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  • Keri Brenner

'Incredible Gift': Joan Baez art to benefit nonprofit of late sister Mimi Fariña -Marin IJ 8/31/2020

By Keri Brenner

Joan Baez, the folk music icon also known for painting portraits of renowned cultural figures, has embarked on a project that is more personal -- and more Marin-centric.

Baez and her Mill Valley gallery representatives are offering 100 prints of her portrait of her sister Mimi Fariña, a well-known musician and singer-songwriter, to the public for a suggested donation of $1,000 each. Proceeds will go toward bolstering pandemic-hampered operations at the Corte Madera nonprofit Fariña founded, Bread & Roses Presents.

"It's an incredible gift," said Dave Perron, the nonprofit's executive director. "It just punctuates the ongoing support Joan has given to us -- and at a really critical time."

The fundraiser will help the nonprofit continue its mission: to bring the joy of free live music into hundreds of Bay Area hospitals, juvenile facilities, senior centers, homeless shelters and other places where people are isolated and shut away from society.

Fariña launched Bread & Roses in 1974, inspired by blues performer B.B. King's show at Sing Sing Prison. She devoted two and a half decades to running the nonprofit before she died of cancer in 2001 at age 56.

"Mimi was a leading figure in the Bay Area and beyond," said Baez, 79, of Woodside. "Bread & Roses was her innovation, taking entertainment into these places. And it was so well organized for 25 years that it continues to this day."

Photo by Sherry Lavars - Marin Independent Journal

Julia Harrell and Kurt Huget, musicians who perform for the Bread & Roses nonprofit organization, play during a food distribution effort at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank site in San Rafael on Saturday.


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