Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the Sonoma and Napa fires. We serve many of the facilities in the area, like the Veterans Home in Yountville, Sonoma Juvenile in Kenwood, the Hanna Boys Center in Glen Ellen and Turning Point in Santa Rosa. Carolyn Gauthier at Bread & Roses arranged for some of our performers to go into the Emergency Evacuation Shelter at the Marin Civic Center. Thanks to Kurt Huget, Arthur Javier, Bri Tree and Tyler Parks of Circus of Smiles and Caroline Sky who all did shows for the adults and children at the shelter this past weekend. Read on to see the Marin Independent Journal's story about our program for the fire evacuees.
Marin scopes out entertainment for evacuees, kids
By Keri Brenner, Marin Independent Journal
When they heard the call, Marin’s musicians were quick to respond.
Dave Perron, executive director for Corte Madera-based nonprofit Bread & Roses Presents, sent an email Thursday morning to his volunteer musician list, seeking donations of performances this weekend at the county emergency shelter at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael. A thundering “yes” came back within seconds, he said.
“It was like boom, boom, boom,” Perron said Friday. “We’ve never had this kind of response before.
“It’s enlightening,” he added. “It makes you appreciate how much people step up.”
Over the next few days, seven Bread & Roses daytime and evening concerts are being offered for the 400-plus Sonoma and Napa county fire evacuees at the shelter. They are among a range of entertainment options Marin agencies and nonprofits are giving people who are trying to keep themselves — and their kids — calm while staying in a strange government building with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Even families who are not evacuees may need some help entertaining children who are forced to stay indoors due to poor air quality from the fires’ smoke or who are at home because school was canceled — as it was Friday in Marin.
“Physical activity increases breathing and draws smoky air deeper into lungs, causing more irritation,” said Matthew Willis, Marin County public health officer. “We recommend children refrain from vigorous physical activity and limit time out of doors.”
He said parents may look to libraries, for example, as a “safe indoor alternative to staying at home.”
Marin County schools Superintendent Mary Jane Burke said county schools are tentatively planning to be open on Monday. A final decision will be made Sunday afternoon, she said.
At the Civic Center emergency shelter, meanwhile, donations of entertainment help are pouring in, said Libby Garrison, spokeswoman for the Marin County Department of Cultural Services.
“Today we had the Marin Symphony offering a viola duet, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum giving the kids arts and crafts classes,” she said. “We’re having Zumba (dance exercise) classes twice a day and the San Rafael Library is offering bilingual storytimes — including a magician that they brought in.”
Staffers at the Civic Center have set up a “children’s room” where the arts and crafts and storytime sessions are offered, Garrison said.
For older children and teens, a virtual reality video games station was set up Friday, she said.
“We also have two bookmobiles parked at the Civic Center,” she said. “People can go outside and go into the vans to check out books or listen to books on tape.”
Garrison said one of the Bread & Roses volunteers is San Anselmo teen singer Caroline Sky, a former competitor on “The Voice” TV show who performed earlier this year at the Civic Center and in the Marin IJ’s “Lobby Lounge” series.
“We’re just thrilled to have her back,” Garrison said. “She’s amazing.”
In addition to Sky, other Bread & Roses volunteer performers this weekend range from singer-guitarist Kurt Huget, to Arthur Javier, Bri Tree, Circus of Smiles, Miss Kitty, the Liddypudlians and the Lightworkers Union.
“We bring live music to a number of (fire-impacted) facilities in Sonoma and Napa, including the Veterans Home in Yountville and Sonoma Juvenile in Kenwood,” said Marian Hubler, Bread & Roses communications manager. “We are thinking of all our friends in the North Bay — and we’re glad we can do something to help.”
According to Willis, Marin County Free Library system has the following hours on Saturday:
Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fairfax, noon to 5 p.m.; Inverness, 3 to 6 p.m.; Marin City, noon to 5 p.m.; Point Reyes, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; South Novato, noon to 5 p.m.; Stinson Beach, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Article by Keri Brenner, Marin IJ
Photos added to article by Bread & Roses Presents.
1) Tyler Parks of Circus of Smiles
2) Arthur Javier
3) Caroline Sky
4) Bri Tree of Bri Entertainment