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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.

Communications Manager/Producer: From Dayton, Ohio, Marian believes in the power of positive culture to effect meaningful change. She has worked as a ranger for the National Park Service and in public relations, cultural programming and special events management. A singer and writer, she appreciates the culturally creative Bay Area. She met the late Mimi Fariña on Alcatraz in 1995 and came to Bread & Roses Presents shortly afterwards where she has worked as a concert producer and part-time blogger ever since. She has a BA in English from Trinity University, Washington D.C. In her spare time, she looks for swans.

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.


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.



Making A Difference: New Corporate and Community Partners

We are heartened to be cultivating new relationships beginning last year with many corporate and community partners such as Bank of Marin, Blueshirt Group, Fantasy Studios, Nelson & Associates, Robertson Stephens, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Salesforce and Wareham Development. We are excited to embark on new collaborations including the possibility of presenting workshops through the Institute for STEM Education in the East Bay. 

This year we will be a featured nonprofit at the Bank of Marin’s Running Festival, a half-marathon on May 22 in Novato. We are also honored to have a presence at Bonnie Raitt’s concert at the Fox Theatre in Oakland on April 23 and appreciate her steadfast support for our organization. We are grateful for our long-lasting partnerships with organizations such as the annual Kate Wolf Music Festival June 23-26, 2016.

Stay tuned for some breaking news as we seek to put ourselves forward and generate support in even bigger ways in 2016. A special membership program will debut soon offering new ways to get involved and go behind-the-scenes.



1) Dave Perron with emcee Ronnie Lott at the Sweetwater benefit featuring Keb' Mo' on Nov. 2, 2015. Photo by Peter Merts

2) French musicians Aline Deforge and Emmanuel Presselin of Duo Cours Toujours at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae on Feb. 17, 2016. Photo by Peter Merts

Post by Marian Hubler

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Special Fall Concerts Help to Propel Us Forward

Bread & Roses Presents is honored to feature over a thousand different individual performers and groups at our institutional shows almost every day of the year. We simply could not do our program without them.

We are also fortunate to have performers of note help us mainly with fundraising concerts throughout the years or from time to time donate a portion of the proceeds from an upcoming public concert to help support our mission.

Extraordinary acoustic blues maestro Keb’ Mo’ performed a very special benefit concert at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday November 2. Executive Director Dave Perron told the sold-out crowd, “Bread & Roses has a lot of heart and there is a lot of heart in this room tonight as our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, lived in Mill Valley, and is undoubtedly here in spirit.”

Special thanks to event sponsors Rich Robbins, Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe, who helped it all happen. Those who bought VIP tickets were also treated to fine wines from Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchant, delicious hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to have a photo taken with Keb’ Mo.’


Singer-songwriter/guitarist Roger McNamee opened the show with the reminder that “Bread & Roses is all about second chances.” Roger performed heartfelt mainly original tunes including Happy Endings and No Tomorrow. His rendition of the classic Leonard Cohen anthem Halleluiah had everyone singing along.


NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott emceed the show and helped us auction off a Gibson Guitar signed by Keb’ Mo’ and donated by board member John Botti. The lucky auction winner also received one of Ronnie Lott’s signed jerseys and a pair of tickets he donated to a 49ers game.


Keb’ Mo’ opened the show with the crowd pleasing More For Your Money and played an enthralling set including the songs More Than One Way Home, You Can Love Yourself and I'll Be Your Water. The audience roared its thunderous approval when surprise guest Taj Mahal appeared on stage to sit in with Keb’ on Muddy Waters classic Baby Please Don’t Go, Dime A Dozen and Do You Love Me Pretty Baby? Keb’ closed out the magnificent show with some crowd favorites including She Just Wants to Dance, Angelina and City Boy.

On Wednesday October 28, long-time volunteer performer Matt Nathanson generously donated a block of tickets from his sold-out show at the Great American Music Hall in SF to benefit Bread & Roses Presents. A handful of lucky VIP ticket-buyers also got to hear Matt perform a very intimate concert earlier in the day at the Capital One Café in SF in a special promotion with KFOG Radio


We also appreciate the continued generosity of many performers on our behalf. On Sat. Nov. 28, long-time volunteer performer Tracy Blackman performed an outstanding concert of originals and standards at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley accompanied by her sister Cindy Blackman Santana on drums with her husband Carlos Santana on guitar. Other Bread & Roses performers in the band that night included Jimmy Dillon on guitar, Dave Matthews on keyboard, Eric McCann on bass and Rebecca Roudman on cello. Bread & Roses Presents was one of the beneficiaries of this remarkable evening of music called Love To Give. Of her motivation for producing the show, Tracy said “If everyone gives a little, we will all be taken care of.” Her closing medley of Shine On and What the World Needs Now Is Love beautifully brought home this theme.


Coming up on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015 at the Great American Music Hall, another long-time volunteer performer David Gans, will host a very special tribute show This Is All A Dream We Dreamed: A Salute to the Grateful Dead.” The concert will help debut David's recently published oral history of the Grateful Dead with co-author Blair Jackson. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Bread & Roses Presents. Along with David, a number of our volunteers will perform including James Nash, Roger McNamee and Maurice Tani. Click Here for information and tickets visit.


Support live music when you can and most especially the artists who support Bread & Roses Presents. Let us know if you have other ideas for ways we can fulfill our mission and keep our program moving forward. 


Photo Captions

1) Roger McNamee opens at the Keb' Mo' concert

2) Bread & Roses Presents Executive Director Dave Perron with NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott

3) Keb' Mo' with Taj Mahal

4) Matt Nathanson at Capital One Cafe (Courtesy of KFOG)

5) (l-r) Cindy Blackman Santana, Jimmy Dillon, Eric McCann, Tracy Blackman,  Kudisan Kai and Carlos Santana (Photo by Carolyn Gauthier)

6) Early Grateful Dead (Courtesy of David Gans)

All Photos by Peter Merts unless noted otherwise.

Post by Marian Hubler, Communications Manager/Producer

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Bread & Roses Receives CalNonprofits Community Engagement Award on Nov. 4


Bread & Roses was given a $10,000 Community Engagement Award on Wed. Nov. 4 at the CalNonprofits 2015 Annual Policy Convention in Oakland. Development Director Elissa Burke attended the conference and submitted the winning nomination. Executive Director Dave Perron received the award from Cindy Duenas from the CalNonprofits Board and Monica Trevino of CalNonprofits Insurance Services, the award sponsor.

"We were honored to be chosen as the sole winner from among 148 nominees state-wide," said Elissa Burke.  While giving the award, she noted that the presenters remarked "Our judges were impressed with your reach and all the different ways you not only engage your community but also partner with and promote other nonprofit organizations.​"



Bread & Roses Presents is in its 41st year of bringing hope, healing and joy through live music to organizations in eight counties throughout the Bay Area where people are isolated. As a nonprofit organization, we are at the hub of a giant wheel of community engagement connecting over 120 partners in the social service world with over 350 different individual and performing arts groups in any given year through 600 programs annually. Founded in 1974 by the late singer-songwriter Mimi Fariña, we also inspire and mentor people in a variety of organizations in other geographic locations who seek our help in starting similar programs. We aim to provide a positive example through volunteering in which people who need engagement are able to receive the gifts of many talented performing artists. At the same time, musicians, hosts and other volunteers receive a greater awareness of the challenges faced by isolated people by directly engaging with them through live music and the performing arts.

"Bread & Roses Presents is honored to receive this year's "Community Engagement Award" from the California Association of Nonprofits. For over four decades, we have held steadfast to our mission of bringing live music and performance to those who are isolated in the Bay Area and need it most. This state-wide recognition means a great deal to us as we strive to sustain and expand our future legacy,"   said Dave Perron, Executive Director

"As board chair of Bread & Roses Presents, I know that this award will bring wind to our sails as we work to bring the healing power of live music to more people who are living in institutional settings.  We are actively engaged in ways to bring in the next generation of volunteers and supporters to keep our organization going into our fifth decade. We see first-hand in our daily shows how much the direct connection of music and other performing arts means to isolated children, youth, adults and seniors throughout the Bay Area," said Stacy Nelson, Board Chair of Bread & Roses Presents.

