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Social Justice Shorts

Amplifying Activism, One Act at a Time!


Bread and Roses Missouri amplifies and elevates the stories of working people through art, performance, and activism. We believe that cultural and creative expression are a means to effect deep and lasting social change.

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.”

At Bread and Roses Missouri we organize and produce arts and humanities events, exhibits and workshops for and about workers and their families.Bread and Roses Missouri believes that cultural and creative expression are a means to effect deep and lasting social change. We strive to empower participants and educate audiences. Through the arts we envision a world that achieves an economic base benefitting the entire community.


We hope you will join us. Support our work that supports workers!

Major Funders & Supporters

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The Intersection of
Art & Activism

Performers, artists and educators advancing social and economic justice in our communities through the arts.


Our History

Born as a project of Missouri Jobs with Justice (MO JwJ), Bread and Roses united community activists and union members with an art exhibit in 2003 that spurred dialogue around social justice themes.


Sixty artists submitted work for the first art exhibit, many of them union members and community activists that had not shared their artistic talents so publicly before. One of the most exciting parts of developing the exhibit was the participation of many non-traditional artists – a house painter who takes photos, a postal worker who writes music, single mothers who were facing Medicaid cuts, victims of police violence, factory workers who had lost their jobs overseas.


As a leader in Missouri JwJ, Joan Suarez continued to develop the Bread and Roses project and lead its establishment as an independent non-profit in 2015. Under her leadership, Bread and Roses Missouri built their Youth Initiative and the Workers’ Theater Project, including The Workers’ Opera.  On this foundation of arts and activism, Bread and Roses Missouri has built strong momentum.


Joan Suarez is now Founder Emeritus, and in early 2022, Bread and Roses added its first full-time Executive Director, Emily Kohring, and a Youth Programs Coordinator, Luisa Otero Prada.


We are making a significant, positive impact in our communities today.




At Bread and Roses Missouri we rely on our donors, funders and sponsors to support the events, workshops, exhibits and performances that give voice to the struggles of working class people. Fair compensation for labor is a core value and we are proud that we pay every teaching artist, creative and performer that works with us.  Art IS labor, and it is work that deserves fair compensation. 


We invite you to join us in creating arts and humanities experiences that make a tangible difference in the lives of working families.

To donate by check:

Bread and Roses Missouri
5585 Pershing Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63112

To offer an in-kind gift or find out how to sponsor an upcoming Bread and Roses MO event, contact us at

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