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The Trunk Space settles in with first official show in new building

The venue has made the south building of Grace Lutheran Church its new home

Trunkspace 5
Phoenix musician Lonna Kelley performs for concert-goers at a pop-up Trunk Space event in Phoenix on Sept. 16, 2016.

The Trunk Space held its first official show Saturday evening at its new location at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Phoenix. Located near the intersection of Portland Street and 3rd Street, the venue occupies the southernmost building as per a use agreement with the church.

The building, which had previously been used for pop-up events, was officially announced as the new Trunk Space location at the end of last month. 

Owner Steph Carrico said although the venue is now located on a church property, nothing will deter The Trunk Space from the loud, uncensored and all-inclusive place it continues to strive to be.

“(The church and The Trunk Space) had pretty extensive talks about it,” she said, “They feel that we provide something important to the community. Their motto is ‘We’re in Phoenix for good,’ and they said that they feel what we’re doing is good, and therefore it fits their mission.”

Carrico said Grace Lutheran Church is allowing use of its larger buildings for special occasions, such as events coinciding with the First Friday Art Walk.

“One of the really cool things is that depending on the size of the show, like if something is too big for this space, we have other options,” she said.

Carrico said the new location is still a work in progress as the building continues to be renovated to suit its new purpose, including the building of a stage, knocking down walls to make space for patrons and acoustics assistance from Jalipaz Nelson of Mesa recording studio Audioconfusion.

“I want to make it the best DIY space I can,” she said. “It’s like old Trunk Space in spirit, but just a little fine-tuned.”

Saturday’s lineup included touring saxophonist Curt Oren, who said the new space is an upgrade over the former Grand Avenue location.

“It definitely feels like an improvement from the old space in terms of location, size and access,” he said. “It’s really well-rounded, and I’m excited about the possibilities of it.”

As before, The Trunk Space is tended to by a diverse group of dedicated volunteers, who assist with almost every aspect of the venue’s operation.

Volunteer Evan Stufflebeam, who helped with the new building’s renovations, said he sees The Trunk Space as having a presence in the Phoenix arts scene for the foreseeable future.

“This is the new home,” he said. “What I loved about the old Trunk Space is that anyone who wanted to hold an event pretty much could. Although it’s mostly music, anyone who wants to do anything here can if they come up with a plan, and I’d be happy to help out with anything that goes on here in the future.”

The Trunk Space will host Japanese solo drummer and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani at its new location on Monday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The venue will also host touring singer-songwriter David Dondero on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Both shows are all ages.

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