Thanks to all of our volunteers and supporters who share in this award by helping us every day of the year bring hope and healing through live music to those who are isolated around the Bay Area. 


Photos Courtesy of CalNonprofit   Click HERE to read the article about the award in their recent magazine.
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Keb’ Mo’ To Perform at Sweetwater Benefit Nov. 2: Roger McNamee Opens


Bread & Roses Presents will host a special benefit concert with master contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday, November 2 at 8 pm. Roger McNamee will open. NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott will emcee the show. VIP tickets are $145. They include admission at 6 pm, a meet-and-greet and photos with Keb’ Mo,’ complimentary hors d'oeuvres & wine. General admission tickets are $75 for this all ages show with doors at 7:45pm. Space permitting, tickets will be sold on-site. Advance ticket purchase is recommended at

“We are thrilled to have Keb’ Mo’ back to play a benefit for Bread & Roses Presents following his recent success performing in “A Celebration of American Creativity” at the White House.  We are grateful to have him help us bring the gift of music to those in the Bay Area who need it most,” said Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron.


Three-time Grammy winner and visionary roots-music storyteller Keb’ Mo’ has been a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses since 2001 when he performed a concert with Bonnie Raitt at San Quentin State Prison for a special event that was “A Celebration of Sobriety and Recovery.” He also performed a “Twice Blessed” Benefit Concert for Bread & Roses in 2009 with his son Kevin Moore II on percussion, along with Loudon Wainwright III and his daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche.


Keb’s carefully crafted songs use the power of lyrics and melody to make a difference. “My most recent album BLUESAmericana is about love and understanding. I hope by expressing these qualities in the most poignant and joyfully melodic way that I can make a greater connection with audiences everywhere. I know this is something that Bread & Roses does everyday in its shows for people who are isolated in institutions,” he said.

Over the past two decades, singer-songwriter/guitarist and contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. He has collaborated with a host of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Guy, Amy Grant and many others. BLUESAmericana on Kind of Blue Music was number one on the Soundscan Blues Album Chart and is his 12th studio album. This recent release marks the 20th anniversary of his debut Keb’ Mo’, and is a signpost of his artistic and personal growth.


The Sweetwater Music Hall offers food, drinks and a broad spectrum of live music and entertainment. This historic venue is dedicated to bringing back the Sweetwater’s musical legacy to Mill Valley.

Proceeds from this concert will support Bread & Roses’ ongoing mission of bringing hope and healing through live music in over 600 annual shows to our neighbors in need throughout the Bay Area. For more info, visit:



1. Keb' Mo' Publicity Photo

2. Keb’ Mo’ adjusts his harmonica at San Quentin in 2001.

3. Loudon Wainwright III, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Kevin Moore and Keb’ Mo’ in 2009.

4. Keb’ Mo’ looks out over the audience at Teatro ZinZanni in 2009.

Photos by Ken Friedman

Post by Marian Hubler

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Steve Earle Thrills New Supporters at Bread & Roses Benefit at Fantasy Studios

Steve Earle captivated his audience of new Bread & Roses supporters in a special intimate concert at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley on Thursday, October 1. New friends came to learn more about our work and enjoy the special ambiance of a unique concert in Studio D thanks to our hosts at Wareham Development who sponsored this benefit on our behalf.

His heartfelt testimonial about the impact of our mission set the tone for a stirring evening of his authentic music. “Bread & Roses does important work that deserves to be supported,” he said. “Music has the capacity to change the world.”

A beloved, internationally known rock, country and folk singer-songwriter/guitarist, Nashville-based Steve Earle is also a bandleader, record producer, author and actor. A three-time Grammy award-winner, he has released 16 studio albums. A musician's songwriter, his songs have been recorded by many diverse artists from Johnny Cash to Emmylou Harris. He is the subject of two biographies, “Steve Earle: Fearless Heart, Outlaw Poet” by David McGee and Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle by Lauren St. John.

In 2008, he produced Joan Baez's 50th anniversary release Day After Tomorrow for which he contributed a number of timely songs. He is an often rebellious, ever iconic Americana artist and activist, always nimble and eloquent as he responds in his songwriting to the most topical issues of the day.


Steve treated the rapt crowd to an inspired set of mainly original songs interspersed with a few beloved standards -- from a Texas blues song by Lightnin’ Hopkins called Mojo Hand (on his latest album Terraplane) to a song he wrote for Joan Baez called God Is God on her recent CD.

He recalled that our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, had asked him many times to do a concert for Bread & Roses but that the scheduling had not worked out. He sees his music and activism as one and the same, and his musical career as a path of service. He mentioned that he has a five-year-old son who has autism and that he has gotten involved in raising awareness of the needs of autistic children as a result. He said he hopes to be a role model for people around the world to do a similarly motivated kind of service.

“It is a special honor to have Steve Earle perform in this hallowed room tonight,” said host Rich Robbins. “His dedication to doing good in the world through his music is inspiring as we see the difference music makes in our lives. Bread & Roses does an average of two shows a day every day of the year in the Bay Area. Music nurtures the soul and brings hope to those who need it most – from children in special needs schools, to youth and adults who are incarcerated, to lonely seniors who are isolated in convalescent centers.”

Bread & Roses presents shows in very intimate settings where the connection between performer and audience is immediate and common humanity is shared. We had exactly the same kind of connection during our evening at Fantasy Studios and all came away with a reverence for the healing power of Steve’s music in that extraordinary setting.

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Performers at Dreamforce Bring High Visibility to Bread & Roses Presents

Bread & Roses Presents was thrilled to have a presence at Dreamforce 2015, the annual technology conference sponsored by Salesforce and attended by 150,000 people from all over the world. We presented music on the main stage in DreamPark at Moscone Center in San Francisco on Tues. Sept. 15 from 10am to 2pm featuring Bread & Roses performers Garrin Benfield, Matt Jaffe & The Distractions, Hot Buttered Rum and Mark Hummel & His Blues Survivors. Teja Gerken also played guitar for the wellness center.

With a warm sun and blue sky overhead, conference attendees in-between sessions appreciated the chance to hear some really great local music, the same music enjoyed by Bread & Roses isolated Bay Area audiences throughout the year.



Bread & Roses Vice President of Programs Carolyn Gauthier spoke about our program and introduced each act. Our slide show and logo were predominately displayed on multiple screens throughout the day and seen by several thousand conference goers.



“Freestyle Acoustic Rock” player Garrin Benfield played a blend of moody, guitar-driven rock, blues and polyrhythmic grooves all run through the filter of a very serious singer-songwriter. Garrin is first and foremost a guitar player. His talent shines through as a solo artist when he flat-picks his way through lightning-fast arrangements and while using a Loop Station to create mesmerizing soundscapes. He has been a Bread & Roses Presents volunteer performer since 2000.

webgarrinx webgarrin2x


Matt Jaffe is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter from the San Francisco Bay Area. He was discovered and has been mentored by Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads. Matt and his band The Distractions are on a national tour this fall opening for Blues Traveler. He has been doing shows for Bread & Roses Presents since he was 12-years-old, where he recently performed for The Cedars Victory Center in Kentfield.

webmattintrox2 webmattjaff


Hot Buttered Rum plays what has been described as California’s own acoustic music: west coast bluegrass. When these guys step on stage, their high energy and vibrant playing is contagious. From Anchorage to Miami, the group’s onstage chemistry fuels the lovefest that is their live show. They have been Bread & Roses supporters since 2009.

webhotbuttered webhotbutterx2


Mark Hummel and his Blues Survivors are true road warriors. Along the way, he has crafted his own trademark harmonica sound. His Grammy-nominated albums, constant touring and appearances at the major blues festivals have firmly established his solid reputation around the US and Europe. He performs about eight shows a year for Bread & Roses Presents in rehab centers, convalescent homes, prisons, homeless shelters & more.



