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.
Artistic expression as a Right
Dignity of Labor
The purpose of Bread & Roses is to amplify and elevate the stories of working people through art, performance, and activism.
Board & Leadership
Co-Chair, Council of Advisors
Dr. Janae Alfred
Founder Emeritus & Co-Chair, Council of Advisors
Past Board Chair
Luisa Otero Prada
Youth Programs Coordinator
Council of Advisors
Bread and Roses Missouri values our Council of Advisors, an esteemed group of activists, organizers and art leaders who provide their expertise and wisdom as Bread and Roses Missouri plans programming and strategy for continued growth and success.
Joan Suarez, Co-Chair
Gwen Moore, Co-Chair
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 email@example.com