A Message From Our Executive Director, Dave Perron
The large recreational room at the military hospital has an empty feeling without an audience. An American flag flanks a formal stage with a grand piano waiting for someone to play. Slowly the veterans enter the room, most in motorized wheelchairs or brought in by nursing assistants. They sit apart from each other, socially distanced, wearing masks and anticipating what is about to happen next. The audience is clearly happy to have their first live performance in months. They give a big cheer as our performers take the stage and the sound of music fills the air.
"How do you put into words what music means to us and what you bring to the veterans at Holderman Hospital?” asks Matt Mittman, Chief of Therapeutic Activities at the Veterans Home in Yountville. “For the past three years, our reality has been one lockdown after another due to quarantine restrictions from the flu and the ongoing COVID virus. We are so grateful for the return of the heartfelt musical expression from your performers which provides a most amazing life experience for our veterans. It is long overdue as they have been living in isolation and not able to receive live music."
The Veterans Home was just one of 53 different Bay Area facilities served by Bread & Roses in 2022. Since 1974, we have provided hope, healing and joy through live music and the performing arts to people in nursing homes, hospitals, mental health facilities, children’s daycare centers and other institutional settings. In response to the pandemic, we expanded our program in 2020 to include virtual performances and outdoor shows as well as live in-person concerts.
Now, three years later, we are eagerly returning to more in-person programs and once again seeing the healing power of live music for our isolated audiences. None of this would be possible without your support. Your donations help us continue our work and reach more people than ever before.
Thank you for taking the time to consider making a gift to Bread & Roses.
Photo Caption: Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at Crossroads East Oakland Community Project. Photo by Peter Merts.