Thanks to these talented performers and the hundreds of volunteers who help us in so many ways every day of the year.


1. Bread & Roses staff members Carolyn Gauthier, Francesca Lee and Lisa Starbird.

2. Carolyn Gauthier emcees at Dreamforce. Photo by Lisa Starbird.

3/4. Garrin Benfield launches the day on stage in DreamPark.

5/6. Matt Jaffe & The Distractions captivate the crowd.

7/8. Hot Buttered Rum plays under the mid-day sun.

9/10. Mark Hummell & His Blues Survivors close out Bread & Roses day at Dreamforce.

11. Bread & Roses Prresents board member Phillip Pillsbury & Lisa Starbird.

Post and photos by Marian Hubler unless noted otherwise.

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Volunteer Hosts Needed: Bob Rose Reports From the Field

Volunteers host over fifty percent of our daily institutional shows for Bread & Roses Presents. They expand our outreach throughout the Bay Area every month. We simply couldn’t do 600 shows a year without our host program. More volunteer hosts are always needed, particularly for isolated audiences at some of our outlying locations including the East Bay, on the Peninsula and in San Francisco.

Hosts are part of the mainstay of our program, acting as our ambassadors in the field and interacting with the performers, institutional staff and audiences. They setup sound as needed, take care of logistics ahead of time and make sure the staff has the audience in place by the time of each show. They emcee the shows, report on the benefits our audiences receive and track the statistics we need for fundraising.

We have a training program for all new volunteer hosts and an online application on our website. Referrals from our community continue to be an important source of new volunteers. We appreciate your help!

webrosebobBob Rose began volunteering as a host in January. Since then, he has hosted 18 shows. A volunteer for many nonprofit organizations, he is a veteran public relations professional with a background in public speaking. Here’s a report Bob submitted recently about one of the shows he hosted telling why volunteering for Bread & Roses is so rewarding.

Cathi Walkup & Benny Watson at Fruitvale Healthcare Center

Elderly/Skilled Nursing Care - Oakland
Volunteer Host: Bob Rose

I cannot imagine a better match for this venue than Oakland residents Cathi Walkup and Benny Watson. Their choice of songs and personal warmth was received with tremendous enthusiasm. With Benny masterfully playing the keyboards and both he and Cathi singing solos and duets together, the seniors were served a large dose of classic Johnny Mercer and Duke Ellington tunes that truly resonated with this age group.

During the long set, there was:

The Human Touch. In addressing the crowd, Benny spoke of his childhood beginnings with music. “My mother was always telling me to practice, practice, practice. I usually did, but not always. I’m glad I did though; as it has brought me many blessings in my life. I hope you have had some blessings in your life, too.” Before another song, Benny told the crowd that he was going to do a tune written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. “Not much of a combination.” Then Cathi chipped in, “They did the best that they could.”

Irony. Midway through the concert, Benny launched into Ellington’s jazz standard, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. As he sang, he nodded his head to the audience. Many of the seniors knowingly nodded right back.

Songs of Their Era. It was almost an entire concert of songs from the 40s and 50s—Mercer’s Summer Wind and Goody, Goody, as well as tunes by Nat King Cole and Hoagy Carmichael. One Asian lady, wearing red slippers and pink nail polish, tapped her hand on the table throughout the set, while a gray-haired lady sporting a long pony-tail would occasionally lift both hands over her head and wiggle her fingers in approval. Yet another older Black gentleman rolled his own wheelchair to the front of the room so he could enjoy the music up close.

Audience Participation. On their final song, Benny and Cathi encouraged the seniors to sing along to an Ellington classic. “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,” Benny wailed. “Do-wah, do-wah,” the audience responded, over and over again. Smiles everywhere.

As mentioned at the top of this report, I cannot imagine a better entertainment duo than Benny Watson and Cathi Walkup to share with the Fruitvale Healthcare Center. On that afternoon, it was clearly a match made in Bread & Roses Presents heaven.

webCathi webbennywa

Post by Marian Hubler & Show Report by Bob Rose


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Volunteers Celebrated in Style at 2015 JAM

Bread & Roses Presents 2015 volunteer appreciation and recognition celebration, also known as “The JAM,” was held in great style on Sunday July 26, 2015 at the beautiful home of Toby and John Nady in Piedmont. We have a long history of celebrating our volunteers at an annual event in a very special venue. It is our way of thanking our many performers, hosts, event volunteers, board members and other supporters for their many contributions throughout the year towards bringing live music to people who need it most in varied institutional settings around the Bay Area.

Event Producer Lisa Starbird led a reception team to greet volunteers. All enjoyed a catered box lunch from Insalata’s and libations on the lovely grounds before the special awards presentation at 2 pm.

Vlad Cardema and René Jenkins called everyone into the main ballroom for the awards ceremony with the resonant healing sounds of their didgeridoos. Heartstrings Bridge, a collective of talented jazz vocalists, lifted the energy on the main stage in the ballroom with their lively upbeat tunes that had everyone singing. Wonderful storyteller Diane Ferlatte gave everyone a first-hand experience of the magic that happens every day at a Bread & Roses show. Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed everyone saying how important it is for all to feel part of the “WE Team,” for it takes a tribe to accomplish the logistical feat of 600 shows for our isolated audiences every year.

The following special awards were presented to: Audrey Auld, Above and Beyond; Kurt Huget, Best All Around Volunteer; Arthur Javier, Volunteer for All Seasons; Circus of Smiles, Outstanding Performers for Youth; Prescott Circus Theater, Outstanding Youth Group; Sally Peter, Outstanding Host; Cindy Hall, Outstanding Event Volunteer; Linda MacVey, Return to the Fold; Steve Pickford, Trouper Award; and Peter Merts, Outstanding Photo Contribution.

Other awards sent to volunteers (not able to attend) included: Tim Andres, Outstanding Performer; Aaron Halford, Outstanding Youth Performer; Aaron Kierbel, Outstanding Interactive Performer; Moonalice Posters, Outstanding Professional Services and Audrey Minagawa, Outstanding Graphic Arts Contribution.

Special awards were also presented to the following for their years of service: Banana (aka Lowell Levinger) for 40-year performer; Alan Claassen and Grady Knowles for 35-year volunteers; Joan Getz, Wendy deWitt, John Maxwell, Si Perkoff, Jeanne Skybrook, Terrance Kelly, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Paloma for 25-year performers; Kathleen Edwards for 20-year volunteer; Phil Campbell, Diane Ferlatte, Calaveras, Oakland Jazz Choir and ‘Til Dawn for 20-year performers; Clyde Niesen for 15-year volunteer; Lynn Asher, Marianna August, Garrin Benfield, Danny Creed, Austin deLone, Kat Fitzgerald, Ross Gualco, Cami Thompson, Deborah Winters, Carnival of Chaos, Kitka/Zele and Lick Wilmerding Jazz Combo for 15-year performers; Annie Aronson, Stevie Coyle, Olga Loya, Anne Zesiger and Jazz Minds for 10-year performers.


After a group photo, it was time for jamming and showcase performances on four stages. On the main stage, Calaveras, featuring Bread & Roses board member Greg Beattie and his wife, the talented jazz singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vickie Blythe, delighted the crowd with their exceptional original songs. They were followed by award-winning song-writing duo Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan, among many other outstanding performers.

Upstairs in the living room salon, there were many highlights including Joan Getz on vocals with her husband Dave Getz on drums and Michael Hatfield on piano; extraordinary singer-songwriter/guitarist Maurice Tani with Mike Anderson on upright bass; Lucille Steele (who used to play piano with Frank Sinatra) serenading with classic songs in multiple languages; and so much more including Chappell and Dave Holt, Chris Cross, Brian Brynes, Jai Josefs, Benny Watson, Jazz Minds, Mary Terrill, Mwanza and Gail Muldrow, a capella Kitka vocalists Kelly Atkins and Janet Kutulas plus Stephanie Hendricks and Ricardo Moncrief of Isoji Wizards.

