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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.

Congratulations Michael Pritchard on Lifetime Achievement Award


“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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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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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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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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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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Cassandra Flipper to be Honored as Folk Alliance FAR West "Best of the West" Ambassador on Sat. Oct. 18


We are pleased to announce that Bread & Roses Executive Director Cassandra Flipper will be honored as Folk Alliance's FAR West "Best of the West" Ambassador, along with legendary vocalist Barbara Dane, at a special awards luncheon at the Marriott Oakland City Center on Sat. October 18, 2014 as part of their western regional conference .  The 11th Annual FAR-West Music Conference will take place Oct. 16-19, 2014 in Oakland, CA and includes performer showcases, panels & workshops, the awards luncheon, a networking center exhibit hall, master classes as well as jamming and song circles.

About her upcoming award, Cassandra recently shared  "I am deeply honored to receive this year's FAR West Ambassador Award from the Folk Alliance.  Bread & Roses is fortunate to have so many acoustic-based musicians who volunteer every day throughout the year for people who are isolated in the greater Bay Area – performing their original songs as well as folk favorites.  For the past fourteen years, it has been a great joy to lead this humble organization that creates space for all of our performers to give their best gifts to those who need live music most."


Bread & Roses will have an additional presence at the conference as Board member Greg Beattie and Producer/Public Relations Manager Marian Hubler will participate in a "Music and Healing" panel at 9 am on Friday October 17, as part of the conference's educational offerings.  Bread & Roses will also have a table in the Networking Center from 2 to 5:30 on both Friday October 17 and Saturday October 18.  

Attendees at the conference meet people involved in folk and acoustic music from all over the West and learn how to build community, career and contacts while making and listening to acoustic-based music.  For more info on attending the conference, visit    


Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West)

Best of the West 2014

Legendary blues, jazz and folk artist Barbara Dane and Bread and Roses Executive Director Cassandra Flipper to receive FAR-West Best of the West honors.

FAR-West is pleased to announce the recipients of its Best of the West honorees for 2014. This year’s recipients are Barbara Dane and Cassandra Flipper.

The Best of the West awards were established by FAR-West in 2005 to honor individuals who have maintained an enduring presence in the folk and acoustic music scene in the West, and who continue to inspire others by embodying folk values and traditions. The awards will be presented at FAR-West’s conference in Oakland in October.

Barbara Dane has been known for decades as a legendary singer of blues, jazz and folk tunes and for her lifetime of political activism, which was often reflected in her music. Arriving in San Francisco in 1949 from her birthplace of Detroit, Barbara quickly became known as a great interpreter of blues and jazz and she worked with many of the biggest names in those genres throughout the 50s and 60s. Her collaborators included such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Otis Spann and Willie Dixon, among many others, and she often appeared on television and radio shows hosted by the likes of Jackie Gleason, Johnny Carson, Steve Allen and even Alfred Hitchcock. Ms. Dane was always involved in political causes for peace and justice. Her activism increased in the tumultuous era of the 60s and 70s, as civil rights and anti-war sentiments came to the national forefront. This activism increasingly led her into the realm of folk music and she expanded her influence as a club owner, record label owner and producer of others' music. Barbara has remained an active part of the music world as well as a champion of social justice well into her 80s and continues to inspire new generations with her talent and activism.

Cassandra Flipper, after a long and successful law career, followed legendary founder Mimi Farina as Executive Director of Bread and Roses, a Marin County, California, non-profit organization that brings free, live, quality music and other live arts to people who are institutionalized or otherwise isolated from society. Bread and Roses puts on over 600 shows per year in more than 125 institutions in eight San Francisco Bay area counties, bringing hope, healing and wellness to a very under-served segment of society, while bringing a sense of community to its over 1400 volunteers. As she guides this honored organization through the new millennium, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Bread and Roses' 1974 founding by Mimi Farina, it is altogether fitting that Cassandra Flipper be honored by FAR-West.

Barbara Dane and Cassandra Flipper join previous Best of the West honorees:

2005: Lowen & Navarro; Howard & Roz Larman - Folkscene

2006: U.Utah Phillips; Steve Baker - Freight & Salvage
2007: Rosalie Sorrels; Clark & Elaine Weissman - CTMS (and Folk Alliance Founders)
2008: The Kingston Trio; Mike McCormick - Whistling Swan Productions
2009: Joe Craven; Faith Petric: Bob Stane - Ice House / Coffee Gallery
2010: John McEuen; Cloud Moss - Kate Wolf Memorial Festival
2011: Laurie Lewis; Phil and Vivian Williams
2012: Barry McGuire; Chris Strachwitz - Founder of Arhoolie Records

2013: Chris Hillman; Ed Pearl - The Ash Grove

There was no "Best of the West" award at the first annual FAR-West conference in 2004.

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Kudos to Nominees Jim Kennedy & Mark Hummel for 21st Annual Heart of Marin Awards!


Kudos to Bread & Roses Board Chair Jim Kennedy and Volunteer Performer Mark Hummel for being this year's Bread & Roses nominees for the 21st Annual Heart of Marin Awards.

