BR logo web withtag

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.

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 

Rate this blog entry:
3678 Hits

Remembering David Lescht of Outside In

In the mid 1990s in Santa Fe, New Mexico, David Lescht founded and directed Outside In, a nonprofit organization similar to Bread & Roses.  His niece, Stacey Lescht of Corte Madera, came by the office recently to let us know of his unexpected death. She wanted to be sure we knew how much Bread & Roses and our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, had meant to him ..    

A recent article in the Santa Fe-New Mexican mentioned that David met Mimi when the rock group he managed called The Brotherhood Band did a concert for Bread & Roses at a Bay Area juvenile detention center. David kept in touch with Mimi and was inspired by her example to start an organization in Santa Fe to bring music to those isolated in detention facilities, hospitals, convalescent centers and other institutions.  

Mimi served on the Outside In Advisory Board and David greatly appreciated her support and encouragement. When Mimi died in 2001, David came to San Francisco for her celebration of life at Grace Cathedral and was touched by the outpouring of love and musical tributes in her honor that day.

As a like-minded individual, Lescht knew as well as anyone how music can help people deal with isolation.  As he told The New Mexican in 1994, “I just try to bring a little light from the outside into dark places,” he said.

His dedication to presenting live music – outside as well as inside -- was legendary.  He started a summer Santa Fe Bandstand series in the plaza that brought untold hours of free music to the community.  Following his passing, a community-wide celebration was held in the plaza with a diverse line-up of musicians..  A parade was held with a large number of people participating including facility clients served by Outside In, many of whom came in wheelchairs.

In the Santa Fe-New Mexican article, musician Jim Terr spoke of David’s legacy, “ His life and death are a good reminder to do something with one’s life. He created two of the best programs in Santa Fe, which should be replicated everywhere.”

Do you have any stories to share of David’s work with Outside In or similar nonprofit organizations in other parts of the country?  We would love to hear…

By Marian Hubler

David Lescht, Photo Courtesy of Outside In Productions 



Rate this blog entry:
3567 Hits

Teatro ZinZanni's 10th Anniversary

Celebrating 10 years in San Francisco, Teatro ZinZanni a not-for-profit theatre arts organization, is dedicated to invigorating broad and diverse live audiences through creative arts of all disciplines. Teatro ZinZanni is one of the only places in the world where more than a dozen international performers of the highest caliber are featured nightly. The show has joined the ranks of famed European clubs such as the Wintergarten and the Tigerpalast as a world-class showcase for the increasingly rare arts of the cirque. We are proud to celebrate our continued partnership with Bread & Roses and our shared goal of uplifting audiences through the arts.


Rate this blog entry:
5277 Hits