Outside on the lawn stage, it was also an afternoon of truly first-rate music with Banana leading the way with an original  song Old Woman he used to play with Bread & Roses founder, the late Mimi Fariña. He was followed by finger-picking aficionado Stevie Coyle of Mighty Fine Guitars. Beth Marlin then did a fun original called Hog Farmer’s Wife followed by a special version of I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. Marni Warner and Kurt Huget, The Real Deal, The Babushka Brothers, Billy D, John Nash and Deborah Crooks rounded out the amazing musical bill.

Producer Francesca Lee led an acoustic circle jam on the terrace. Board members Raj Gopal, Philip Pillsbury, Cathy Less and Stacy Nelson joined in the musical fun along with Joey Wolpert, Jeanne Skybrook, Carrie SownieAndrew Kaluzynski, Rebecca Nile, Helena Pappas, Daniel Maguire and Fred Sharp.

We had an impressive turnout of board members overall. Joining those mentioned earlier were Simone Haas and son Andy, Michael McElligott with friends Grace Anderson and John Anderson, Donna Mezias and husband Jonas Honick, and Alex Wellins.

This afternoon of incredible music ringing from every rafter was a beautiful example of why we are so grateful to all our talented performers and other volunteers who help us every day of the year do what we do best – bring live music to those who need it most.

Thanks to all who helped with the party including Clyde Niesen and David Denny on sound; Kathleen Edwards for floral arrangements; Peter Merts, Bill Nichols and Daniel Kong for photography; The Delancey Street Foundation and all event volunteers. Special appreciation to Ken Harrison for being a JAM Sponsor and also to our in-kind contributors including Cameron Hughes Wine, Good Earth Natural Foods, Marin Brewing Company, Noah’s Bagels, Southern Wine & Spirits of Northern California, Peet’s Coffee, Trader Joe’s, United Markets, US Pure Water and Whole Foods Market.

We look forward to seeing all of you again next year!


In Memoriam

On a more somber note, performer Audrey Auld passed away at her home in Stinson Beach on Sunday August 9, 2015 of complications due to cancer. We were fortunate she was able to join us at the JAM. She will be deeply missed but we are grateful her incredible songs will live on. Paul Liberatore wrote a beautiful tribute to Audrey in the Marin IJ that talks about her work for Bread & Roses Presents. For the full story “Marin singer Audrey Auld, who wrote songs with San Quentin inmates, dies at 51” click here.

Post by Marian Hubler
JAM slide show photos by Peter Merts and Bill Nichols
Group photo by Peter Merts
Photo of Lisa Starbird and Audrey Auld by Peter Merts.


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Marin Academy Senior Katrina Strack Reflects Upon Her Internship At Bread & Roses Presents

At Marin Academy High School, seniors are encouraged to participate in a project during the month before graduation that is meant to provide a learning experience outside of the classroom and give students a new perspective before heading off to college.

As I looked ahead towards graduation and felt my final days of high school slipping away from me, I was overwhelmed. My activities and schoolwork started to feel meaningless, like they were just stepping stones on a path I was walking far too quickly. Everything was moving too fast. I hoped that my upcoming senior project, a month-long internship at Bread & Roses Presents would pull me out of my funk. Little did I realize just how much it would.

Coming into this project, I was familiar with its powerful mission: to bring the healing power of music to isolated people. I knew that most adults in the Bay Area were familiar with Bread & Roses Presents, but I didn’t understand how such an incredible organization managed to fly under the radar of most teenagers. By interning in the Bread & Roses office and hosting performances at various facilities, I aimed to find out why Bread & Roses should matter to local teenagers.

I hosted four shows over the course of two weeks, at facilities in Point Reyes, Novato and Fairfax. The first three shows that I hosted were at youth centers for young children. These shows symbolized for me the joy that music and the performing arts brings. It was incredible to see how the music coaxed the children to stop being shy and sing, clap, and dance along with the performers. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much after each show. Looking around at the happiness on every child’s face, I knew they were experiencing the same thing.

My final experience as a show host was at an elderly care facility in Novato. This show had a completely different energy from the children’s shows that I hosted. Many of the audience members were nonverbal or had severe dementia. Because most of them didn’t have extensive physical or mental capabilities, the smallest gestures or words meant so much. This show epitomized for me the healing power of music. Hearing familiar jazz tunes from their younger days, a couple audience members nodded their heads, snapped their fingers, tapped the table, or even clapped. As I prepared to leave the facility, a couple of the more verbal audience members expressed how grateful they were to have been given the gift of this performance.

Hearing the Bread and Roses staff talk about the “healing power of music,” I was intrigued and touched by their stories. However, I soon found that it is one thing to hear about the power of music as an abstract concept, but it is an entirely different thing to witness it firsthand.

During my internship, I was asked by Bread & Roses staff to reflect on the question, “Why should youth care about Bread & Roses?”

I believe young people should get involved because hosting these performances changed my life. It showed me the importance of empathy, gratitude, and passion for my craft as a performer. I learned what it means to be isolated and how much music can brighten the darkest of days. I became so much more appreciative of the things that I have, particularly of the prominent role that music has played throughout my life and my high school career. And I developed a deep appreciation for the Bread & Roses staff and their volunteer performers. They all love what they do and love sharing it with others. Their passion for their work touches everyone around them.

Teenagers are constantly bombarded with information about the next step, the next fork in the road, the next chapter of their future. We start to lose sight of what is important because we are always looking ahead. Bread & Roses helped to make me feel centered and grounded again. With a fresh outlook and mindset, I am approaching the next chapter of my life with the passion and drive to become a better human being.

The future no longer looks as scary.


By Katrina Strack, June 2015



Since her internship, Katrina, a talented singer/guitarist with a pop/contemporary repertoire, has become a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses Presents. She has performed a show at a senior convalescent facility, demonstrating her continued commitment to our organization.

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At The Crossroads May 13 Benefit At Terrapin: A Fun Evening & Big Success


On a lovely evening in mid-May, Bread & Roses Presents hosted its annual spring benefit at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was our first time presenting a fundraiser at this wonderful venue with its special ambiance and dedication to live music.

About two hundred supporters joined us for the event, beginning with a pre-concert reception on the beautiful patio overlooking the canal. Guests enjoyed delicious canapés along with fine wines contributed by Kokomo Winery of Sonoma. Everyone had the opportunity to preview the exciting music and sports live auction items on the terrace.

The festive concert in the Grate Room began with the music of Gabriel Harris and Rhythm Village. In this elegant barn-like space with chandeliers and colored lights, Gabriel’s talented ensemble, including veteran Bread & Roses volunteer performers Tom Finch and Charles Moselle, helped to bring out the inner drummer in all of us.

Executive Director Dave Perron set a tone of appreciation for all who support our work of over 600 concerts a year for those who need it most throughout the Bay Area. He then introduced Olympic gold medalist skier Jonny Moseley, our emcee for the evening.

Honored special guest Joan Baez began her set with one of her classic anthems by Phil Ochs There But For Fortune (Go You or I) invoking the spirit of our mission to bring uplifting music to those who are isolated. She followed with the Bread & Roses Song, with lyrics by James Oppenheim and music by our founder, the late Mimi Fariña (Joan’s sister). Everyone listened raptly as Joan played a Tom Waits tune, then a moving version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot and I Got Your Letter from her 50th anniversary CD Day After Tomorrow.

With her son Gabriel Harris and band, she broke out Bob Dylan’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue then did Me & Bobby McGee as a special tribute to Kris Kristofferson who was in the audience with his wife Lisa. She closed out her spirited set with John Lennon’s Imagine and one of her Spanish standards Gracias A La Vida (Thanks for the Life).

After a successful live auction and energetic fund-a-need, singer-songwriter/guitarist Emree Franklin from Seattle opened the second set with three authentic original songs including Dawn Patrol where she echoed the theme of the night with her lyrics “where the healing is a feeling.”