Jim was nominated by Executive Director Cassandra Flipper for Excellence in Board Leadership and Mark was nominated by Program Director Carolyn Gauthier for Volunteer of the Year.



Nominee Jim Kennedy 

Cassandra Flipper noted that during the past year Jim Kennedy, chair of the Bread & Roses Board of Directors, has gone above and beyond the call of duty in numerous ways.Despite his responsibilities as a senior executive at the Bank of the West, he attended a three-day conference with Cassandra to explore the process of change in the nonprofit sector.Together they learned about initiatives undertaken by other nonprofit organizations in an attempt to begin thinking about other approaches to our mission. After the conference Jim led the board and senior staff in a six-month process of strategic thinking.

Since 2005, Jim has been instrumental in obtaining grants, sponsorships and matching gifts for Bread & Roses from the Bank of the West. He has served on the board since 2009 and as board chair for the last two years. This year has been a banner year in terms of Jim’s personal giving (through generous Appeal and Live Auction donations), setting an example for other board members, and for the funds he has raised from the Bank to sponsor both the Spring and Fall benefit events.

He also nominated Bread & Roses for the Bank’s 4th annual Philanthropy Awards. Of the 300+ nominees from the Bank’s 19-state service area, B&R was one of three finalists in the Community Impact category winning a grant of $10,000. We were also presented with a well-crafted two-minute professionally produced video underwritten by the Bank. Click here to see the video

Jim consistently demonstrates his collaborative spirit by his outstanding communication with staff and other board members to explore new ideas and express concerns. He always accentuates the positiveeven when he is urging change and critical thinking. He shows up at meetings and at special events. He attends our regular institutional shows from time to time to stay in touch with our fundamental work for hidden audiences. He is also a devoted participant at our annual volunteer appreciation event where he engages our performers in discussions about their work for Bread & Roses and their personal artistic pursuits.  Last but not least, he effectively engages our donors at fundraising events.

Nominee Mark Hummel

In her nomination for renowned harmonica player Mark Hummel as Volunteer of the Year, Carolyn Gauthier notes that he is a dedicated professional musician who has chosen to give back to the community through his work with Bread & Roses. Through his generosity many people have been inspired and uplifted.

His talent and his connections in the world of "The Blues" run deep. As a harmonica ace, Mark has been in bands with many of the best musicians in the country including Boz Scaggs, John Mayall, Huey Lewis, James Cotton, John Hammond, Charlie Musselwhite and more. Not only does he share his time and talent with Bread & Roses, he also brings in many other fantastic musicians to be part of our volunteer cadre.

Bread & Roses presents 600 free performances a year to those who are isolated from society and often do not have access to live entertainment. These shows are made possible by the gifts of volunteers who believe that the power of music should be accessible to all. Over 29,000 of our neighbors in need receive hope and healing through live music annually in 124 facilities in the Bay Area. The volunteer performers are very special, big-hearted people who generously share their gifts.

Mark Hummel has been sharing his talents with institutionalized audiences for five years. He and his friends perform on a regular basis in many different facilities that are served by Bread & Roses including adult rehabilitation centers, senior day cares and convalescent homes, homeless shelters and facilities for the developmentally disabled. The Blues is a genre of music that is felt deeply and appreciated by a wide variety of people transcending  age, gender and ethnic differences. Whether it is Memphis, Mississippi Delta or Chicago style, the Blues are easily recognized as a true American art form.  Many of the people that Bread & Roses serve are of ethnic minority, do not have English as their first language and/or have experienced hard times. This music is a great equalizer which brings joy, comfort and big smiles to those from varied cultural backgrounds.

In addition to performing for hundreds of isolated individuals this year, Mark Hummel presented a workshop in San Quentin for inmates wanting to learn how to play the harp. He was able to get a donation of 20 new harmonicas from the manufacturer so that each of the men was able to keep the instrument and practice. The impact this made was immense, as the men are still playing, learning and enjoying these instruments.

Mark is an asset in so many ways. In October he put together an amazing lineup of musicians to perform at a benefit concert for Bread & Roses to raise funds for ongoing programs. Supporters bought tickets to hear Bay Area legends Ron Thompson and Nick Gravenites along with other blues musicians. Many new supporters were also introduced to the work and mission of Bread & Roses. He has consistently played at a variety of benefits through the years.

Mark is also a wonderful spokesperson for the organization in the media and beyond. This fall he agreed to let one of his institutional shows be filmed by Bank of the West (see link above).  In his video testimonial, he speaks of how the healing power of music helped in his own recovery from substance abuse. His openness in articulating his personal journey was especially poignant as he shared his story with others in rehab.  From all the ways Mark Hummel has supported Bread & Roses, we were proud to nominate him for the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Heart of Marin. He is a great example of the way that all of our volunteer performers are winners every day as they perform for institutional audiences where people need music most.

Contributed By Cassandra Flipper for Jim Kennedy and Carolyn Gauthier for Mark Hummel.

Photo composit by Lauren Arrow.

