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