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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bread & Roses Presents

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Children & Youth, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Performing Arts, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Increasing access to the arts for members of the public who are ill, institutionalized, incarcerated or impoverished is the special focus of Bread & Roses. Founded in 1974 by singer/songwriter Mimi Fariña, Bread & Roses has worked for more than four decades at the crossroads of arts and social services to enable isolated and institutionalized individuals to have the unique, restorative experience of being lifted beyond oneself and one's current circumstances that is possible through live music and performing art.

Results: In the last year we presented 637 shows in 122 facilities in eight Bay Area counties. We marshaled the talents of more than 1,000 performers and other volunteers to bring joy to 36,241 isolated audience members, of whom 60% are minority. We brought hope and healing to 10,173 children and teens, of whom 75% are minority.

Target demographics: marginalized and socially isolated communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 36,000+ audience members in 122 facilities throughout 8 Bay Area counties.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Our program is "live art delivered fresh daily." Bread & Roses Presents brings free, high-quality, concerts and other live performance art to audiences who are isolated, institutionalized and marginalized; where there is little or no access to the arts and other life-enhancing experiences and activities (special needs schools, homeless shelters, detention facilities, substance abuse rehabs, convalescent homes, hospitals, etc.) to provide inspiration, joy, entertainment, education and hope. These audiences rarely have access to the kinds of culturally, educationally and socially enriching activities that many of us take for granted. We connect artists to these diverse communities. And in doing so, we dispel the myth that enjoyment of the arts is reserved for those who are privileged, advantaged or simply free to move about in society.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses consistently reaches out to those people who are out of the mainstream due to physical, financial or other limitations. These folks especially need the magic that music provides in healing the soul. I witnessed this magic while working at a women's shelter in San Francisco. Bread and Roses always kept us in their schedule without our even having to ask. What a blessing to the community they are!

1 Lauren A.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started singing with Bread & Roses in 2011. I've been to drug rehab clinics, hospitals, convalescent homes, homeless low-income preschools, juvenile detention facilities and everything in between, and it is always an incredible experience. The joy moves 2 ways: from the perspective of the performer who has their love of music to share, and an audience of humans from all corners of the earth with just as many stories to share. I get to meet these incredible individuals- most of whom I would never have a connection with- and share an intimate 45 minutes of bringing joy to eachother through music. For me, thats exactly why I got into music in the first place- the amount of hope and healing that these performances bring to me is equal to the hope and healing that's received.

2 Michelle M.22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored to volunteer with Bread and Roses Presents, as it affords me the rewarding opportunity to be a part of bringing "hope and healing through music" to diverse audiences in a wide variety of communities. I am a retired music therapist whose career focused on clients with acute mental health challenges and with older adults. I was introduced to Bread and Roses Presents working on our County locked psychiatric unit, where the talented volunteer musicians offered a connection to that place in a person's being that only music can touch. How fortunate that I can continue this mission as a volunteer. Hosting 1-3 shows a month, I love benefitting alongside the audience from the diversity, talent, and open hearts of the performers. The extraordinary staff at Bread and Roses Presents are dedicated, creative, talented, generous individuals who produce hundreds of shows annually, 637 shows in 122 facilities in eight counties just last year. Bread and Roses Presents performers elicit smiles, clapping, dancing, singing, reminiscing, tears, and community. I love this community and feel deep gratitude to this stellar organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my favorite memories with Bread & Roses is at a Veterans' Affairs facility in Menlo Park, CA. There was a gentleman in a wheelchair about ten feet away while I performed. I found out later that he was a 98 year old World War 2 veteran.

As I sang, he sat there passively and listened for 45 minutes without any reaction. When I was finished, he hit those wheels like he was in NASCAR, hand out to shake mine and said, "Thank you so much for your performance." I said, "Thank you. But more importantly, thank you for your service to our country."

It's only because of Bread & Roses that I could bring a little something to a war veteran. But I have to say that for someone like that gentleman to appreciate my performance was truly something special for me.

