Welcome to Freelance Cafe, a support, networking and resource center for freelancers, artists, contractors, and other independents. This group was founded in 2007 to help bring together the San Francisco Bay Area freelance community, and we have since expanded to the Hudson Valley, NY. We try to meet the last week of every month for food and drink at Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Old Oakland, CA, and at The Black Swan in Tivoli, NY. We hold an annual Summer BBQ and Winter Holiday Party. We also have occasional special events and workshops at Sandbox Suites.
This group is open to anyone who is currently freelancing full or part time, has freelanced in the past, or is considering freelancing in the future. We are primarily journalists (print, radio, film/tv, photo, multimedia) but we welcome independents of all kinds: designers/illustrators, musicians, photographers, artists, web folks, contractors, consultants.
Postings to our email list include job opportunities, fellowship/grant offers, event notices, and any other information relevant to freelancers. This is a moderated list, but we welcome any posts that fit the criteria mentioned. To join our email list, contact mia [at] freelancecafe [dot] org. Let us know what kind of freelancing you do and how you heard about us.
Freelance Cafe is also on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, and Google+. Any questions, comments, or suggestions are welcome. Contact me at mia [at] freelancecafe [dot] org. Happy to have you, and spread the word!
I’m Mia Lobel, a multimedia producer, journalist, and educator based in the Hudson Valley, New York. I first attempted freelancing in 2003, but it was an utter disaster. I was broke, bored, and desperately lonely. I ended up taking a job as an audio producer at Tellme Networks in Silicon Valley. The company has since been bought by Microsoft, but in my four years there, I was treated to a fun, creative, and collaborative environment where everyone worked hard and played hard together. Company successes were celebrated with courtyard BBQs, lavish holiday parties, and desk-side tequila tasting.
When I went back to freelance journalism in 2007, I reasoned that I could bring some of that spirit of collaboration with me, and before I even landed my first freelance gig, I invited some fellow freelancers out for a drink. We soon had a regular gathering at Pacific Coast Brewing Company, a place for all of us to vent, compare notes, share resources, and network. Freelancecafe.org soon followed. I moved from the Bay Area to Red Hook, NY in 2009, but Freelance Cafe lives on, mostly through the website, but also in occasional gatherings on both coasts.
This quote from New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks pretty much sums up my feelings about Freelance Cafe.
The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. -David Brooks