This fall, Bread & Roses was delighted to be on the receiving end of the generosity of thirteen-year-old Micah Press, who took our mission to the streets with the help of his school’s jazz combo.

We first met Micah a few months ago when he set out to raise money in support of our organization. Being a musician himself, he said that of all the Marin nonprofits he could support, he felt most aligned with the mission and impact of Bread & Roses. In order to raise money, Micah played with his jazz combo at the San Rafael farmers market and requested that for his bar mitzvah, his guests make contributions to Bread & Roses in lieu of gifts.

In an ironic turn of events, we were recently able to give back to Micah when he spent time at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for a neck problem. Singer/songwriter Francesca Lee (who is also a Bread & Roses producer) performed a bedside concert for Micah, reminding him that through his generosity, he had become a cherished member of the Bread & Roses extended family.

Recently, Micah was discharged from the hospital, and one of the first things he did was to deliver his donation. Amazingly, he exceeded his goal of raising $1,800, a number he chose because in Judaism, the number 18 is an expression of life. Micah says that he will continue to raise money for Bread & Roses with the help of his jazz trio once he is fully recovered. In the meantime, we will use his generous gift to sponsor shows for kids in other pediatric hospitals throughout the Bay Area.

Thank you Micah. A whole lot of hope, healing and joy will soon be shared thanks to your generosity.

By Liz Donaldson



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"Tales of the City" mentions Mimi Fariña, Bread & Roses founder

Tales of the City, A New Musical

Long-time Bread & Roses volunteer and supporter Ken Harrison reported that he recently saw Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City" a new musical at ACT's Geary Theater.  He recalls that two years ago he was asked to drive Mr. Maupin to a benefit awards ceremony at the Herbst Theater.  As they drove, Ken mentioned Bread & Roses and its founder Mimi Fariña.  Mr. Maupin remembered that he had mentioned Mimi in his first "Tales of the City" novel.  (See chapter Their First Date on page 75 in the most recent paperback edition).

When Ken recently saw the musical version of the book, he happily noted that the line "Oh look! There's Mimi Fariña... she's Joan Baez's sister"  from the book made it into the staged version of the story.  Noting that the play is set in San Francisco in 1976, shortly after Mimi Fariña founded Bread & Roses, Ken said this prompted him to recall pleasant memories and it appeared this was true for the audience too. 

Let us know if you have seen "Tales of the City" and what memories it brought up for you!     

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Peet's Supports Bread & Roses - A Community Tradition

Peet's Community tagline

Please join Peet's Coffee & Tea in support of Bread & Roses as part of their annual Holiday Donations program.  Peet's (Corte Madera) staffers voted - and Bread & Roses again won the honor of being the beneficiary of their holiday fundraising efforts!


During the week of December 17 - 24, Peet's will match up to $1,000 of the customer contributions collected.  So please stop by, enjoy some of the best coffee or tea around and tip generously!  Your donation of any amount will truly make a difference, bringing hope and joy to our neighbors most in need.  On Sat. Dec. 18, join acclaimed finger-style guitarist Stevie Coyle and Bread & Roses producer Marian Hubler for some holiday tunes from 11 am until 12 noon...

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Peet's Coffee-Corte Madera Open House & Holiday Shopping Event!



Peet's Coffee & Tea logo

Holiday Open House and Shopping Event
Saturday, December 11th - 11 am to 2 pm
Special offers, tastings, treats and product demos.

Hear live music by Bread & Roses performer, Kurt Huget!


Peet's Coffee - Corte Madera
77 Casa Buena Dr
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 306-9340

Peet's Corte Madera has chosen Bread & Roses as the recipient of their

Holiday Giving Program, December 17 - 24.

Please visit our local Peet's, enjoy an amazing cup of coffee or tea
and support Bread & Roses at the same time!


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