Apart from a three year period when it didn’t physically exist, Holy Trinity Church has been a busy community gathering place for more than 100 years. An event organized by the Friends of Fourth and Gold to be held tonight at the church will highlight that community role, while helping to support the operations of the downtown facility and keep rental rates affordable for its many different user groups.
The second annual benefit event, called “Spectacular,” begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the church, located at the corner of Fourth and Gold Streets.
The church’s sanctuary, classrooms and ground-level multi-use space, McPhetres Hall, host a variety of local performances, such as Theatre in the Rough productions, Juneau Lyric Opera concerts, Mudrooms storytelling events, and this year’s Alaska State Improv Festival organized by Morally Improverished, as well as community-wide classes, lectures and rummage sales, among other events.
Featured performers at tonight’s event include pianist Natalia Spengler; Dan and Kathleen Wayne, accompanied by Kim Andrews; spoken word artist Christy NaMee Eriksen and poets from the Wooosh Kinaadeiyi group she founded; Brett and Cheryl Crawford; storytellers Linda Buckley and Geoff Kirsch; the Juneau Pride Chorus Ensemble; Scarlett Adam; Patricia Hull accompanied by Tom Locher; and the Morally Improverished improv group.
Simultaneous performances will take place in McPhetres Hall and the Sanctuary with music upstairs and spoken word below. Audience members will be able to switch places at intermission. Visual art donated from artists and collectors will be on display and for sale throughout the building.
The event was organized by Friends of Fourth and Gold, a mix of individuals and groups who use Holy Trinity’s sanctuary, classrooms and fellowship hall.
The original church, Juneau’s second oldest, burned to the ground in 2006, taking McPhetres Hall and an adjacent home down with it. In the summer of 2007, the parish broke ground for a new church, and by the end of 2009 the sanctuary was nearly completed. The first services were held in the new church in December of 2009, and that same month, Theatre in the Rough produced a Christmas puppet show, “Shepherds, Wise Men and Angels,” presenting it free to the public to thank them for their support in getting the building rebuilt.
McPhetres Hall re-opened a little later, in March 2011, with Theatre in the Rough’s production of “Our Town.” Since then, the theater troupe has produced all their shows in the new hall, their home base.
Though the old hall was also very well used prior to the fire, the new McPhetres is a big improvement for performers and audience members, with a raised stage, proscenium arch, hanging lighting grid and demountable seats, as well as acoustic upgrades.
McPhetres Hall was named after the Rev. Samuel A. McPhetres, rector of the church from 1948 to 1959, to honor his positive impact on the neighborhood. Some members of the McPhetres family still live in Juneau and recently published a book, “He Wore the Shoes of Fisherman,” that told Samuel McPhetres’ story through the words of those that knew him. (Find out more here: trinityjuneau.org).
Doors for tonight’s event open at 6:30 p.m. and performances start at 7 p.m. An intermission will be held at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25, available at Hearthside Books, the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, at the door and through www.jahc.org, or by calling Holy Trinity Church at 586-3532.