Thank you Bread & Roses - I hope we can work - and play - together for years to come.

Jeff.
Burlingame, CA

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteer performers with Bread and Roses for over the past 10 years. We get SO much out of playing for the varied communities that Bread and Roses serves. From a small Drug Rehab facility to a large VA hospital, it's always an amazing and unique experience every time we get to share our music. Music is such food for the soul, and it feeds us too to play for everyone! Win-win! Such a great organization, I'm honored to be a part of it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have volunteered for bread for about 4 years and as musicians we get to see first hand what Bread & Roses accomplishes in our communities. They send us musicians to places to play music for people who don’t have enough opportunity to sing and hear music. The folks served by Bread & Roses so deserve the gift of music and song and it is our pleasure to be a part of such a fine organization, that reaches deeply into the community and serves a vital purpose.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every time I show up for a Bread and Roses event the audience is so ready for the performance. Whether in a VA hospital or a prison chapel or prison yard they all want to share in the joy of music.... I will always be there for Bread And Roses events....Tony Saunders

2 Holly Ann H.

Donor

Rating: 5

The mission of Bread & Roses is relevant because live music and the arts promote healing for isolated people who often live alone as well as in institutional settings. Music uplifts their spirits and makes them feel joyful.

My father, John Hubler, loved music. In his later years when he was mostly housebound, he reminisced by listening to music from the 30s and 40s. I saw how much he felt in harmony with this music and how it made him happy. He enjoyed singing and put together a cassette singing his favorite songs from days gone by. Music formed a huge part of my upbringing, as it was instilled in me at a young age. My brothers, sister and I often entertained by singing and playing guitar at family gatherings and parties. My mother, Milly, also enjoyed singing, dancing and music.

Bread & Roses has been an important role model for Tidewater Arts Outreach, a like-minded nonprofit organization founded in 2003 in Norfolk, VA, where I volunteered. Their mission is the same: to share the joy and healing power of the arts for people in need. I remember Christmas caroling for folks who enjoyed the holiday cheer we brought them. It made me feel good to uplift other spirits through the healing power of music.

As a Bread & Roses donor, I continue to support this mission because I realize how integral music is to help a broken or diminished person feel whole again. And I know that my donation supports Bread & Roses staff who work tirelessly under the leadership of Dave Perron to accomplish this goal. It is challenging to keep the mission alive during the pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of many supporters like Joan Baez and the Seager-Gray Gallery, the organization has found innovative ways to generate additional support. They are currently offering signed, limited-edition prints of a painting by singer/songwriter and artist Joan Baez of her sister, the late Mimi Fariña, who founded Bread & Roses in 1974. The highly collectible prints will help to sustain the organization with a new source of contributions.

Dedicated performers like comedian Michael Pritchard, and Scottish musician, Neil O’Neil, have lifted many people’s spirits over the years. Their enthusiasm and commitment is not only noteworthy, it’s remarkable! I had the opportunity to see these two gentlemen perform at a Bread & Roses volunteer celebration some years ago -- such a treat -- and a wonderful memory I’ll have forever. How inspired I am by these performers who give so much of themselves and their time to improve the lives of others. I see that volunteer musicians have recently been performing for people waiting in line at several locations of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, yet another example of service to boost people who are suffering more than ever before. Bread & Roses staff is altruistic, and I appreciate and admire how they are pivoting during these unusual times by doing outdoor concerts and Zoom shows.

My sister, Marian, is now in her 25th year as a concert producer and communications manager for Bread & Roses. One highlight I enjoyed was her 2006 “Circle of Friends” benefit concert at the Larkspur Café Theatre, celebrating her 10-year work anniversary. This performance in the Bay Area featured many Bread & Roses volunteer performers and ended with us family members and friends all going onstage to sing adapted lyrics to “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” I felt uplifted singing the song with my family and the Bread & Roses volunteer performers. I believe music is like an unbroken circle that connects us to each other and enriches our lives. May the Bread & Roses mission continue like a circle that unites us all.

