Thanks to all our supporters who help us present a cornucopia of Bread & Roses shows every year. It takes a tribe to fulfill our mission and we are especially grateful to our volunteer performers and hosts, the backbone of our organization.
What does a typical day of shows look like for Bread & Roses Presents? You might see 15-year-old Caroline Sky singing at a home for the developmentally disabled, Dirty Cello bringing rock and blues to adults in an addiction treatment facility, 70-year-old Si Perkoff playing boogie-woogie jazz piano in a convalescent home, The Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir singing gospel tunes to homeless families, Boswick the Clown performing for children, whose main languages are Spanish or Vietnamese, in a low-income daycare program, Aaron Kierbel leading a percussion workshop in a special needs school or Ian Dogole helping teens in rehab play instruments from around the world.
Who are the people that benefit from our services? You might meet someone like three-year-old Eduardo who spends his days in a Berkeley YMCA Head Start program, Maria who goes to an elementary after-school program at the North Bay Children’s Center. You might see teenagers like Jackson in San Mateo Juvenile Hall or Shayna in an alternative school/recovery center like Thunder Road in Oakland, or Andrew who attends The Phillips Academy in Alameda for students with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
You might meet the Bellen family, fallen on hard times and temporarily living in the ECOP Crossroads in Oakland. David, needing help with addiction and anger management and living at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco. 82-year-old Margaret who has dementia, lives with her daughter and goes to Lifelong, a senior day center in Novato. Raymond who spends his last days, alone and isolated in the healthcare center, at Laguna Honda Hospital in SF. Ella who lives in the convalescent wing at the Veterans Home in Yountville. And they all love having visits and hearing live music.
Who are the volunteers that make it all happen? They are performers who may be students, lawyers, professional working musicians and retired performers who share their talent with those who are isolated. (See the list of volunteer performers on our website.) They are hosts who find a few hours a month to give back to the community and help us emcee our shows. They are women and men who help at fundraising events and work in the office. We can always use more volunteer hosts in particular, so if you would like to join us, click here to apply.
Why do over 1,000 people in the Bay Area donate their time to volunteer at shows? Here’s what they say:
- We believe in the healing power of music.
- We know the importance of making human connections with the people who live in these facilities.
- We love seeing the uplifting nature of live entertainment that brings joy to so many people.
Bread & Roses Presents couldn’t do the 600 plus shows a year for 31,000 isolated people throughout the Bay Area, if it weren’t for our wonderful, big-hearted volunteers. For more information go to our homepage and see how to Get Involved.
1) 2015 Volunteer Host Dinner at the home of Tucky and John Pogue (Photo by Peter Merts)
2) Caroline Sky at The Cedars of Marin (Photos by Marian Hubler)
3) Children in audience at BAHIA School in Berkeley (Photo by Peter Merts)
4) The T Sisters and band play for the residents of The Delancey Street Foundation in SF (Photo by Ken Friedman)
5) Silvia Herold and Chuck Ervin of the Silvertones at CEI Oakland (Photo by Peter Merts)
Post by Carolyn Gauthier, Vice President of Programs