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Bread & Roses Blog

News and information from Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization that presents live music to bring hope, healing and joy to the community.

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

webmattsandomenicoOver 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 view live entertainment by professional performers.

webdonnakeb“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.

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The California Honeydrops Bring Joy to Audience at Health Right 360 Walden House

The classic Wilson Pickett song Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You was an apt message from The California Honeydrops for the men at HealthRight 360 Walden House who are working so hard to turn their lives around.

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With a lot of soul, Delta Blues, Bay Area R&B and a big dash of New Orleans style, The California Honeydrops came out of the recording studio to play a stellar show for Bread & Roses Presents at this drug and alcohol recovery program for men in San Francisco. The audience responded with great enthusiasm to the uplifting songs and incredible musicianship of this vibrant band, an inspiration with their amazing chops and rapport with the audience as well as each other. Much appreciation to their manager Heather Newman, a Bread & Roses volunteer, who facilitated this special concert.

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Volunteers Share Why Hosting Shows Makes A Difference

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Volunteer hosts are an essential part of sustaining our program throughout the year at Bread & Roses Presents. With the help of our hosts, we presented a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016, the most ever. Forty-one active volunteers hosted 350 of these shows last year, a whopping fifty-six percent. We are so grateful for our many volunteers, hosts as well as performers, who bring hope and healing through live music to 34,000 people in the Bay Area annually who are isolated and need uplifting.

Once a year we gather our volunteer hosts together and ask them to share how Bread & Roses has made a difference in their lives as well as the lives of our audiences. Here are a few highlights from the testimonials they shared.

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An Inspiring Night at “Thanks & Giving” Fall Benefit Concert at Delancey Street

There’s no question people have been pre-occupied for a long time by the presidential campaign and recent election. A big cheer to all those who came out to join us for our “Thanks & Giving” Fall benefit concert on Fri. Nov. 18 at Delancey Street Foundation in SF, an isolated audience served by Bread & Roses Presents since 1995.

There’s nothing quite like the magic of live music in a beautiful venue like Delancey Street’s Town Hall with its cathedral-like wooden-beamed ceiling and cozy ambiance with white lamps and tall candles. Rental income from various venues at their San Francisco facility, including Town Hall, helps support the friendly and professional Delancey Street servers and event staff who work hard while in their recovery program.

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Thanks & Giving: Bread & Roses Benefit Concert on Nov. 18 at Delancey Street in SF

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Corte Madera, CA -- November 4, 2016 -- A festive fall concert will benefit Bread & Roses Presents on Fri. Nov. 18 at the Delancey Street Foundation at 600 Embarcadero in San Francisco with Hot Buttered Rum, Jeffrey Halford and Ben Fong-Torres. Proceeds benefit Bread & Roses programs that bring hope and healing through live music in over 600 yearly concerts for isolated Bay Area audiences. Funds raised will support many annual holiday concerts for children, adults and seniors who need music most. The event includes a VIP Reception at 7 pm, General Admission at 8 pm, and the Concert at 8:30 pm. Cash bar available. All concert attendees will receive a special limited edition poster by Alexandra Fischer contributed by Moonalice Posters.  Get your tickets online here or call 415-945-7120.

All the performers for this intimate evening of extraordinary live music play for Bread & Roses isolated audiences. Hot Buttered Rum is rooted in west coast bluegrass and performs what has been called California’s own acoustic music. Singer/songwriter and guitarist Jeffrey Halford opens and is “a talented wordsmith with the soul of a rugged roadhouse rocker.” Celebrated journalist and entertainer Ben Fong-Torres will emcee. He is a SF Chronicle columnist, Moonalice Radio DJ & former senior editor/writer at Rolling Stone Magazine.

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Performers Create Community for Bread & Roses Isolated Audiences

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Mickey Hart, best known as the drummer for the Grateful Dead and a member of our Circle of Advisors, talks about the rhythm of music that connects us all in a common heartbeat. At Bread & Roses Presents, we are fortunate to witness on a daily basis the transformative power of music and the performing arts to bring diverse audiences together in a communal experience. Wiley and Debbie Rankin of Jump for Joy Music, Ross Commons and Gail Muldrow are among the many performers who create community for Bread & Roses isolated audiences in a variety of ways.

Jump for Joy Music Offers Respite

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Collaboration With Salesforce & "Pass the Music" Bring Our Mission To Their Creative Team

At their impressive headquarters in downtown San Francisco, Bread & Roses Presents was invited to “pass the music” at Salesforce on September 22 to educate their creative team about our mission. J.D. Swartz from Salesforce shared that it was a welcome break from intensive planning for their Dreamforce conference held every year in early October.

