• Marian Hubler

Marian's Did You Know: Our History of Special Settings for Benefit Concerts

Save the Date! On Saturday, November 19, 2022, Bread & Roses Presents will be returning to the spectacular St. Joseph’s Arts Society for its yearly not-to-be-missed benefit concert. Stay tuned for confirmation of this year’s headliners! Sponsors and individual tickets will be available soon. For info, contact sduenas@breadandroses.org.


Did you know that Bread & Roses has a long history of presenting benefit concerts in special settings? Our benefit concert on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at St. Joseph’s Arts Society continues our long and storied tradition of fundraisers at unique venues. Last year we inaugurated our annual fundraiser at this unique only-in-San Francisco location, a former Catholic Church elegantly reappointed by top-notch interior designer Ken Fulk. Guests appreciated seeing the concert by Allison Russell and boygenius in such a stunningly beautiful hall.

From our earliest tradition of presenting legendary all acoustic music festivals at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley (1977-1991), to the unforgettable concerts in the dining room of the cell house on Alcatraz in the 90s, we have always put effort and energy into presenting our fundraising concerts in a memorable setting where all in the audience can experience an intimate connection with the musicians.

The connection between artist and audience has long been a hallmark of our ongoing program of live music for isolated audiences in institutional settings. We strive to recreate this experience at our fundraising concerts, which play a large part in supporting our mission. Founded by the late Mimi Fariña, a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Bread & Roses is now in its 48th year of presenting live music for Bay Area folks who need it most.


Since Mimi’s grand finale in 2000 for our 25th Anniversary Concert at the historic San Francisco Opera House, we have continued to follow the standard she set in meeting this mark. During the following decade, we had a successful run of benefit concerts at Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco in the antique spiegeltent along the waterfront where inspiring musicians were featured alongside Teatro’s performance artists including comedic clowns and aerialists who thrilled the audience with their close proximity in this one-of-a-kind theater-in-the-round.


Since then we have presented our yearly benefit concerts in a variety of well-established and high-caliber venues including the Herbst Theatre and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, as well as the legendary Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, and the now shuttered Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.

We hope you will join us for our annual benefit concert on Saturday, November 19 and help us continue our longstanding tradition of unforgettable live music in memorable venues to help support our expanded program of music for food banks, outdoor, indoor and virtual concerts for Bay Area audiences who are isolated.


Captions (top to bottom):


1. The elegant exterior of the St. Joseph's Arts Society, a re-envisioned event space that was formerly a Catholic Church. Photo by Ken Friedman


2. Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus of boygenius at Bread & Roses annual benefit concert at St. Joseph's Arts Society November 19, 2021. Photo by Ken Friedman


3. Our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, with legendary blues singer the late Elizabeth Cotten at Bread & Roses first Festival of Music at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley in 1977. Photo by Jim Marshall


4. Cookie as "diva" welcomes Bread & Roses guest at annual fundraiser at Teatro ZinZanni, 2004. Photo by Ken Friedman.


5. Aerialist Crystalle at Bread & Roses Benefit at Teatro ZinZanni, 2004. Photo by Ken Friedman


6. Percussionist Gabe Harris with his mom Joan Baez at the annual benefit concert at Terrapin Crossroads in the spring of 2008. Photo by Peter Merts


7. Performers David Luning and Ben Dubin at The Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for Bread & Roses Fall Benefit Concert in 2018. Photo by Peter Merts