John Stanwood performs regularly at the Portuguese American Club, in particular as one half of the music duo Rosie (Guerin) and John. Recently, he took on a new role: he helped design a stage for the club.

“The P.A. Club is the most challenging place to play in terms of sound,” Mr. Stanwood said in a recent interview. “The cathedral ceiling lends itself to be a very loud, echoey space, so it can be a challenge to get levels right as a musician, even for quieter things.”

Mr. Stanwood had a lot of help with the design process from other musicians, including Ms. Guerin, Phil daRosa and P.A. Club treasurer Emily Freeman-Miller.

The group is in now in the process of getting the necessary building permit to build the stage.

Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish performing at the PA Club, where a future stage will be built.

The idea of creating a stage at the P.A. Club goes back many years, but didn’t gain traction until the Covid pandemic.

“Originally, the idea for a stage was just, ‘Why even bother? We just want to sit at the bar and watch TV,’” Ms. Freeman-Miller said.

After the pandemic hit, the club began to become more community-focused.

“The transition from members-only to more like community meeting space really happened through Covid,” she explained, “Now we have music every week. Lots going on.”

Fundraising efforts began two years ago, with over $18,000 raised thus far. The majority was personal donations, but E. C. Cottle, Inc also generously contributed to the project, Ms. Freeman-Miller said.

When not performing or designing a stage, John Stanwood relaxes at the PA Club with a game of pool. — Ray Ewing

In addition to the stage, which will be located next to the fireplace, soundproofing panels will be installed. After that, the board hopes to put in lights and a sound system.

“We’ve purchased the baffles for the room,” Ms. Freeman-Miller said, gesturing to the freshly painted white walls of the club. “Our next step, which is hopefully happening by April, is actually building the stage. And then if we need another fundraiser, we’ll have one on the actual stage for the lighting and the sound equipment.”

“In a way, it is such a dream,” she continued. “I had no idea how many pieces and parts and different people would come together to make it actually happen.”