Tea Leaf Green’s magnificent musicianship closed out the night with a dance party to which the collective tribe, led by Joan Baez, tried out their dance moves to the joy of all who were there. It was a great musical evening that will be long remembered by the like-minded community who shared the experience and most importantly, by the isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area who will receive uplifting music as a result.

crossroadseventposterThanks to all the donors, sponsors and performers whose generosity continues to help keep our program strong.  Special appreciation also to Moonalice Posters for sponsoring Stanley Mouse to create the beautiful art for our event poster. Mimi's spirit lives on! 


Post by Marian Hubler

Video by Andrew Kaluzynski

Second Camera by Reese Brindisi

Slide Show Photos by Ken Friedman

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Day of Peace: A Highlight of Our Ongoing Program at San Quentin

On Saturday April 25, Bread & Roses Presents was honored to partner with the Day of Peace Committee in San Quentin State Prison on a daylong special event celebrating peace as an alternative to violence. As our contribution, we arranged for a number of talented performing artists to be part of the program including country singer Nathan Lee who came all the way from Nashville to participate.


Bread & Roses has brought music to San Quentin since the 70s when our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, started the organization. Through the years, Mimi produced periodic concerts with celebrities on the outdoor prison yard. This year, we are bringing monthly programs to the prison, alternating between providing music for special events, concerts in the chapel and special instrumental and songwriting workshops.


Singer-songwriter/guitarist Audrey Auld was also featured on the Day of Peace program, along with Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones from Blame Sally.  Audrey has led songwriting workshops at the prison for a number of years, culminating in the production of a CD Hey Warden with lyrics that were co-written by the men inside. In addition to performing on the Day of Peace, Audrey did a CD Release concert at the prison chapel in March where she gave tribute to the men who were her musical collaborators. She has written movingly of her musical journey as a result of her experiences through Bread & Roses at San Quentin. See Audrey’s May ’15 Newsletter. She also has a You Tube video of the song I Am Not What I have Done which she recorded in Nashville.


Other performers who took part in this year’s Day of Peace celebration included bluesmen Mark Hummel & Sid Morris, along with Gail Muldrow & an all-star funk/r&b band including Dave Getz, Kurt Huget and Tony Saunders.


It takes a village to produce this kind of collaborative program. We are grateful for the support of San Quentin Warden Ron Davis, Chief Deputy Warden Kelly Mitchell, Public Information Officer Sam Robinson, Prison Chaplain Father George Williams and Community Partnership Manager Steve Emrick who work tirelessly with outside organizations to bring positive, life-changing programs to the incarcerated men.


Those who volunteer to go inside, including Bread & Roses Presents Event Producer Lisa Starbird, know that the healing power of music can be an uplifting mood-changer as well as a transformative agent for creative and life-altering self-expression for those who are struggling to learn new positive ways to communicate. We have heard from the men’s testimonials that they remember the music, and they tell us how it has made a difference in their lives for many years afterwards. “They care enough to come in for us. That really touches me,” said one Day of Peace participant.


It is an unforgettable experience for the performers as well. Audrey Auld summed up the collective sentiment when she said afterwards “That was the most amazing show. It means the world to be able to engage in such meaningful, profound,  worthwhile work and know I have succeeded in connecting with these men in a true way. I am so touched by their heartfelt statements of connection and acknowledgement.”


Carol Newborg, and our friends at the William James Association, have also helped to pave the way for Lisa Starbird and Carolyn Gauthier from Bread & Roses Presents to continue to bring live music into the prison in a variety of forms. Long-time Bread & Roses volunteer photographer Peter Merts has assisted us with his tireless documentation of our ongoing program at San Quentin and throughout the many institutional settings we serve in the Bay Area. He has recently co-produced a book Paths of Discovery: Art Practice and Its Impact in California Prisons with photos of various arts programs, including our work at San Quentin.


For a first-hand account from the men at San Quentin about the Day of Peace, click here to read their recent article in the San Quentin News.


Photos by Peter Merts

Captions ( in order from top to bottom):  

1.) Nathan Lee from Nashville

2.) Audrey Auld (at mic) with Jeri Jones (right) and Pam Delgado (wearing hat)

3.) San Quentin Community Partnership Manager Steve Emrick with Audrey Auld

4.) Kurt Huget, Gail Muldrow and Tony Saunders (l-r)

5.) San Quentin stage crew with Bread & Roses Presents Event Producer Lisa Starbird (back row right)

6.) The men on the yard share a peace sign with Carolyn Gauthier, Bread & Roses V.P. of Programs (4th from right)

7.) Audrey Auld, Jeri Jones & Pam Delgado (wearing peace sign shirts) with Steve Emrick and crew

8.) Bread & Roses Presents musicians and staff for San Quentin Day of Peace 2015

9.) Artwork on the yard of rose with "Transformation, Love, Peace" from a SQ inmate. 

Post by Marian Hubler 

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Spectacular Live Music At The Crossroads Benefit on May 13

Bread & Roses Presents will host a spectacular evening of live music on Wed. May 13, 2015 from 6:30-10 pm at our upcoming benefit concert At The Crossroads at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Rhythm Village and Tea Leaf Green will headline the concert along with a special guest performance by Joan Baez. In addition, singer-songwriter Emree Franklin will open the second set and Olympic Gold Medal Skier Jonny Moseley will emcee the fun and festive evening.   




Rhythm Is The Soul of Life

Rhythm Village, a collective of masterful musicians and dancers led by Gabriel Harris, thrills audiences with uniquely engaging performances that inspire the drummer in all of us. For twenty years, Rhythm Village has been sharing rhythm-based performances with various organizations like Bread & Roses Presents -- on stages, in schools and for corporate team-building. At Terrapin Crossroads, they will co-create the perfect live experience with all of us to celebrate our fifth decade and all we have accomplished together.

Rhythm Village is a great collaborative partner for Bread & Roses Presents. We bring hope and healing through live music and Rhythm Village creates positive change for individuals and institutions through music. Gabriel Harris and his collective have been volunteer performers since 2006 having performed institutional programs at special needs schools and detention facilities.




How Sweet the Sound

JoanBaezwebJoan Baez has been performing and touring for over 55 years. She began her career singing folk songs in Club 47 near Harvard Square. A political activist since her early days, she marched at the front line of the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She has recorded over thirty albums during her career. Her collection of songs Day After Tomorrow produced by Steve Earle in 2008, reflects her journey in song over the past fifty years. She has recently released Diamantes, a special edition of Spanish songs from her 1988 recording Diamonds and Rust in the BullringShe was also featured in American Masters PBS documentary in 2009 How Sweet the Sound, a comprehensive chronicle of her life and career.

Joan has been a supporter of Bread & Roses Presents since the very beginning when her sister Mimi Fariña founded the organization in 1974. She appeared in many Bread & Roses Festivals of Music benefit concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. She was a featured performer at our 25th anniversary concert at the SF Opera House in 2000 and has supported the organization in various ways through the years. She last appeared with Rhythm Village at a benefit concert for Bread & Roses Presents at The Lodge in San Francisco in 2008.



In the Wake

Tea Leaf Green is a jam band based in San Francisco since the late '90s. They are one of the Bay Area's most thoughtful and dedicated group of song craftsmen. They are known for "marrying honesty, artistry and grit in music that hums with bruised but unbowed life."

Band members consist of Josh Clark (guitar/vocals), Trevor Garrod (Keys/vocals) Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass/vocals) and Cochrane McMillan (percussion).

They have produced 16 full-length recordings and their most recent release In The Wake is their best showcase to date of their masterful blend and considerable individual talents. Reed Mathis and Cochrance McMillan played with Marco Benevento at a benefit for Bread & Roses at The Chapel in San Francisco in 2013.

You won't want to miss this unforgettable evening of music. All proceeds benefit our mission of bringing live music to isolated people in Bay Area institutions who need music most. Cabaret-style seating is in the intimate setting of The Grate Room at Terrapin and is limited, so email Elissa Burke for info soon. We look forward to seeing you there!