3 Chappell H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Chappell & Dave Holt have been volunteer Bread & Roses performers off and on for 40 years. We've entertained at senior centers, hospitals, drug rehab facilities, juvenile halls, veterans facilities, and most recently on Zoom! It has always been a wonderful experience and we are so honored to be able to support this fantastic organization with our music. We've had people in wheel chairs wobble to their feet to dance a little jig, we've had people sing along on the old jazz tunes they remember, we've had them love our originals we sometimes slip in. Bread & Roses is wonderful on every level. The lady in the blue dress and red hat is Mimi Farina the founder of Bread & Roses. This picture was taken at a volunteer thank you party in about 1983.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer for Bread & Roses in 2017. As a Singer/Songwriter it has been a tremendously rewarding experience performing for audiences throughout the Bay Area. I have greatly appreciated the opportunity that Bread & Roses has afforded me to share my talent to various groups of people from Seniors to Youngsters. As a Performing Artist it gives me great pleasure to see the joy in their eyes as they sing along to familiar songs or listen intently to a newly written original song. I am anxiously awaiting for the world to return to some form of normalcy so I can continue to perform at Bread & Roses events in the future.
Lots of love,
Rock David Pro

4 Neil O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you could witness the healing magic of live music in hospital, a drug rehab or a prison...you too would cry for joy! Bread and Roses brings THAT joy to thousands EACH year...! Now YOU'VE experienced a true LOCKDOWN...you understand the NEED ...Bread&Roses...fills....please help us continue.....Thanks! FIVE STARS...!!!!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer artist and supporter of Bread and Roses. They bring music to folks who need it most...hospitals, prisons and pre-schools, senior centers and more, providing entertainment and a sense of caring and compassion. This organization reaches out and nurtures the community through music. I hope they will be around for a long long time. The attached photo was taken at a pre-school in San Francisco, where I went to sing and dance and play musical games with a wonderful group of children, and their dedicated teachers.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's an honor to perform for Bread & Roses. Entertaining members of our community who we might not otherwise meet enriches our lives. 'Giving back' through music is a joy, as is working with the Bread & Roses staff who work tirelessly to support a wide range of underserved populations.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Volunteer Musician Performing 1940s, 1950s,1960s Songs for isolated Seniors. Bread and Roses gave me the guidance I needed 9 years ago when I was beginning my Career as a Volunteer Musician. I saw an add looking for Talent in “Acoustic Guitar Magazine “ by Bread and Roses and I called . I spoke with Marian Hubler who told me,” Know yourself and Know your Audience”. After putting together 6 Music Sets , Marian taught me how to Market Myself to Senior Daycare Centers, Senior Living Facilities, and Memory Care Units for Seniors. Following Marian Hubler’s advice I perform 100 Shows a year in Senior Facilities in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles , Culver City California, West Palm Beach Florida and Tuscany Italy. Thank you Bread and Roses.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello to all of you who are supporters of Bread and Roses. I’ve been playing shows for B&R venues for over 30 years. Bread and Roses has enabled me to share my talent with those who suffer the stress of illness, and confinement. And I have learned so much through those experiences. I learned that I could be an entertainer, a singer and storyteller as well as a piano player.
Bread and Roses gives me the priceless opportunity to “give back” to my world, sharing the Jazz and Blues music that fascinates and inspires me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Doing volunteer work for Bread & Roses Presents of Corte Madera, CA is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done as a musician. It is extraordinarily rewarding not only to myself as a musician, but for the audiences I have been so fortunate to share my music with. My audiences are usually older individuals with special needs in nursing homes, who are very grateful for the opportunity to hear live music. It touches their souls and brings joy into their otherwise lonely and isolated lives. An institution may mean well and have wonderful staff, but at the end of the day, it is still an institution and not a home, lacking that personal human touch and feeling they crave. Music is a way to bring light and happiness into the lives of countless people who are suffering in institutions. Bread & Roses excels at making this happen. They are very well connected throughout the Bay Area and put on numerous excellent concerts every year. They are highly respected and professional, and also very kind and caring. I have had nothing but positive interactions with the staff at Bread & Roses. This is an organization very worthy of support. (Laurie Scott)

