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A Brief History: 1974-Present

The need for hope and healing through live music is as great today as it has ever been. Mimi Fariña was a visionary when she started Bread & Roses in 1974. A folk music star, she rose to fame in the mid-'60s in a duo with her husband the late Richard Fariña. From the early days, she was conscious of the ways that performers as well as audiences could benefit from increased opportunities to connect directly with each other.


Inspired by a 1912 poem by James Oppenheim, Mimi Fariña selected "Bread & Roses" to convey the spirit of the nonprofit she founded when she started bringing her musician friends to do shows for isolated youth, adults and seniors in neighboring institutions. Some of these performers still volunteer for Bread & Roses, like Banana (aka Lowell Levinger from the Youngbloods) and motivational speaker Michael Pritchard.


Over the years, Bread & Roses has received awards for its community impact and effectiveness. Many other like-minded organizations worldwide have been inspired by our work to start related programs. Executive Director Dave Perron guides the agency today in bringing music and the performing arts to our neighbors most in need.

Become a part of Bread & Roses history, volunteer and/or donate.

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