Bread and Roses Labor Day Festival in Lawrence

Aug 24, 2022Arts & Culture, Events

Bread and Roses Labor Day Festival

September 5, 2022 

Campagnone Common, Lawrence, MA 

The 38th annual Bread and Roses Heritage Festival will take place from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Labor Day, September 5, 2022. As the region’s only Labor Day festival, we honor Lawrence’s multi-cultural roots and rich labor history, commemorating the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. Come and celebrate with us at the free and family-friendly event! 

Our Confirmed Line-up: 

  • Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band ( Klezmer )

Internationally acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band brings passion, virtuosity, and contagious energy to every performance. The Wheels improvise with the intimacy of chamber music and the intensity of a rowdy dance band. Their engaging contemporary interpretation of Jewish music is irresistible to audiences ranging from elementary school students to the judges at the International Jewish Music Festival, who heralded them as “a true musical democracy. 

  • Prateek (Folk / Singer-songwriter)

Prateek (pruh – TEEK) has been described as “Not just any guy with a guitar…” by The Boston Globe and perhaps that’s the best introduction to his music besides actually listening to it. The Boston-based artist recorded his debut EP, “Walking in My Sleep,” with only his guitar and two microphones in an attempt to emulate Bob Dylan’s early work. Since then, Prateek’s music has evolved to incorporate gritty electric guitars, silvery backing vocals, and lush strings, all draped around his own soulful, powerful voice. Prateek has been a Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist and has been nominated for Singer-Songwriter of the Year at both the New England Music Awards and the Boston Music Awards. His music has been played on radio stations including Sirius XM, 98.9 WERS, and 92.5 The River. His latest single, “You’re Still On My Mind,” is available

wherever digital music is sold or streamed. 

  • Billy Dean Thomas (Hip Hop)

Billy Dean Thomas, AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Boston-based Hip-hop recording artist and producer. Billy Dean challenges the music industry with quick-witted punchlines highlighting intersectional feminism, social justice, and growing up in a gentrified city. Recently named NPR’s 2020 Artist to Watch, Billy Dean Thomas has been described as a blend between “The Roots and Rage Against the Machine.” They are a Grammy-nominated songwriter with work featured on HBO, and Billboard magazine and have toured throughout the United States and Europe. 

  • The Party Band ( punk/funk brass band )

The Party Band is a 20+ piece brass band embodying homegrown, unadulterated, unplugged fun. Their mission is to bring people together, celebrate the gift of being alive, and make the world a better place through the joys of quality live music in a way that is accessible to everyone. Originating in Lowell, MA, The Party Band has traveled the country blasting brass for fun, festivals, community events, schools, weddings, protests, and nightclub shows since their inception in 2013. The band has recorded three albums of original brass music inspired by the sounds of New Orleans and folk music from across Planet Earth. The Party Band believes it is important to be a force for good in the world, and to celebrate every day like the party that it is. 

  • BOMBAntillana ( Bomba)

BOMBAntillana is a diverse group of people of varying ages and lived experiences learning together, building community and connecting to ourselves and to our ancestors through Bomba. Bomba is the oldest living musical tradition of Boriken, the island currently known as Puerto Rico, and reflects the powerful forces that shaped the island’s history, drawing from the West African (Bantu) and Taino (Indigenous) experience with enslavement enforced on the island by the Spanish Crown prior to the 1700’s. Bomba music and dance originated in sugar plantations when the enslaved were “allowed” one day of rest. This art form was created, played, danced and sung as a means of creative expression, celebration, healing, resisting oppression and secretly planning escapes. As Bomba practitioners, BOMBAntillana members dive deep into learning the history of this art form and of the Caribbean, learn traditional call and response songs and create news ones, move our bodies to communicate and release what no longer serves us. Through song and dance, BOMBAntillana engages audience members of all ages to become active participants in its presentation.

  • Bread And Puppet Theater

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people. 

In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets. Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, a two day outdoor festival of puppetry shows, was presented annually through 1998. 

The company makes its income from touring new and old productions both on the American continent and abroad and from sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. 

Today, Bread and Puppet continues to be one of the oldest nonprofit political theatre companies in the country. 

Our Domestic Resurrection Circus 

The Circus is coming to town!!! This Fall 2022, Bread and Puppet will be hitting the road on a 3 1/2 month tour with Our Domestic Resurrection Circus. The show, says founder and director Peter Schumann, is “in response to our totally unresurrected capitalist situation, not only the hundreds of thousands of unnecessarily sacrificed pandemic victims but our culture’s unwillingness to recognize Mother Earth’s revolt against our civilization. Since we earthlings do not live up to our earthling obligations, we need resurrection circuses to yell against our own stupidity.” 

After the show Bread & Puppet will serve its famous sourdough rye bread with aioli. The company’s “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread & Puppet Press – will be for sale. 