He introduced Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron who gave an update about our organization and noted that today’s performer Megan Slankard is one of over 1,000 volunteers who help bring music in over 600 annual concerts around the Bay Area to audiences of children, adults and seniors who are isolated.

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Congratulations to the 2016 Winners of the “Oh Say, Can You Sing” Contests

Bread & Roses Presents is thrilled by the participation in our second annual “Oh Say, Can You Sing” contests for both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. Congratulations to winners MUSAIC for the Giants and Cathryn Flores for the Oakland A’s. Second-place winners Susan Zelinsky and Felicia Foster each won five hours of recording time at Fantasy Studios. A number of our volunteers and new supporters participated in the contest and nearly $20,000 was raised. A special thanks to our friends at the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Nelson and Salesforce for sponsoring and promoting this year’s contest.

 

First Place Winners for the Anthem Contests

On September 29, 2016, San Francisco men’s a cappella ensemble MUSAIC sang the national anthem at the SF Giants game. Under the direction of Linda Noble Brown, the men sang The Star Spangled Banner specially arranged for MUSIAC by Bret Silverman. They were cheered on by their tribe of friends and family from the stands as well as over 41,000 Giants fans.

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Audience Interaction at Recent Programs Shows the Power of Connection

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Audience interaction is the best way to see the power of connection at every Bread & Roses show. Our volunteer hosts report on the impact that our program has on the audiences we serve. Here are excerpts from a few recent shows that beautifully illustrate the healing power that live music has for those who are isolated and need uplifting.

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Volunteer Celebration “The JAM” 2016 -- A Day of Joy, Appreciation & Music

Once a year we gather together our volunteer community to celebrate and recognize the many accomplishments of our tribe of dedicated performers, hosts and other supporters who help us produce over 600 annual concerts for isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area.

“The JAM” is always a special day, for it is the one time during the year that our volunteers have the chance to meet and play music with each other. Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed everyone and said “It’s all about the volunteers and how they support our community in an intimate way.”

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Rock the Bank – Raj Gopal & Friends Benefit Concert for Bread & Roses

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Board Member Raj Gopal put on a fun evening of rock & rollin’ with music, singing, fundraising and celebration for Bread & Roses Presents on June 29 in downtown San Francisco. Fellow board member Alex Wellins and Blueshirt Group provided the venue in the Next15 building. Many of Raj's colleagues from his office a few doors down at Bank of the West attended, including Dan Beck, the bank’s CFO, who as Raj noted “knows the saxophone as well as numbers and he’s not afraid to show it!”

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Backstage 365 Club Special Show: Delancey Street Foundation Welcomes Dirty Cello

Rebecca Roudman and Jason Eckl of Dirty Cello have been volunteering since 2015 and are already dedicated Bread & Roses Presents performers. Novato-based and internationally renowned, Dirty Cello is known for their energetic mix of bluegrass, blues and classic rock. They have played with artists such as Santana, Joan Baez and Deltron 3030, and they performed their first show in June at The Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco.

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Delancey Street is a beloved audience served by Bread & Roses since 1996. An innovative residential self-help center since 1971, they teach substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless people and others who have hit bottom how to turn their lives around through social entrepreneurship, education and rehabilitation. The residents are a famously enthusiastic audience. Rebecca mentioned before the show that she got a round of applause when she first walked in to the Town Hall to set up. A larger Bread & Roses audience than she has previously played for, she said she was looking forward to it and “we have a high energy show planned!”

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A Fantastic Night of Music at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit Concert May 26

A fantastic night of music from beginning to end was the experience of the lucky guests who attended our spring benefit concert “Bringin’ It Home” on May 26 at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was also a special night, for almost all of the performers are volunteers for our institutional audiences in need of joy and uplifting through live music.

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Peter Merts, Volunteer Photographer: Images of Joy in Shows for Isolated Audiences

Darkness Into Light at the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehab Center in San Francisco, Chris Donohoe at Center Point in San Rafael, Aline deForge and Emmanuel Presselin at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae, Marisa Nordstrom at Marin Learning Center in Marin City, Fancy von Pancerton at North Bay Children's Center in Novato,  Miss Kitty at the Marin Learning Center, The Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at Vision Impaired of Marin in San Rafael, Sylvia & the Silvertones at Center for Elders Independence in Oakland, Aaron Kierbel at BAHIA in Oakland, these are just some of the recent institutional shows that Peter Merts has helped us document (and are seen in this order in the above slide show).

