Caffè Lena, the oldest continually operating coffeehouse in the U.S., is a treasure both for Saratoga Springs and the international folk movement. The Caffè’s unique history reflects the influential role of its founder and namesake, Lena Spencer. From the opening of the coffeehouse in 1960, Lena nurtured and advanced upcoming young performers. The Caffè has provided an important venue for influential artists such as Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Don McLean and Ani Difranco. Upon Lena’s death in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted to a non-profit which continues Lena’s legacy. This fall, the Caffè Lena History project is celebrating Lena’s 90th birthday with the release of a coffee table book and a CD/DVD box set, as well as an exhibit at the Tang Museum.
Join us for stories and insights into the extraordinary history of Caffè Lena and Lena Spencer with Caffè Lena historian, Jocelyn Arem, the Director of the Caffè Lena History Project. Jocelyn will be joined by George Ward, a musician and Caffè Lena Board member, and Al McKenney, a former Board Member and close friend of Lena Spencer with deep connections to the wider folk music community. The lecture will be followed by a book signing for the new book and the CD/DVD box set.