Every night our waitstaff is comprised of volunteers who take food and drinks orders, answer questions and serve our guests. They are the face of the Caffe Lena, and we could not survive without them. This volunteer position also happens to be a lot of FUN!
Here's a little about it...
Focused on music: If you have been to Caffe Lena before you will know that it feels really special. It feels respectful of the musicians and also the music itself. Having the front of house/servers staffed by volunteers adds to this feeling: everyone here cares about music and this space. Everything that happens at Caffe Lena is a labor of love.
Non-profit: This is a not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to preserve and evolve roots music, and give people a chance to play and enjoy music. There are only a handful of paid staff, which makes volunteers a much treasured part of the system. They do every job from working in the office to making food at night.
Community: There are about 30 volunteers who volunteer at least once a month. I might be biased but I think that we have the best volunteers around. Every night you volunteer you can hang out with a great group of people and listen to world-class musicians, which I think is one of the biggest perks of the job.
Food: A significant percent of the food we serve is home-made or locally sourced. Lizzie, our cook, has been working here for more than twenty years. Feeding people well-prepared food is an important part of Caffe’s traditions.
Here's a great video (produced by a volunteer, of course) that will tell you a little more about being a volunteer at Caffe Lena. Enjoy!
To learn more about volunteering call or email us: p. 518-583-0022 email. firstname.lastname@example.org
47 Phila Street, PO Box 245, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, US
Caffè Lena is widely recognized as the oldest continuously operating folk music venue in the United States. This little Caffè with humble beginnings is both grand and simple. The Library of Congress calls Caffè Lena "An American treasure," and we have been recognized by The GRAMMY Foundation for our important contributions to the development of American music. Yet we are proud to stay true to Lena’s founding vision of simplicity, kindness to strangers, and art above profit.
The Caffè Lena you see today operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2016 we began a $2 million renovation of our 19th century building in Saratoga’s historic downtown. The transformation, completed in 2017, guarantees a home for Lena’s celebrated programming for decades to come, creates 100% handicap-accessibility to our second floor performance space, and brings the listener and artist experience in line with the club’s international reputation. Opened in a former woodworking shop in 1960, the café has helped to launch many of America’s best loved songwriters, ranging from Bob Dylan in 1961 to Sawyer Fredericks in 2014, with an amazing "who’s who" list in between. Upon the passing of founder Lena Nargi Spencer in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted to a non-profit institution supported by concert revenue, private and corporate donors, grants and bequests, and an ever-evolving team of volunteers.