Photos of Gabriel Harris & Rhythm Village with Joan Baez at the Lodge in 2008 by Peter Merts,  Courtesy of Bread & Roses Presents  

Photo of Tea Leaf Green by Jay Blakesberg

Post by Marian Hubler  


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Bread & Roses Presents 2015 – Enhanced Name For Our Fifth Decade & Going Strong!

Executive Director Dave Perron, at the helm since December, reports that “Bread & Roses is going strong.”


New Enhanced Name

web300x300logoTo kick off this year in style, we have a new enhanced name “Bread & Roses Presents” and a new logo to better communicate our timeless mission of bringing hope and healing through live music and performances to isolated people in Bay Area institutions. Thanks to designer Nancy Chan, we now have more contemporary graphics and a new brighter color with images of some of our audiences.

Our ongoing program is vibrant with over 600 shows presented last year. We have ongoing relationships with over 120 different institutions serving youth, adults and seniors in eight counties around the Bay Area.


New Institutional Audiences in 2014

New institutional audiences added in 2014 include the Community Living Center of the Veterans Hospital in Livermore, a residential convalescent facility for senior veterans, as well as A Friendly Manor, a drop-in shelter for adult homeless women in Oakland. We also started serving the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, a residential facility for children needing long-term medical treatment, and their families.


New Volunteers Perform A Record Number of Shows

Thanks to all our performers, the backbone of our organization, with almost 800 individuals, as well as those in groups volunteering in 2014. New volunteers performed a record 170 shows last year for Bread & Roses Presents. Some of our new performers like Tim Andres, Circus of Smiles, Tim Harris, Beth Marlin, Gary LaPow and Spike Sikes, perform monthly shows for diverse audiences at a wide range of facility types throughout the Bay Area.

Some exciting new performers include Greg Dana and his musical puppets from Japan who recently did shows at Timothy Murphy School and the North Bay Children’s Center in Marin and the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble who will play at Laguna Honda Hospital in SF in May.

Volunteers host over fifty percent of our annual shows and help us to greatly extend our reach. We work hard to recruit new volunteers and appreciate your referrals.


Staff Changes at Bread & Roses

EBforWebCongratulations Elissa Burke for being promoted to Director of Development. Alameda resident Miles Karp has also recently joined us as Development/Events Associate. Ann Huseman from San Rafael has also joined our staff as Business Manager. Farewell to former Development Director Susan Gordon and Business Manager Janet Lewis. We thank them for their years of service and wish them well in their new endeavors.


Ann Huseman & Miles Karp, Photos by Peter Merts

Stay tuned for lots of exciting fundraising events in the pipeline to sustain our organization for the years to come. Our upcoming benefit At The Crossroads on Wed. May 13 will be our first time at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Rhythm Village and Tea Leaf Green will headline a really great night of live music with a special guest performance by Joan Baez. We hope you will join us!


“Raise Money, Get Younger and Get Famous”

Our goal is to make our organization more widely known, recruit the next generations to join us and find new and innovative ways to raise the funds to make it all happen. It will take a tribe to maintain our momentum and to move forward to serve more audiences in our fifth decade. Let us know if you have ideas or want to get involved. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for all your unwavering support and belief in our mission to make Bread & Roses Presents an even more extraordinary organization. With your continued help, we can make our founder Mimi Fariña’s vision a thriving force in the Bay Area for years to come, and one that will continue to be emulated by others...throughout the country and beyond.



Bread & Roses Presents Logo Design by Nancy Chan

Elissa Burke Photo by Peter Merts

Post by Marian Hubler

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Welcome Reception for Dave Perron at Seager Gray Gallery - February 5, 2015


Thanks to Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray of the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley for providing a beautiful space to welcome Bread & Roses Presents Executive Director Dave Perron.

A lively mix of long-time supporters and new friends came together to meet and mingle amid contemporary pieces of world-class art in the latest exhibition "Material Matters." Volunteer performer Teja Gerken played entrancing acoustic finger-style guitar, adding the perfect ambience to the event.

Board Chair Elect Stacy Nelson welcomed everyone and introduced Dave who was there with wife Hilary Black. Stacy contributed over 350 hours of pro bono time to manage our executive transition in late 2014.

Dave said "I am honored to lead the dedicated team at Bread & Roses Presents and hope everyone has a chance to experience first-hand the healing power of an institutional show for those who are isolated and need music most. "

While enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres provided by Robin Scott Catering, former financial manager Martha Fleischman & husband Roger got to meet newcomers like Marcus & Cecily Stock.

Volunteer performers Michael Hatfield and Barbara Kessel chatted with Vice President of Programs Carolyn Gauthier. Board member Suzanne Badenhoop and husband Guy Lampard brought Elizabeth and Howard Jaffe, parents of volunteer performer Matt Jaffe, a contemporary songwriter and band-leader.

Development Director Susan Gordon traded notes with communications ace Jay Silverberg. Board members Paul Kirincic, Cathy Less, Philip Pillsbury (with wife Cynthia), Michael McElligott and Raj Gopal of Bank of the West greeted old friends and welcomed new supporters. New volunteer show host Larry Seidman was there with wife Patti DiVella

Joe O'Hehir of Whistlestop extended appreciation for the music Bread & Roses Presents brings to its monthly lunch programs for low-income seniors in San Rafael. Long-time Ambassador Michael Pritchard made everyone smile with his heartfelt stories of motivational programs he has given for some of our youth audiences.

The evening was the perfect kick-off for our fifth decade of bringing hope and healing through live music to isolated people around the Bay Area – over 600 shows annually. Here's to a dynamic year of finding new and innovative ways to raise funds, cultivate younger volunteers and spread the word about the good work of "Bread & Roses Presents." It takes a tribe to uplift spirits and we are grateful to all our supporters.


Post by Marian Hubler

Slide show by Carrie Sownie

Photos by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses Presents 

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Excellence in Leadership Award Presented to Cassandra Flipper at Heart of Marin Awards


A huge congratulations to Cassandra Flipper, former Bread & Roses executive director, the winner of the "Excellence in Leadership Award" at the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL)'s 22nd Annual 2014 Heart of Marin Awards Ceremony at the Marin Civic Center on Thursday January 8, 2015. Marin's vibrant nonprofit community was represented with over eight hundred attendees from a wide spectrum of organizations.  

Tom Peters of the Marin Community Foundation presented the award to Cassandra Flipper as the executive director who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and whose vision has inspired meaningful and lasting change benefiting Bread & Roses and the community. Bread & Roses also received a $5,000 donation from CVNL thanks to the Marin Community Foundation's sponsorship of the award.

Bread & Roses sponsored a table at the luncheon to celebrate Cassandra and our other volunteers who were nominated. Stacy Nelson, at the luncheon with husband Mark Nelson, was a nominee for the "Excellence in Board Leadership" category. Stacy served as search consultant for hiring Bread & Roses's new Executive Director Dave Perron and donated over 350 hours to successfully complete the search process.

Performer Beth Marlin, attending with husband George Lichter, was also a nominee for "Volunteer of the Year" by Bread & Roses. As a musician, Beth has presented concerts for diverse audiences including preschoolers and teens, adults and seniors. Beth also stepped up as a donor after giving the proceeds from a special benefit concert in San Francisco last year to our organization.

Long-time Bread & Roses volunteer and supporter Michael Pritchard, an inspiring motivational speaker, emceed the ceremony honoring 128 volunteers who received awards in different categories. For more information, see the Marin Independent Journal's article (January 9, 2015) in the Local News section "Heart of Marin: Volunteers Celebrated at Awards Ceremony."


Thanks to our entire tribe of committed volunteers and supporters who help us sustain our program each year. With your continued help, we are proud to be kicking off our fifth decade of hope and healing through live music for our neighbors who need it most -- over 600 shows each year for diverse audiences who are isolated throughout the Bay Area. 