Left side: Jim Kennedy at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit, 2013. Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses.

Right side: Mark Hummel. Photo Courtesy of 2014

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Bank of the West Community Impact Philanthropy Award Benefits Bread & Roses

Bread & Roses was one of nine nonprofits to be given an award at the Bank of the West's Fourth Annual Philanthropy Awards.  As a finalist for a Community Impact Award, we received $10,000 during the bank’s award ceremony on October 22 in San Francisco. We are especially proud to have received this grant as we understand we were one of 300 nonprofit organizations across the bank's western region to be considered for the award.

Cassandra_Bank_of_the_WestMomentum Alliance, a youth-led nonprofit from Portland, Oregon, Accion, a microenterprise development organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Year Up Bay Area, the San Francisco and Silicon Valley-based internship and job training organization were recognized as the three winning laureates in the Community Impact category, each receiving a $50,000 grant. Bread & Roses was one of six additional finalists to be recognized during the program and to receive $10,000 each.

“Bank of the West has a long tradition of philanthropy and community engagement that has become a part of our organizational and employee culture,” said John Bahnken, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. “On behalf of the bank’s 10,000 team members, congratulations to the nonprofit organizations named in this year’s Philanthropy Awards. We’re pleased to honor the important contributions they are making to advance the well-being in our communities.”


Social entrepreneur and bestselling author Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of, presented a keynote address at the bank’s award ceremony encouraging the audience to not just leave a legacy, but also to live one. He said the nation’s growing older population constitutes “an undiscovered continent” of civic talent. Encouraging increased involvement in communities and philanthropy, Freedman supported a redefinition of older adults between midlife and old age, a generation destined for “encore careers” focused on moving from aspiration to action.

Bahnken noted: “Bank of the West has supported individual efforts and organizational philanthropy, plus the communities in which we operate, with $79 billion in loans, investments and philanthropic contributions over the past 10 years. Our Philanthropy Awards,” he emphasized, “seek to support vibrancy and health in our communities, and also highlight the inspiring richness of nonprofit involvement throughout the west.”


In addition to The Community Impact Award, one laureate and two finalists were named in two other categories, The  Innovation in Philanthropy Award and Team Member Commitment. 

Founded in 1874, Bank of the West, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West, is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

Video produced by Brick Films for the Bank of the West's Fourth Annual Philanthropy Awards. 



Photos Courtesy of Bank of the West.

1) Left to Right: John Bahnken,Sr. Executive V.P/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses; Maura Markus, President and COO/Bank of the West. 2) Left to Right: Vanessa Washington, General Counsel/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses; Maura Markus, President and COO/Bank of the West. 3) Left to Right: Alec Gorynski, Community Affairs/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses.

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Congratulations Joan Baez for Amnesty Award

Long-time Bread & Roses supporter Joan Baez was honored on Friday March 18 by Amnesty International at the opening ceremony of its 50th annual convention at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco where she received the first annual "Joan Baez Award for Outstanding, Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights."  

Joan was honored for a lifetime of human rights advocacy work and for the inspiration she has given to like-minded artists and activists throughout the world.  She and her sister, the late Mimi Fariña who founded Bread & Roses, were known as the "Peace & Justice" sisters for their dedication to various human rights causes.  Joan famously marched arm in arm with Dr. Martin Luther King and has traveled around the world participating in human rights missions throughout her long career.  

In a film produced just for the tribute, Joan's son Gabe Harris, a percussionist who has volunteered for Bread & Roses through his nonprofit Rhythm Village, said that his mother has never wavered in her dedication to supporting human rights.  Sting, David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne also gave heartfelt testimonials on film about the power of Joan's artistry and musical activism.  

The tribute was the inaugural event for the award which will then be presented annually by Amnesty International to an artist - music, film sculpture, paint or other medium - who has similarly helped advance human rights.  

At this year's event, several artists who are human rights activists inspired by Joan's example also performed a live tribute called "Unite & Illuminate: A Musical Celebration Honoring Joan Baez and the Inspirational Power of Music-based Activism."  Featured artists were Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and death penalty abolitionist Steve Earle; Saul Hernandez, singer & songwriter of the Grammy award-winning rock bands Caifanes and Jaguares; Dispatch/State Radio musician and activist Chad Stokes.  

In the company of over one thousand Amnesty International activists from all over the world, including young organizers who spoke movingly of their challenges in Egypt and Mexico, Joan sang"There But for Fortune" by Phil Ochs and  "God is God" a song by Steve Earle that she recorded on her latest release Day After Tomorrow.  The tribute concluded with Joan singing John Lennon's "Imagine" with all the musicians on stage.  She reminded everyone of the important work of Amnesty and how it achieves results. Never stop doing the work, she said,  because you never know when your call or letter will be the one to make a difference.  


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Award for "Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence.”

On January 8, 2009, Bread & Roses was thrilled to receive the award for "Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence" at the 16th Annual Heart of Marin 2008 Awards Ceremony recognizing outstanding Marin nonprofits and their leaders.

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