Announcing: The Joan Suarez Director’s Fund!

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Bread and Roses Missouri is a celebration of the arts in the lives of working people and their families. As the labor hymn for which the organization is named reminds us,  “Hearts starve as well as bodies . . . give us bread and give us roses.”

What is the Joan Suarez Director’s Fund?

In April 2021, the Board of Bread and Roses Missouri  inaugurated the Joan Suarez Director’s Fund in honor of founding director Joan Suarez, who retired in March 2021.

Why is it being established?

The Director’s Fund will:

  • Honor Joan Suarez’s long career as an outstanding activist and organizer.
  • Provide donors with a specific, visible outcome associated with their support.
  • Serve as a catalyst and provide resources for the continued development of relevant, original works for the Workers’ Theater group to perform in alignment with Bread and Roses’ mission.
  • Support long-term curriculum development for the Youth Initiative empowering young people in under-resourced and immigrant communities to find and activate their voices for justice.

How will the funds be used?

The fund will initially support programming such as the commissioned productions of Mrs. Palmer’s Honey – a 1946 novel by St. Louisan Fannie Cook – which depicts how race, class, and workers’ rights intersected during World War II in the historic Ville Neighborhood.

The novel as been adapted by playwright Cassandra Medley as a 2021 radio play, directed by Kathryn Bentley with original music written by Colin McLaughlin. Nearly 500 viewers have enjoyed the early table reading which Bread and Roses shared on YouTube in 2020.

This project is particularly dear to Joan as a commissioned work she has shepherded. In this time of the pandemic, there is excitement about using the traditional art form of a radio play to produce Mrs. Palmer’s Honey. Bread and Roses is working with St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU) to produce the radio play, and we are hoping that NPR may be interested in picking it up nationally. The production budget includes paying the playwright, actors, musicians, directors, sound technicians and production team, and other related expenses. 

Additional resources in the Director’s Fund will be used to advance other programs such as the Bread and Roses Missouri Youth Initiative workshops and the Workers’ Theater group.  All programming reflects our mission:

Bread and Roses Missouri uses an arts lens to examine social and economic justice issues in all our programming. 

We believe that cultural and creative expression are a means to effect deep and lasting social change.

To learn more about the impact of our organization and programming.

How Can I Contribute?

To honor Joan Suarez as a Lead Donor to The Director’s Fund: Donate via the PayPal Giving Fund link

You can also donate by check payable to Bread and Roses Missouri and mailed to 2725 Clifton St. Louis, MO 63139
Please designate “Director’s Fund”

Questions, Ideas and Suggestions?

Please contact board member, Roseann Weiss at or 314.495.3781 with your questions, ideas or special needs as you consider supporting the Joan Suarez Director’s Fund.

Bread and Roses Missouri deeply appreciates your interest and support!