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the spirit of volunteer work there is always that feeling you get when you forget your own problems for a minute and think of someone else's. Even if it is just spending time with the lonely, giving someone a ride, running and errand or gathering donations for a worthy cause. Doing something you receive no compensation for can give you joy and make you feel you are part of the solution.
Bread and Roses is an organization that has been doing this for decades in the Bay area. For the last three years, since my retirement, I have been bringing entertainment to institutional audiences of isolated adults and seniors in six Bay Area counties..Facilitated by Bread & Roses, with hundreds of other volunteers, together we have supported and been connected with the human family. That is exactly why Bread & Roses was created and I would say it has been a success!

3 Dennis D.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Bread & Roses two years before the Pandemic changed our world, and was able to host B@R shows a few times every month. Hosting these shows has been one of the most important things in my life, an enriching experience that far exceeded my expectations. It opened my horizons to how much need exists in the world, with people of all ages living in situations where they are starved for love and attention. Bringing music into these settings, whether they be VA hospitals, drug rehab facilities, schools for underprivileged children or jails is not only rewarding for these people, but has made me a better person in so many ways.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently sent a video testimonial to Bread & Roses. A transcript follows:
Wendy DeWitt 30 Year Performer
Video Testimonial Transcription
“Hi this is Wendy DeWitt and for thirty years, man I can’t believe it’s been that long, I’ve done show with Bread & Roses. And I believe with every ounce of my being that music is love and it is very important that we go out and share some. And Bread & Roses is an important part of doing that. And one of the best times I ever had that really hit my soul to the very deepest was I was doing a show in the east bay and there were some young vets from Iraq there and at the end of the show, they came up and we hugged and they had tears in their eyes. The music really helped these people feel better, and they shared that. And it was a wonderful day and this is why we do what we do. So keep up the good work Bread & Roses, fabulous! I have never seen a more dedicated staff and bunch of volunteers who go all over the place, all over the bay area. Much love. Music is love. Go out and share some.”

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member and volunteer performer for Bread & Roses Presents, I’ve seen first hand the joy, hope and healing that just an hour of live music and engagement can bring to the lives of the isolated and marginalized. The organization is small but mighty... just a handful of staff manage and coordinate close to 1,000 volunteers and jointly put on 600+ shows per year!

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member since 2015 and a volunteer performer, I can truly say Bread & Roses Presents ROCKS! The passion and energy each of the employees of the small but mighty staff, and the thousand plus volunteers (performers and hosts) put into the more than 630 shows annually to bring a little bit of hope, healing and sunshine into the lives of isolated people in difficult circumstances is a sight to behold. I'm very fortunate to have found a unique cause and a non-profit that let's me contribute in my little way -- won't you join me? Come for the music and entertainment, stay for the joy and smiles!

Raj Gopal

1 James W.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses is a great group of folks who are committed to providing music for people who might not otherwise have access to it. I play once or twice a year in the Bay Area and have performed at senior homes and acute-care facilities. I know Music lifts the spirits and am only too glad to be associated with Bread and Roses.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I make a point of playing some music under the auspices of Bread and Roses once or twice a year in conjunction with a visit to S.F. or Oakland for some live music. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of playing for folks in acute care facilities, a psychiatric unit and senior citizen events. The last was delightful playing Celtic music for a primarily Chinese senior audience. It was well appreciated.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Growing up in Marin County, I'd heard about Bread & Roses for decades and have always had a great respect their mission of bringing music and entertainment (the "roses" of life) to isolated populations. I have volunteered with Bread & Roses Presents for several years now, assisting with fundraising concerts and events and helping to host performances. The talent and generosity of spirit of the performers never ceases to impress me, and I have witnessed the difference their performances make for their audiences. I am honored and proud to be a part of this organization and encourage you to consider joining in the fun!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my privilege to be a volunteer host for Bread and Roses for nearly 10 years. The healing power of live music is a constant at each performance, no matter what the venue. The performers always bring something unique and special to each show and there is always a feeling of joy and love after every performance. We have been doing this for over 40 years and the passion continues and increases with each year. Magic happens with every Bread and Roses Presents show and it is a magic that touches the people that need it most.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

