Posthumous Award

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.

“Mimi was a leading figure in the Bay Area and beyond,” says her sister Joan Baez. “Bread & Roses was her innovation, taking entertainment into institutional settings. And it was so well organized for 25 years that it continues to this day.”

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.