To volunteer, click here. To contribute financial support for our cogoing program, donate here


Top Caption: (l-r) Stacy Nelson, Cassandra Flipper and Beth Marlin Celebrate After the Awards Ceremony - Photo by Marian Hubler

Bottom Caption: (l-r) Dave Perron, Stacy Nelson, Cassandra Flipper, Mark Nelson, Susan Gordon, Beth Marlin, George Lichter, Marian Hubler and Suzanne Badenhoop. (Not pictured Carolyn Gauthier)

Photos Courtesy of Bread & Roses
Post by Marian Hubler

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A Taste of Boz Scaggs - Fall Benefit at Great American Music Hall Nov. 24

Thanks for making our November 24 Fall Benefit a great success!


video picture 


This sold-out celebration honoring outgoing Executive Director Cassandra Flipper was a memorable milestone. Longtime B&R supporter and music legend Boz Scaggs and his band dazzled, with everyone dancing in the aisles. We appreciate your enthusiasm, generosity and dedication to our mission.   


It’s because of friends like you that B&R is heading into its fifth decade of presenting the healing power of live music to our neighbors most in need.

Photo Collage smaller 

Photos by Ken Friedman, Courtesty of Bread & Roses

Video by Lauren Arrow, Courtesy of Bread & Roses



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Dave Perron Appointed Executive Director at Bread & Roses

web DaveThe Bread & Roses Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Perron as the new Executive Director of its agency.  A visionary leader, proven fundraiser and innovative thinker, Perron will head Bread & Roses during its fifth decade of bringing hope and healing through live music to isolated audiences in the Bay Area.

A former Bread & Roses board member and Kentfield resident, Perron worked with our founder the late Mimi Fariña in the early 90's. “When Mimi started Bread & Roses in 1974, she was creative, innovative and courageous in her vision for the organization. I intend to continue her great legacy with the same enthusiasm and unwavering purpose," he said.

He follows outgoing Executive Director Cassandra Flipper whose stellar leadership guided the agency for the past 14 years. She will continue her association with Bread & Roses as a member of its Circle of Advisors.    

Perron worked for some heavy hitters in the past. He is a former Vice President of the Oakland A’s where he was Director of Public Affairs & Community Relations and Executive Director of its Community Fund under President Walter Haas for eleven years. Said Haas, “I have nearly a thirty-year history with Dave as it pertains to charitable organizations. Under his new leadership, I know the Bread & Roses community is getting a proven veteran.”

As Vice President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Perron was instrumental in building partnerships with professional athletes and sponsors including a program that grew to $11.8 million in one month at Safeway checkout stands. Legendary manager and Hall of Famer Tony La Russa said, “I have worked with Dave and he has been my good friend for many years. His passion, commitment, creativity and experience have been the defining elements in his work in the philanthropic world.”

Perron most recently served as a consultant for various organizations including Not For Sale, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting people from human trafficking. He has also worked with musicians including his stepson, Jeff Austin Black, whom he helped sell over 85,000 CDs.  

In addition to Bread & Roses, Perron has served as an advisor on a number of nonprofit boards including Reggie Jackson’s Mr. October Foundation For KidsPete Carroll’s A Better LA and San Domenico School. He also volunteered for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Marin for twelve years.

Bread & Roses Board Member Stacy Nelson has donated her time and the resources of her executive search firm Stacy Nelson and Associates, LLC, to facilitate the appointment of Perron. Of his appointment, she said “Dave Perron is a creative entrepreneur who can lift the organization to a new level. He will provide great vision, new energy and expertise to support and sustain the mission of Bread & Roses.”  

Founded in 1974, Bread & Roses uplifts the human spirit by providing hope, healing and joy through live music in over 600 annual programs around the San Francisco Bay Area for people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society.

Inspired by a 1912 poem by James OppenheimMimi Fariña selected "Bread & Roses" to convey the spirit of the nonprofit she founded in 1974 to bring the healing power of music and other live art to institutionalized children, teens, adults and elders. Over the years, Bread & Roses has received awards for its community impact and its overall effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, other organizations around the country have been inspired by its mission to start similar programs. To volunteer or make a donation, visit

Follow Dave on Twitter at @DPerronBandR


Post by Marian Hubler.

For media inquiries, call (415) 945-7127 ext. 109 or email

Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

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Tribute to Cassandra Flipper at the Great American Music Hall

 Cassandra Flipper was celebrated as guest of honor at a benefit event on Mon. November 24 at the Great American Music Hall. This special evening featured an outstanding concert presented by Boz Scaggs and his wonderful band.  

Executive Director Cassandra Flipper's stellar leadership guided the agency for the past 14 years. She will continue her association with Bread & Roses as a member of its Circle of Advisors. Dave Perron was appointed executive director as of Dec. 1. 

The evening at the music hall featured a special tribute to Cassandra from Noah Griffin, Susan Gilardi and Sudha Pennathur who all spoke of Cassandra's stellar accomplishments and stewardship of Bread & Roses. We wish her well in her future endeaors and know she will continue to shine. 

The video above was shared during the tribute. We hope you enjoy this retrospective of photos taken during Cassandra's time at Bread & Roses, as well as the many photos of our instituional programs through the years.  


web cassGAMH


Please share your reminiscences of Cassandra in the comments section below. 

Video Producer: Lauren Arrow
Consulting Editor: Marian Hubler
Music by Mimi and Richard Fariña
Narration by Cassandra Flipper



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Folk Alliance Far West Testimonials Honoring Bread & Roses Ambassador Cassandra Flipper

CassFarWestJohnJacob web


 At the Folk Alliance FAR-West Conference Awards luncheon on Sat. Oct. 17 at the Oakland Marriott, Bread & Roses Executive Director Cassandra Flipper was honored as its 2014 Ambassador. Here are the testimonials from long-time Bread & Roses performers and supporters Joan Baez, Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, Roy Rogers and Maria Muldaur that were read by event organizer extraordinaire Chappell Holt. Along with the introduction that was given by Elaine Dempsey, you can also see the video link of the awards ceremony, including a live rendition of the Bread & Roses song at the end.




rose web


Congratulations to you, Cassandra, on receiving the FAR- West Ambassador of the Year Award. The dedicated work you have done with Bread & Roses over these past 14 years has kept Mimi's vision - her legacy - alive and well. Untold numbers of institutionalized and isolated people have had their hearts and souls soothed, refreshed, and invigorated by the talented performers of Bread & Roses. This could not have been possible without your guidance and commitment to carrying on Mimi's dream.

"Hearts starve as well as bodies / Give us bread, but give us roses."

Please accept this print of my painting of Mimi with my love and thanks, and Congratulations on this deserved Ambassador of the Year honor!

Joan Baez

CassElaineFarWestJohnJacob web

rose web

I met Cassandra at the end of the 90's when I was doing some shows for Bread & Roses when Mimi was still with us.

I've always thought that music was a great healer and method of communication which is why I support Bread & Roses. The premise that bringing all forms of entertainment to folks who are unable to get out and experience comedy, music, poetry, etc., is a gift that's hard to put a value on, and one of the more touching and rewarding things artists in the entertainment industry can do to give back to the community.

This organization was started with that in mind, and has served so many over the years, from nursing homes and rehab centers, to those who are incarcerated in penal institutions. The organizing with these places and recruiting artists for the shows isn't an easy task, and requires so much time and effort from the people who run Bread & Roses. This goes largely unrewarded except in the inner circles of the organization.

When Mimi Farina left us, Cassandra Flipper picked up the torch and took on the responsibilities of the day to day, as well as overseeing the projects that constitute what Bread & Roses stands for. As an artist who has worked both at the shows for the main recipients of this organization's services, and also to help raise money to help it continue, I'd like to personally thank Cassandra for her years of service and hard work in keeping the original platform, that is Bread & Roses, running smoothly and continuing to serve those it most benefits in the community.

I can't think of anyone more deserving of the 2014 Ambassador of the Year Award!
Please accept my thanks and warm wishes for all you've done, Cassandra, and may your future endeavors be as rewarding as I know working with Bread & Roses has been.


Tom Johnston

rose web

I am honored to contribute to the proceedings.

