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  • Marian Hubler

Bread & Roses Presents: A Record-breaking Year in 2016

Over 600 shows presented to more than 30,000 isolated people

Bread & Roses Presents gave a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016 to isolated people in Bay Area senior day care centers, convalescent hospitals, juvenile detention facilities and other institutional settings where residents have few opportunities to experience live entertainment by professional performers.

“The number of shows last year is the most the organization has ever produced since its founding in 1974 by the late Mimi Fariña,” said Executive Director Dave Perron.

In 2016, 127 facilities were served in eight Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma. Nearly 34,000 people were entertained across all age and demographic groups.

A total of 1,018 volunteers were engaged including performers, hosts, board, event, office and other in-kind contributors. Active volunteers included 833 individual performers and performing groups. Forty-one active volunteers hosted 350 shows in 2016.

“Bread & Roses has steadily increased its presence in the Bay Area as it holds constant to its mission of bringing uplifting music and other performing arts to those in need – the sick, the disabled and the disadvantaged,” Perron said. “We are proud to serve as a link between high caliber performing artists and a wide range of social service organizations including low-income children’s day care, special needs schools, mental health facilities, homeless shelters, senior convalescent centers, veterans hospitals and other venues.”

The organization also announced a full complement of fifteen directors. Board members include Greg Beattie of Lafayette; John Botti of Tiburon; Raj Gopal of Berkeley; Chris Gorog of Los Angeles; Simone Haas of San Francisco; Matt Jaffe of Mill Valley; Catherine Less (Treasurer) of San Rafael; Michael McElligott of San Francisco; Steve Meckfessel of Alameda; Donna Mezias (Secretary) of Mill Valley; Stacy Nelson of San Rafael; Joe Piazza of Belvedere; Philip Pillsbury III of Larkspur; Jay Silverberg (Chair) of Petaluma and Alex Wellins of San Francisco. A current Circle of Advisors list can also be seen on the Bread & Roses Presents website.

“The breadth of expertise is far-reaching and includes backgrounds in banking, corporate communications, education, entrepreneurship, financial services, technology, human resources, law, music, security services and real estate development. It’s interesting to note that over half the board are also professional or high level amateur musicians,” Perron said.

Bread & Roses Presents is in its 43rd year of bringing free live music around the Bay Area to those who need it most. Performers, hosts and other volunteers are essential to sustain its programs along with a wide variety of community support. To volunteer or make a donation, see or call (415) 945-7120.


Post by Marian Hubler

Photo Captions:

1) Marin Girls Chorus preforms for the seniors at The Redwoods in March 2017. Photo by Peter Merts.

2) Donna Mezias (left) with Keb' Mo' at a benefit concert at The Sweetwater Music Hall November 30, 2015. Photo by Peter Merts.

3) Catherine Less sings in a trio at a Bread & Roses board meeting January 2017. Photo by Peter Merts.

4) Greg Beattie (right) performs with his trio Calaveras at Bread & Roses volunteer celebration 2015. Photo by Ken Friedman.

5) Executive Director Dave Perron (right) greets Board Member Simone Haas and her son at the 2015 Jam. Photo by Daniel Kong.

6) Board members Chris Gorog, Stacy Nelson and Alex Wellins (with Kathy Taggares on left) at Bringin' It Home Benefit at Terrapin Crossroads May 26, 2016. Photo by Ken Friedman.

7) Michael McElligott (right) with son and guest at Thanks & Giving Benefit at Delancey Street Foundation in November 2016. Photo by Peter Merts.

8) Musician and Board Member Matt Jaffe performs at outreach event for Bread & Roses at San Domenico School in October 2016. Photo by Max Barker, courtesy of San Domenico School.

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