No one can doubt the importance of Bread & Roses' mission--connecting accomplished musicians with individuals in need throughout the community. Delivering on that mission, however, is what makes Bread & Roses exceptional. We at Cedars of Marin (serving 170 adults with developmental disabilities) have regularly benefited from the compassionate and wonderfully talented Bread & Roses volunteer musicians for decades! Whether in their seats or jumping in the air, our folks LOVE their time with Bread and Roses musicians. The whole experience is not just moving but enhanced by the totally professional way the Bread & Roses staff handle all the logistics--top to bottom--including attending most all events. The not so incidental benefit of the experience is that the artists themselves gain tremendously by connecting with the individuals in need throughout the community. In all, the experience enriches the lives of everyone involved. Kudos to Bread and Roses!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When was the last time you heard live music? How did it make you feel? Did you forget about the troubles of your life, the aches and pains of aging? Did the music remind you of your youth? Did you feel young again? Did you start singing, clapping or dancing along?

The Whistlestop Active Aging Center and Whistlestop’s Jackson Café community can say; they saw live music last month and it made them feel fantastic!

Why can our diverse Whistlestop community answer so positively about live music? It is because of the dedication of Bread & Roses providing no cost entertainment for older adults at our center for over twelve years.

We know we can count on the wide variety of entertainment offered by Bread & Roses to enhance our themed luncheons throughout the year. As a nonprofit, we would not be able to provide this entertainment to our community, if not for Bread and Roses.

