A Message From Our Executive Director, Dave Perron
The journey from loneliness to liveliness is possible because you help to create the path. With your support, we continue our mission of bringing hope, healing and joy through live music and the performing arts to those who are disadvantaged, marginalized or otherwise isolated, apart from family and friends.
This past year, we were able to serve more audience members than ever before, providing a sense of connection and community for more than 90,000 deserving individuals. Our expanded hybrid program model, developed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, continues with our producers providing live, in-person indoor and outdoor shows where it is possible to do so and virtual shows for our facilities that we cannot yet access.
Our performers are so happy to be providing live musical performances once again. The human connection necessary for hope and healing was brought to the Center For Elders Independence (CEI) at the San Leandro and Berkeley locations. Both the audience and staff were excited to have Bread & Roses back in action inside their facility and our performers and hosts had a wonderful experience. Francesca Lee, one of our show producers recently shared:
“Benny Watson, a long-time Bay Area Jazz piano player and singer, performed at CEI in Berkeley. He played an amazing set of upbeat classic tunes for the elderly day program and transformed the whole vibe of the room with his lively performance, warm personality and natural sense of humor. He had the audience and entire staff singing and clapping along for the whole set. As a Bread & Roses producer, it was a reminder to me of why I love this work so much. Seeing the light and the joy in the eyes of these seniors is priceless.”
We also provided several outdoor shows for those facilities that had indoor COVID-19 restrictions. The Redwoods, an assisted living facility in Mill Valley, shared:
“During the 15 months of Covid-19 restrictions, Bread & Roses enthusiastically joined our efforts to bring music to our residents by providing outside concerts, serenading residents from the pathways and courtyards below their apartments. From carrying their equipment, or agreeing to be towed on the small mobile stage we built, Bread & Roses’ artists braved the elements and brought the sound and joy of music to residents who were safely sheltering in their rooms. The spirited cheers from apartment balconies gave testament to the love and appreciation for the outside concerts.”
We continue to present virtual shows through Zoom to facilities that are restricted due to the pandemic. Our virtual programming has allowed us to serve multiple geographic audiences to participate simultaneously, enabling us to increase our service to children in low-income daycare, adults who are developmentally disabled, in rehabilitation centers and as well as seniors in memory care/skilled nursing and mental health facilities. We have served one of the children’s daycare facilities, The Canal Children’s Center, with a variety of Zoom programs. They shared:
“I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you for all the excitement your program provides for our students. Since our families are low-income, without you, our children would miss the joy and delight that the Bread & Roses performance brings to them. It is so marvelous to hear my students talk and laugh after a show, especially when it involves puppets and the kids imitate the same vocabulary the performer used!”
Virtual shows have allowed us to continue to serve our adult audiences in rehabilitation centers as well. St Anthony’s Father Alfred Center, an adult recovery center for men in San Francisco shared:
“Throughout many years, your support has provided music therapy to our residents, who are men working on their recovery from substance abuse to become viable citizens in the community. The enjoyment of the music selection has inspired them so much that many of our graduates still talk about their amazing experience of support in recovery with the assistance of live music. Both residents and staff have missed our Bread & Roses live performances during COVID but look forward to our Zoom shows until we can resume live.”
Your donations help to make these programs possible. Our community continues to lean on one another for comfort and healing during these uncertain times. Your support allows us to carry out our mission of bringing hope and healing through live music to isolated Bay Area audiences – audiences who need us now, more than ever. That is why we are asking you to make a donation today. Thank you for taking the time to consider donating to Bread & Roses Presents. To donate online, please visit www.breadandroses.org/donate.
Photo Captions: (Left) Audience at St. Anthony's Foundation/Father Alfred Center, 2018. Photo by Peter Merts. (Right) Audience at Marin Learning Center, 2018. Photo by Peter Merts.