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New Cultural District Venue to Honor Late Musician & Newscaster AJ Swope


AMARILLO, Texas (Sept. 26, 2022) – Friends of AJ Swope, a Texas non-profit working on several community enhancement projects throughout Amarillo, is excited to announce that one of their much-anticipated projects is now under construction. The group has partnered with the Crouch Foundation to build AJ Swope Performance Plaza within the soon-to-be newly renovated complex at Arts in the Sunset.


The new public performance venue is expected to be complete in early 2023, exactly 10 years after the popular musician, newscaster, and wind energy advocate was tragically lost in a wreck north of Amarillo.


“We expect construction to be 100% complete sometime in January and we’ll host a public unveiling party when the weather warms up in April,” explains Friends of AJ Swope Member Craig Vaughn. “We are going to embrace what this venue was created for and invite the public out to enjoy live music throughout the day and into the evening, which is the perfect tribute to AJ.”


AJ Swope Performance Plaza will be located on the north side of historic Sunset Center within Amarillo’s thriving Cultural District. It’s part of a multi-million dollar renovation of Sunset Center to create a Panhandle art mecca.


“We are fulfilling the wishes of the late Ann Crouch to create a centralized place where the creative arts flourish in the Panhandle,” explains Amarillo Art Institute Executive Director Rachel Flores, who is overseeing the renovation. “We are thrilled to be able to expand our reach into the musical realm with the addition of AJ Swope Performance Plaza.”


The plaza will feature a large stage with an attached green room, three dressing rooms, restrooms, a large area for tables, chairs and a dance floor, a ticket booth for paid events, and a built-in bar for third-party vendors to utilize. Aside from concerts, the venue will be the perfect backdrop for weddings, fundraisers and other outdoor events.


“We wanted to create a place where music can be nurtured, created, and enjoyed by people of all ages,” says Vaughn. “Not only will the Performance Plaza offer residents a unique concert and event venue, but we are also working with Arts in the Sunset to engage area students with an annual Battle of the Bands contest. We will announce more details about that soon along with an outstanding lineup for the April unveiling of AJ Swope Performance Plaza.”

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