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A Message From Board Member, Gene Barnes


Dear Friends,


I am speaking to you not only as a proud board member of Bread & Roses Presents, but also as someone who has personally experienced the profound impact of music on the human soul.


Growing up surrounded by the captivating melodies of my mother's and other family members’ singing, music has always been a constant companion in my life. However, it wasn't until I lost my eyesight to glaucoma that I grasped how truly unparalleled the healing power of this universal language is. In the face of progressive blindness, music became my lifeline—a source of motivation, inspiration and boundless energy. Without it, I can’t even imagine where my state of mind might be today.

As a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses, I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the magic that unfolds when live music meets those who are isolated or institutionalized. Our performances go beyond entertainment; they are an oasis for those thirsting for connection. I had the honor of performing for an audience of seniors including a dementia-stricken woman who sat quietly in the front. To my amazement, she began to smile and sing along to a familiar tune— I was informed afterward that those were the first words she had uttered in over five years.

Bread & Roses is the catalyst for these moments that vividly underscore the healing power of music, transcending the barriers of isolation. Music has the unique ability to bridge the gap between the heart and the brain, offering solace, joy and a sense of connection that words alone cannot convey.

If you believe in the unparalleled power of music, please join me in supporting the Bread & Roses mission and send your gift today. Your contribution will allow us to continue our mission of bringing free live music and the performing arts to those who need it most.

Together, let us continue to sing harmonies of hope and healing through the universal language of music. On behalf of every child, adult and senior transformed by our programs, thank you for supporting our cause.




Gene Barnes

Bread & Roses Board Member

Volunteer Performer, Heartstrings Bridge

Photo Caption: Dirty Cello at Delancy Street. Photo by Peter Merts.

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