It has been my great pleasure to work with Cassandra over the years. Bread & Roses has had its continued success in large part due to her dedication and tireless efforts. She is most deserving of the acknowledgment that she has helped make the world a better place and for so many people.

My sincere congratulations to someone who, I am sure, will continue to make a difference in whatever she chooses.

Roy Rogers

rose web

I want to congratulate Cassandra Flipper on the occasion of her retirement from Bread & Roses.

I most gratefully appreciate how she stayed true to the original vision and spiritual intention Mimi Farina had when she first created this wonderful organization, while at the same time, navigating and accomplishing the challenging task of keeping Bread & Roses functioning, financially solvent, and, amazingly, expanding its capacity for outreach and service to those in need.

Along with Mimi, Cassandra has been the "face" of Bread & Roses for so many years, she will be sorely missed!

She has worked tirelessly for many years to bring joy and enjoyment to so many. I sincerely hope that retirement will bring her much deserved opportunities to relax and embark on new and wonderful adventures!!

With much Love & Appreciation,

Maria Muldaur

rose web


I want to write a song like Bono's "One" – a well-crafted, powerful message with perfect simplicity and one would think "what more could be done?" And then Mary J Blige comes along and gives this amazing song, new wings. India Arie did it with Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter" and Aretha did it with Otis Redding's "Respect". Eva Cassidy did this "Time after Time". The list goes on. These are artists who know to take something already special, pouring their heart, soul, creativity and brilliance into every note so the song and its message live on, sometimes stronger than its first release.

Like Bono, like Henley, and like Otis – Mimi Fariña made the world a better place with a well-crafted and powerful concept that she grew with perfect simplicity into an elegant human service organization. One would think "what more could be done?"

Like Mary J, like Aretha, like Eva, Cassandra Flipper came along and took something already special, poured her heart and soul into it, and then, with her creative genius and brilliance, continued Mimi's original mission and gave it new wings.

From Mimi's vision, Bread and Roses has long dedicated itself to uplifting the human spirit by bringing live entertainment to those who live in institutions or are similarly isolated. With Cassandra's vision, community relationships in and around Bread and Roses were strengthened and this already special organization developed life-sustaining income streams and was transformed from a founder-run to a sustainable non-profit organization.

Just as Bread and Roses was already special when Cassandra arrived bringing the magic of her leadership, Cassandra was already special before she took that helm.

A child of college professors Carl and Maurine Flipper, she was raised in a family that helped her behold her place in the world as an agent of social justice. Cassandra marched on Washington with Dr. King, she served as an intern in Kennedy's White House and in the Peace Corps. Graduating with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, Cassandra found her point of intervention as an attorney dedicating her career to what is just, what is right, what brings peace, and what brings communities together to make this world a better place.

Cassandra is consistently authentic in her make-the-world-a-better-place spirit and she believes in the power of people working together to get it her work, in the community, in her church, in the arts, in her family, and among her friends, Cassandra brings people together to make the world a better place.

Cassandra Flipper is many things to many people. She is mother to her son Carl and daughter, Karen, she is Nana to four adorable grandchildren. She was a dedicated daughter during her parents living years. Cassandra IS my very dear and wonderful friend, my movie buddy, my St. Louis Cardinals – but-still-love-the-Giants sports pal, my 'let's fix the world' news-junkie companion" and one who will show up when a friend is in crisis until it feels manageable and less lonely.

Cassandra and I have been friends for a very long time and we have much in common
• She was admitted to both the Missouri and California bars
 -  I have played in many of the bars in both Missouri and California.
• Her first position was with the Department of Justice
 - I have many friends who have been positioned by the Department of Justice,
in fact they are probably still there – right now.

Cassandra's contribution to the arts extends beyond her role as the Executive Director of Bread & Roses. She has supported singers, songwriters, and musicians throughout the years. And she shows up. She connects people in the arts with people who appreciate the arts and artists. Her respect-and-reverence for the artists is even evident in the fact that Cassandra does not leave a movie theater until the last credit has rolled. Her respect and honor for artists and their crafts is as basic as bread and as lovely as roses. Cassandra is what an Ambassador of the Arts looks like.


View the video of Cassandra's 2014 Ambassador Award at the FAR-West Awards Ceremony HERE:


Video of FAR-West Awards Ceremony for Bread & Roses 2014 Ambassador Cassandra Flipper, October 17, 2014 Oakland Marriott. Video by Gary Lynch, Courtesy of Far West 

Photo Captions:

1) Cassandra Flipper with her FAR-West Award

2) Elaine Dempsey gives tribute to Cassandra at FAR-West for her Ambassador Award. Cassandra is holding her gift a painting of Mimi Fariña by Joan Baez.

Photos by John Jacob

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It's All About Building Relationships: A Salute to Whistlestop

As we wind up our 40th year at Bread & Roses, it's a good time to reflect upon the importance of the partnerships with the facilities we serve. Longevity of service is one of the hallmarks of our organization. Looking back at our first published newsletter in 1976, we see that we have been consistently serving a number of facilities through the years.

"It's all about building relationships," Program Director Carolyn Gauthier recently noted. "Knowing the staff and residents of facilities for a long period of time strengthens our connection. Some programs that we have served since the 70s include San Rafael Healthcare & Wellness Center (formerly Fifth Avenue Convalescent), Center Point, SF Juvenile Hall, Marin County Juvenile Hall, The Tamalpais, The Cedars, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Marin Convalescent, Napa State Hospital, SF County Jail, SF General Hospital, The Redwoods and Langley Porter.”

The facilities we serve are truly our collaborative partners in the healing work that we do. They help us set the stage for live performances, and they help educate others in the community about the hope and joy their clients receive as the result of experiencing live music. Now in its 60th year, Whistlestop is a great example of an organization with whom we have worked as a collaborative partner for the past decade.

Carolyn Gauthier produces concerts for Bread & Roses at this facility and recently said “We have a special relationship with Whistlestop and bring free live entertainment to several of the venues where their clients are served. Hundreds of seniors come daily to the Jackson Café to eat a delicious reasonably priced lunch prepared by the Homeward Bound of Marin's Fresh Starts Culinary AcademyEvery year in December Bread & Roses brings The Christmas Jug Band in to spread holiday cheer to the folks at the cafe. It's a high point of the Whistlestop year. We continue the tradition next month on Thurs. Dec.11 at noon if anyone would like to join us.”

Diana Gruhl, program manager for Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center, said “On behalf of Whistlestop, I want to sing your praises, and thank Bread & Roses for bringing exceptional quality entertainment to our guests and members for free practically every month in our Jackson Café. I have worked in many venues throughout California that have provided programs for seniors, and I have never come across such a dedicated and talented organization such as yours that provides the gift of music to those who need it most.”

John Bowman did a profile on long-time Bread & Roses volunteer performer Si Perkoff in the October Whistlestop Express Newsletter. He reported that Si has performed at Whistlestop’s Jackson Café “too many times to count.” In his article he wrote, “Si has played with Bread & Roses for more than 20 years… In addition to playing the piano, he also enjoys talking to audiences during performances.” In the article, Si said “The mission of Bread & Roses is to entertain folks who might be in wheelchairs, people who cannot get out much, and are often isolated. So it is enjoyable to talk to them about the tunes.”

We create the container for hope,healing and joy by bringing musicians to play for audiences in places like Whistlestop where all can celebrate together with the music. On Sept. 28, Whistelstop celebrated its 60th anniversary in great style at Rancho Nicasio at a benefit event called “Whistlestock” with some long-time Marin County rock’n’roll musicians and bands.


Executive Director Cassandra Flipper attended “Whistlestock” as a guest of Susan & Dennis Gliardi. She said “Whistlestop’s celebration of its longevity with these wonderful Marin bands was a great reminder of the role of live music in the lives of Whistlestop's clients and the partnership with Bread & Roses." 

We look forward to seeing how we might deepen our relationships with all the facilities we serve. Let us know as we move forward if there are new ways to collaborate.



Post by Marian Hubler 

Cassandra Flipper at Whistlestock - Photo by Sierra Salin 

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