The late Mimi Fariña, was inspired by a B.B. King concert in New York’s Sing Sing Prison, to start Bread & Roses in 1974 to bring free, live music to people shut away in institutions or otherwise isolated from society. Mimi died of cancer in 2001 after leading Bread & Roses for 25 years. Her leadership was so inspirational that the beloved nonprofit she created lives on to this day. In 2022, B&R presented more than 500 shows in eight Bay Area counties –more than one every day of the year.
In the 1960s, Mimi was a folk music star in her own right, performing as a duo with her husband, singer-songwriter and novelist the late Richard Fariña with whom she recorded two best-selling albums “Reflections In A Crystal Wind” and “Celebrations for a Grey Day.” Throughout her life, Mimi continued to perform. With singing partner Tom Jans, she recorded the 1971 album “Take Heart,” a cult classic. In 1986, Rounder Records released “Solo,” her debut album on her own. Bread & Roses is also the beneficiary of a CD “Mimi Fariña with Lowell Levinger (Banana from The Youngbloods) Live In Germany in 1988” a CD that was produced in 2017.
A talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, Mimi’s real passion was bringing joy and the healing power of music to people who needed uplifting through Bread & Roses.
Mimi Fariña and Joan Baez at 1979 Bread & Roses festival of Music at the Greek Theater.
Now headed by Executive Director Dave Perron, with a committed staff of eight and over a thousand volunteers, Mimi’s legacy lives on in the healing mission of Bread & Roses Presents to bring music to Bay Area audiences who are isolated. New initiatives include Courtyard Concerts, Zoom Shows and a special collaboration with the SF-Marin Food Bank. For more info, visit: www.breadandroses.org.