A San Rafael photographer, Peter has been a volunteer for Bread & Roses Presents for over thirty years. He is a great example of the many ways that donated professional services help to accomplish our mission and move us forward. We have been fortunate that photographers including Robert Altman, Jay Blakesberg, Ken Friedman, the late Jim Marshall, Bill Nichols and many others have contributed to our cause.

Peter first heard about our program when he attended a B&R Festival of Music in the late 70s at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. A few months later, he was at his job in a Marin restaurant where he noticed our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, was one of his customers. He introduced himself and asked if he could help. He began as a volunteer by providing food backstage for three days at the next festival. Not long afterwards, he was a staff event coordinator until he left in 1982. He’s been volunteering ever since.

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“Pass the Music” Events Help Launch New Backstage 365 Club

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Bread & Roses board member Alex Wellins recently sponsored the first "Pass the Music" lunchtime event at The Blueshirt Group in San Francisco. The idea was born while brainstorming at a January board planning session as a way of cultivating the younger high tech workforce to learn about our mission and to become involved in supporting our organization. We are grateful that Alex came up with the concept and offered to host the first event at his impressive office in downtown San Francisco.

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New Volunteers from the Hellman Family Play for Bread & Roses

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“Let there be songs to fill the air…” From Ripple (American Beauty, The Grateful Dead)

On Wednesday March 9, the delightful band "Marco & The Polos," comprised of the late Warren Hellman's four children -- son Mick and his sisters Frances, Judith and Tricia Hellman Gibbs – played their first Bread & Roses concert for an audience of appreciative seniors at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae. All four sang, alternating leads and harmonies, with Mick on drums and Tricia playing both guitar and banjo.

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Congratulations Michael Pritchard on Lifetime Achievement Award

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“Two men stared out from prison bars. One saw mud, but the other saw stars.” - Michael Pritchard

Congratulations to Michael Pritchard for receiving a well deserved 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Sun. We are so honored that he is our ambassador-at-large and a volunteer for our organization since the early days. Michael also received national recognition in the Huffington Post for his recent interview with humorist Mark C. Miller. 

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Performer Collaborations Support Bread & Roses

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Steve Meckfessel Leads the Way with Freight & Salvage Benefit Sunday March 13

Singer-songwriter/guitarist and urban folk artist Steve Meckfessel shared a double bill with modern day troubadour Beth Wood at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Sunday March 13 at 7 pm. In round robin style, he played a selection of his well-crafted and wise original songs from his second album Under Beautiful Skies. Multi-instrumentalist and soulful songstress Beth Wood also shared some of her most recent songs from her latest album Sometimes Love.

The concert was a benefit for Bread & Roses as well as three other local music nonprofits. Fifty-two attendees placed their tickets in a jar, resulting in an upcoming gift of $5200 to our organization from several anonymous donors. 

“I am blown away by the work that Bread & Roses does bringing more than one show every day to people in the Bay Area who need live music most. As a performer, I get to be a first-hand witness to the connection that happens from the power of music and I am happy to support the organization,” said Steve Meckfessel.

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The Shows: Our Reason For Being

Every day of the year isolated audiences in the Bay Area enjoy the superb, live entertainment that our volunteer performers provide. Our small, dedicated staff expertly matches performers with the right audiences and brings in new artists to enhance our roster. The facilities we serve have only praise for the shows we bring.

As the needs of the community grow, we continue to explore new audiences who thrive on the joy and connection we bring. Recently we added several new facilities to stretch our demographic reach: the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland, Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco, St. Vincent’s Dining Room in San Rafael and the Hanna Boys Center in Glen Ellen. From time to time we help our facility partners with music for special events such as the “National Salute to Our Veterans” day at the San Francisco Veterans Hospital and the annual “Day of Peace” at San Quentin.

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Blasting Off Into 2016: Momentum Builds in Our 42nd Year

“As a former board member for Bread & Roses some thirty years ago, I take heart in seeing that the hope and healing we bring through live music is needed now as much as ever. It is an honor to continue to bring our founder Mimi Fariña’s enduring legacy to isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area,” says Executive Director Dave Perron.

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Last year was a pivotal time for Bread & Roses Presents -- a year of transition as we move into our fifth decade. We had a banner year for our program in 2015 as we produced 617 shows, our most since our founding in 1974. We brought joy and uplifting music to over 34,000 audience members in 120 facilities in eight counties throughout the Bay Area. We also had 388 shows hosed by volunteers, over ten percent more than the previous year.

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