Thank you so very much for all you do to ensure older adults have access to music every month!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been fortunate to volunteer with Bread & Roses since 2007. As an 11-year-old singer/songwriter, they provided me with an early introduction to the mutual reward of community service, and also the organic way in which music transcends various social barriers. Over the years, I've seen diverse audiences, from juvenile halls to retirement homes, respond to the simple, but powerful message of the organization, a primal offering to our collective human spirit. Whatever tension hangs in the air quickly dissipates in response to the genuine giving of Bread & Roses and its volunteers. The line between performer and audience often dissolves altogether, as the organization fosters our shared joy. Now, as a board member of several years, I have a greater window into the inner workings of the non-profit, and am only further humbled by the tireless efforts of the Bread & Roses staff, who have internalized the organization's goals as a personal mission to spread hope and healing through live music. They are a true inspiration.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Deanne Rehberg Levesque, I am an activity manager at Center for Elders Independence in Berkeley CA. I just wanted to express my sincere gratitude for Bread and Roses. They always provide quality entertainers and my participants love all the people that come and play for our center. Thank you Bread and Roses for always coning to our center every three months. my participants appreciate and enjoy the music entertainment.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served as a PR person with both the Giants and A's, and Bread & Roses Presents Executive Director Dave Perron and became friends years ago when he was also working in Major League Baseball. He knew I loved music and also wanted to get more involved in the community, so he ask me to consider serving as a volunteer host for concerts. That was three years ago, and I have probably hosted at least 75 performances since. It has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. Every time I visit a senior center, a rehab facility or after school program, I can't wait to see the "faces." Old, young, physically challenged or recovering addicts, they all have stories, hopes and adversities, and for one hour we lift their spirits and put a smile on their faces. What I have also found is that the volunteer performers and hosts might receive a greater gift than the audience. It is truly a humbling and rewarding experience for all of us. If you are able, you should consider helping this great cause. Donate time or money, or both. You'll never regret it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Bread & Roses for more than 20 years as a board member, participating on several committees, volunteering at special events, and most recently as a volunteer host for shows in a variety of organizations around the Bay Area. I have witnessed the *magic* firsthand time and time again - the way music, and other performing arts - uplifts the human spirit. I have hosted shows in rehab facilities, elderly homes, day cares, homeless shelters, juvenile hall - and all the audiences, no matter age or life experience, have been illuminated by the gift of a Bread & Roses performance. I'm proud to keep Mimi Farina's vision shining in the Bay Area! And to help share the joy of music with many in our community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After playing host at a skilled nursing home and introducing a young vocalist, i.e., another Bread & Roses volunteer, I sat back and listened to her singing old standards of the 40's, songs of love and love lost. Sitting beside me was a petite woman, her white hair in a bun, tapper her toes in a rhythm to the music, and a bright smile that lasted during the entire performance. After the show I hesitantly asked her the reason for her happy smile and far away look. She turned to me and said, "I remember." I wasn't about to ask anything more but I sensed that the romantic songs brought back wonderful memories of times long past. And I was happy that I, and that wonderful vocalist gave that lovely lady a few moments of happiness. People ask why I continue hosting after 15 years, and I usually say that "life has been good to me and this is a way I can give back." But the greater truth is that it is a privilege to be a small part of an organization that brings smiles and laughter to thousands of the young and old, whom Bread & Roses gladly serve.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the magnificent good fortune to volunteer for many B&R events, over the last 10 years or so. That the organization still does what it does best, and that they do more of it, every year, is a success story worthy of fulsome praise and steadfast support.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Bread & Roses provides what Huey Lewis calls a "twofer." The people it serves are moved and healed by the performers. But it works both ways, because the performers get a boost from the kind of audiences they rarely play for.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a performer affiliated with Bread and Roses. Their screening process is rigorous and thorough. I needed to send them video links and professional references before they'd allow me to perform. That keeps the quality high. Not just anyone gets to entertain. There is a high level of professionalism. There is always and emcee who introduces us and they bring a p.a. system. I gear up for the performances and always feel satisfied that I could share my talents with the older people we entertain. We all realize we ate there to make a difference in their day.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The acoustic/folk band, Three At Last has joined with Bread & Roses as a volunteer to provide music. We are new to their organization, but we feel as though we are their favorite band. EVERY contact with their staff, producers, engineers, has been completely professional, supportive and helpful. If every company/organization did business like Bread & Roses, the world would be a better place. We are proud to be associated, profoundly grateful for their mission. JUST THE BEST!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered as a host for B&R's musical performances for a year now, and never fail to be impressed with the power of music to lift the souls of people in tough situations. Nursing homes, lock-down psych wards, drug rehab homes, juvenile hall, and other isolated populations come to life when great performers sing and play their musical hearts out for them. Toes start tapping in wheelchairs, cynical drug users start swaying to the beat and singing along, and even non-responsive psych patients lean forward towards the performers. Before you know it, souls that have been heavy are suddenly lighter and feeling joyful. As one drug rehab dweller said - "For a few minutes there, I was free!" What a gift B&R brings to people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Performing music for seniors who are in residential or convalescent facilities brings so much joy to them and to me as they sing along, tap their feet, recall the tunes from their past, and express delight in multiple ways.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for bread and roses as a performer. I've seen first hand the positive effect this wonderful organization makes to the daily lives of the people they serve. Performing for bread and roses functions reminds me of the REAL purpose and reason the gift of music is so special. The simple vibration of wood,string,flesh and air brings people together in a moment like nothing else. its my pleasure and privelege to participate with bread and roses in any capacity. they do wonderful work and the staff are incredibly nice talented and dedicated to their cause

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a performer for Bread and Roses since 2004. They enable performers to bring music and entertainment to those who are institutionalized, in transition, unwell, unsure, unhappy, in need or alone. I have witnessed the power of music to lift the spirits. I have felt a room full of people become happy, start to smile, feel connected, laugh and sing. I have felt the energy change to positive energy. I have met people I would never cross paths with in my daily life; made new friends; developed relationships and felt a room full of people, including myself, feel worthy and acknowledged. The staff of Bread and Roses treat everyone with respect, grace and courtesy. They are reliable, communicative, caring and enthusiastic.

