The Oldtown Church Coffeehouse has been a welcoming place for the young people of our community to express themselves in music and poetry since 2004. The many young talented musicians and poets that participate continue to be supported by their peers. Yet our coffeehouses are open to performers and patrons of all ages. These events are organized and led by our community’s young people, with our church’s Missions Ministry as the sponsor of these events at the church. The coffeehouses provide a great place for young and old alike to come together to showcase their musical or literary talents, or just to enjoy the fellowship, listen to some good music and poetry, and have a comfortable, safe place to hang out on a Friday night. As described by one of the Coffeehouse’s founders, Kait Clavette, the purpose of the Coffeehouse is to “use the best qualities of fellowship, to use music, art, coffee, and a small donation to remind the world that we care – to help and to give back to those less fortunate – to be able to help when on our own, we could not. The coffeehouse is about awareness as much as it is about support.”
Coffeehouses are scheduled about once a month during the school year, usually on Friday nights from 7pm until about 10ish. We request a $5 donation at the door for admission and a $1 donation for a bottomless cup of coffee or other refreshments. All of the proceeds from admission and refreshments are donated to local, national, and global charities selected by the Coffeehouse Crew leaders, and to date, over $76,000 has been raised!
The Oldtown Coffeehouse was first organized in June 2004 by North Attleborough High School juniors Kait Clavette and Cara Fertitta. Kait, a member of Oldtown Church, enlisted the help of fellow church members Tammy England and Patti McAlpine, and the first coffeehouse raised $220.50 for the Oldtown Church Steeple Restoration project. Kait and Cara took on the mission and kept arranging monthly coffeehouses through May 2006. Each event supported a different charity that they chose. They arranged the talent list, publicity, and logistics for each event with the help of Christine Pandozzi from the Oldtown Missions Committee and June and Ed Clavette as “roadies” or “chaperones.” What developed was an event where young people of all ages could perform with encouragement from the audience. And everyone grew in the experience.
In 2006, Kait and Cara were recognized for their efforts by CosmoGirl! magazine, who named them among the year’s people “Born to Lead” in the December-January issue of the magazine and awarded them a $10,000 CosmoGirl! of the Year scholarship grant sponsored by Maybelline New York. The award was reported in the November 22, 2006, issue of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle. We are exceedingly proud of Cara and Kait, and of all the young people who continue to make our Oldtown Church Coffeehouse a great place to come and hear good music on a Friday night while helping those in need.
In September 2006, the leadership role was passed on to another group of young leaders, continuing the relationship with the church and our missions ministry, and the Coffeehouse Crew was born. As the Coffeehouse Crew leaders graduate high school and move on to further education, we continue to be blessed with new leaders to take up the role. Each crewmember learns the logistics and responsibilities of running each event. They are responsible for the selection of the charity to support, integrating the dates of the events with their school’s activities, managing publicity, enlisting performers, physically transforming our church hall into a coffeehouse, and cleaning up when it’s all done. They learn to create a welcoming, safe, and encouraging place for our youth… of all ages. As of 2018, we are proud to be working with our twelfth crew of young leaders as we enter into our fourteenth year of music, fellowship, and charity.
Whether you’d like to come and join our audience or be one of our talented performers, we welcome you to come join us at our next Oldtown Coffeehouse!