  • AM Goldn ( Alternative R &B )

AM Goldn is a music lover and in general, a creative. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic and based in Boston, MA, the artist went back to music as soon as she graduated from acting school. Alba grew up going to the church choir with her grandma, and at 16 years old she and her friends formed a band who would make covers of Rock songs and R&B. One day, and after giving it a long pause, the desire to make music came back stronger, and with a strong sense of really finding her purpose in life. Honoring what she would call: her inner child. 

  • Los Negros De La Rumba ( Salsa // Latin Percussion )

Los Negros De La Rumba is a team of primarily four men from the city of Lawrence who all share a very strong passion and love for Salsa. We can listen to Salsa and play instruments for days! Our passion also revolves around entertaining people and sharing our strong energy (Good Vibes) with our followers and the general public at every event. 

Our team is made up of Raymond Congas, who is one of the best Conga Players throughout the country. Raymond is followed by our very good friend and brother, “Andres Timbal”, the Alfa of the Drums. Andres is unquestionably the best Salsa Drum Player in all of MA and the top 5 in the US and the Dominican Republic. Andres is followed by Anthony “Salsa Libre,” who has built an incredible reputation and fanbase in the Dominican Republic and US for his knowledge of Music, especially Salsa and his consistency on how music and songs should be mixed and played. Then comes Miguel aka “ML Entertainment” who handles the marketing, videos, social media, contracts, and also plays instruments (Guiro & Maracas). Last but not least, is one of the best Bongo Players in MA, “Aneudy Bongo” who has always loved to play the Bongo & Cincerro at the beat of Salsa. 

The Festival also includes: 

  • Tribute at the 1912 Textile Workers’ Strike Monument: Join us at the monument at 11:30 for the annual tribute. 
  • Community Forum/Panel Discussion (12:00-1:00, Lawrence History Live! tent): Together We Rise: Community Conversations 

Join the Senior Center and the YWCA for a set of interviews between youth and elders in our community. 

  • Lawrence History Live speakers’ tent: 

Lawrence History Live! is a special place at the festival where you can learn about the history of the strike and the ways it connects to the lives of Lawrencians and workers today. We feature history told “from below” – from the millworker’s perspective and not the mill owner’s; from the renter’s and not the real estate mogul’s; from everyday folks and not the wealthy or the politically connected. 

This year we will have simultaneous interpretation available for those who are bilingual in English or Spanish! If you need interpretation, plan to get to the tent a few minutes before the talk is scheduled to begin to grab your headset. 

1:15-1:45: Joshua Alba & Yessenia Prodero, BIPOC Organizer for the Fair Share Amendment Campaign: Taxing Millionaires and the Fight for Fair Share. 

1:45-2:15: Walter Mena, Lead Organizer, Merrimack Valley Project: Integrando la Comunidad: Centroamericanos en Lawrence. 

2:15-2:45: Jayme Timpson Winell, Anne Burlak Timpson: The Red Flame and the 1931-2 Strike. 

2:45-3:15: Heather Levine, Educator, and GLEJA Steering Committee member, and Jonathan Guzman, School Committee member District F, Democracy in our Public Schools. 

  • Hall of Fame Award (3:15, Lawrence History Live! tent): 

We are thrilled to present this year’s Hall of Fame Award to Isabel Melendez, a woman who embodies the spirit of the Bread & Roses strikers in Lawrence. Born in Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico, and a resident of Lawrence since 1959, Isabel is one of 12 children. Soon after her arrival, she began working in local textile mills and quickly established the social, cultural and family club, Juanadinos Ausentes. Like the early mill workers who had to translate among the many languages to organize for better working conditions, she has dedicated her long career to bilingual education, organizing, and resources in the city of Lawrence. Isabel is the founder of the popular Lawrence series of events, Semana Hispana, and the community center at the Donovan School, as well as many other cultural events and organizations around the city. Isabel has raised four children and has six grandchildren. The Bread & Roses Heritage Committee is proud to honor Isabel’s tireless organizing and advocacy within the city of Lawrence. 

  • Community Workshops: 

We are excited to introduce a new activity at this year’s festival: workshops! Just like the millworkers of 1912, we have to know our rights in order to stand up for them and protect them. Join us at the workshop space on the Common for these free workshops. Note that the language listed is the

language each workshop will be presented in. For more details on the below workshops visit 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A PARENT: Facilitated by Members of Greater Lawrence Education Justice Alliance and Lowell Education Justice Alliance 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A PATIENT (ENGLISH-SPANISH) Facilitator: Lucy Thanos, BSN, RN, Site Nurse Manager at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS FOR YOUTH Facilitated by local activists. 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK (ENGLISH) Facilitators: Joshua Alba, community activist and School Committee member & Yessenia Prodero, Immigrants Rights Organizer 

  • Family friendly activities: Including pony rides, walking and trolley tours, Stephanie Beach Magic, face painting by T. Melon, portraits by Mekhi Mendoza, live chalk art by Kate Delaney, and a station where kids can make their own diablo cojuelo mask with the Essex Art Center. – – TW: @BreadRosesFest – IG: @BreadRosesFest 

YouTube: Bread and Roses Heritage Festival – #BreadRosesFest