1 jasonber12

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I have volunteered vocal & guitar performances for B&R since its inception 1n 1974 regularly when living in CA. I now volunteer when ever I visit from HI. The agency brought me into long term care where I became a professional recreation therapist with emphasis in live music, because of my B&R involvement. I continued to volunteer in appreciation of their mission into the 1990's while working as a music & rec therapist. Although they didn't claim it until the late 1990's,I knew all along this was creative healing through the arts & that is what motivated me to continue monthly volunteer performances. I found in 2009, when I returned after a hiatus that there was a sense of stratification & exclusivity. I was required to "audition" when I returned in February 2009 It did not matter in least that I had been a faithful volunteer from it's 1974 beginning. Now, although the "audition" had been scheduled, when I arrived I was obliged to sing & play in the main office where only two people(out of at least a dozen) sat & listened to me.The others were running around apparently preparing for a staff meeting in another room. Then everyone, except the two seated, disappeared while I singing & playing. I seemed very unimportant & unexpected & kind of in the way. I hid my feelings & tried to get out as quickly as possible. I did, however, perform in a hospital for B&R after that & I would do it again but I felt "heart" was curiously lacking in this B&R community. A community agency which was claiming to encourage healing & creative social support to those they serve through the arts. It seemed to me that B&R was over regulating those who could & could not do volunteer performing The agency was no longer inclusive as it had been in the early years under its founding director. Volunteer sensitivity training would go a long way for the B&R staff to bring heart back into their formula. on their roster

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer performer for Bread and Roses I have had the privilege of feeling the awesome benefit of giving. There are no words to describe it really, accept to say that it has given me the opportunity to bring the joy that I have experienced in my life to those who are shut ins, developmentally disabled, or in rehabilitation and experiencing a low point in their lives....and I get to do it with the original songs I have written! So, it's a two way street...I get to give, and I also receive many times in return! Thank you Bread and Roses!!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses is a fantastic Organization that brings entertainment to those who can't get out to experience it. I am a singer/songwriter and have been volunteering for Bread and Roses for 3 years now. Recently I played for Bread and Roses at an abused womens shelter in Marin and after the show the counselor for the shelter told me that the women attending had had a particularly bad day, but when we finished our concert they had been "lifted up"and "transformed". Now that's what it's all about!

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

Before joining the BOD, I spent months recruiting a new executive director to replace the founder, Mimi Farina. Through this involvement, I discovered that everyone who worked for or voluntered for Bread & Roses was connected wholeheartedly to the mission. I joined the BOD and spent seven years totally committed to our cause, taking music and entertainment to those unable to leave their hospitals, prisons, old people's homes, rehabilitation centers, mental facilities etc. Our volunteers (musicians etalia) give up to 600 shows a year. I have never worked with such a marvelous, helpful and kind group of people. I retired from the BOD but my heart will always be one with these great people and their joyful cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses is a wonderful organization. By bringing live music and entertainment into places where folks can't get out on there own - places such as homeless shelters, rehab centers, nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons, Bread and Roses provides the perfect setting for our communities to give and to receive, to care and feel cared for. In the times I've hosted Bread and Roses shows (over a few dozen), I have seen tears and joy, and I have seen deeply heartfelt appreciation between performers and audiences. As an old show tune played, I have seen wrinkled hands clapping and slippered feet tapping as sweetly wistful memories passed through smiling eyes. I have seen nurses tear up as a small and normally withdrawn little child stands up to sing along, clap along, and dance along, all of us discovering together that he has perfect rhythm! I have seen a deep appreciation and connection expressed by performers and audiences alike. I have seen those whose lives were disturbed or challenged feel cared for by their community. I have seen songs delivered directly to the hearts of those who most needed the healing power of music. Every time I have hosted a show I have been deeply moved and come away feeling that I have just been part of something beautiful, something that helps make our communities healthy and alive. Do what you can to support Bread and Roses - It'll be worth every dime and minute of your time.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the very best bunch of people. Bringing music and performing arts to people who are shut in. Totally a class act. Love, Love, Love

