AJ Swope Performance Plaza under construction, expected to be completed in January

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 3:06 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The AJ Swope Performance Plaza is now under construction and is expected to be completed in January.

Friends of AJ Swope, a Texas non-profit, partnered with the Crouch Foundation to build the plaza at the Arts in the Sunset to honor the late musician and newscaster AJ Swope.

The venue is expected to be completed in early 2023, which is exactly 10 years after he was killed in a car wreck just north of Amarillo.

“We expect construction to be 100 percent complete sometime in January and we’ll host a public unveiling party when the weather warms up in April,” said 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.”

The plaza will be located on the north side of historic Sunset Center and is part of a multi-million dollar renovation to create a Panhandle art mecca at the Sunset Center.

“We are fulfilling the wishes of the late Ann Crouch to create a centralized place where the creative arts flourish in the Panhandle,” said 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 consist of a large stage with a green room, three dressing rooms, restrooms, a large area for tables, chairs, a dance floor, a ticket booth for paid events, and a built-in bar for third-party vendors to use.

The venue can also be used for weddings, fundraisers, and other events.

“We wanted to create a place where music can be nurtured, created, and enjoyed by people of all ages,” said 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.”