I first encountered Mimi Farina in 1984 as a manager of a band that went up and down the west coast performing in prisons and hospitals. She asked if we could perform at a juvenile detention center for her organization Bread and Roses, and I was struck that she was involved full time in organizing such events throughout the Bay Area. I was already enthralled by the music that she and her late husband Richard Fariña had produced during the golden days of the sixties. Little did I know that a decade later she would be the inspiration behindOutside In.
From the inception of Outside In, Mimi was a great source of encouragement and inspiration, always available to answer questions, impart and share information or advice. As a member of our Advisory Board, Mimi took great satisfaction in the accomplishments and steady progress of Outside In. Outside In newsletters sent off to her would always elicit an enthusiastic response. She was genuinely thrilled every time we received a grant award.
When planning her retirement form Bread and Roses, she wanted to devote more of her time to cultivating and networking with other Bread and Roses type endeavors. A trip to New Mexico was definitely on her agenda. It was at that time that she was diagnosed with cancer and the battle with her illness began. Her memorial service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on a spectacular August day was such a powerful experience and outpouring of love for her. Judy Collins, Holly Near and Jackson Browne were some of the ones who sang tributes to her that went straight to the soul. Even through her most difficult days, Mimi sent us words of encouragement and let us know that our achievements made ”her heart sing.”
— David Lescht, Founder/Director of Outside In
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