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I experience both the audiences of Bread and Roses and the administration of Bread and Roses. The audiences enjoy our singing when we arrive; Cecilia is a five women group that I direct. The administration is really on the ball. If you don't have a lot of left over money now, send them a sum every month. That builds up support for them. In song, Bunny Stevens, conductor of CECILIA.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Bread & Roses for about 20 years. I started as a community volunteer and then I served as Treasurer of the board of directors for several years, the Chair of the board for several years and finally, a community member of the finance committee. In short, it is an amazing organization that does so much with so little. Bread & Roses provides over 500 shows a year to individuals isolated in institutions all over the SF Bay Area. It is hard to explain the impact they have on these people until you attend one of their shows. It is really a life changing experience as a simple attendee. Imagine how important it is to the resident of the cancer center or convalescence home. Bread & Roses relies very heavily on volunteers and they have some amazing people supporting them-from professional perfomers to the office staff-they always put on an amazing show. Bread & Roses will always be near the top of my giving priority.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses stands the test of time, consistantly serving largly ignored consituencies in many Bay Area communities, with grace, style, and great dignity. Ssomething like 500 free performances are produced per year. Good ones, too. B&R is a model for community outreach in general, and for attracting and retaining long-term volunteers. At 35 years and counting, B&R is also a model for sustainability in that most elusive of endeavors, enobling the human spirit.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a performer with Bread & Roses for several years now, I feel that this is by far my most satisfying volunteer work. I have been made to feel so useful and special by B&R as well as by the organizations that host us. Every hospital or shelter I have performed at gives me the most enthusiastic and heartwarming reception and it is impossible not to feel what an important service to the community Bread & Roses provides.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a performer who has been privileged to appear before diverse audiences who have little or no access to live music, I have never failed to be touched and heartened by the amazing response and energy I have been received by audiences ranging from mental wards and rehab facilities to developmentally disabled adults. They make me feel wonderfully appreciated for doing something I love, and it doesn't get much better than that.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've known many musicians that have been involved in events w Bread & Roses, benefit concerts and also performing in jails (incl San Quentin) & holding songwriting workshops. Bread & Roses is a fantastic organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has an enriching experience to be part of Bread and Roses for the last three years. To see the faces of the people, the audience light up and eyes brighten as they listen to songs that bring them back to the days that spark their spirits. Some simply listen and once in a while a voice comes out of the crowd that sings the words to a song from Gershwin. Moments like this touch me in a way that I cannot quantify. It is a privilege to part of this non-profit organization.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a very active volunteer for Bread & Roses for more than five years, performing on average about one show per month. I have visited juvenile halls, jails, drug & alcohol rehab facilities, facilities for youth with learning disabilities and more. I consider it an honor to support the valiant and critical mission of an organization that manages to present over 600 shows per year to people who are shut in and desperately in need of positive and caring human energy to uplift them through dark and troubling times. It is truly incredible that an organization with such a small staff and limited resources can manage to serve so many facilities over such a wide geographic area -- and do it with such love and grace! I can testify as one of Bread & Roses' most dedicated performers to the immense power of the organizations's outreach efforts in providing hope and healing through live entertainment. I have the exquisite pleasure of witnessing the powerful impact of Bread & Roses shows through the smiles, tears and appreciation of audiences throughout all the facilities I visit. If you are a donor who is searching for an organization that is so worthy of your support and whose mission is a beacon of hope and inspiration to so many who are struggling, look no further than Bread & Roses (www.breadandroses.org) and give as generously as you can. Take it from me. You'll be delighted with the cause you are supporting.