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Crouch Foundation planning to close and possibly demolish most of Arts in the Sunset building

Arts in the Sunset
The Crouch Foundation announced on Friday that the organization is planning to demolish or sale most of the Arts in the Sunset Building. Currently, 47 galleries call the building home, showcasing the work of dozens of amazing local artists.

Local artists were left in shock at the pending closure of the building, since many of them of  had just negotiated new leases in April.

“We had to announce to artists that we can no longer have tenants. It’s not what we wanted to do.

“The first thing you have to do once you realize you’ve dug yourself into a hole, is you have to stop digging. It’s costing $100,000 a month to run the place as it sits now and we’re bleeding $34,000 a month more than we’re taking in," James Beckham, Crouch Foundation Board of Directors president, said.

In a press release, the Crouch Foundtion said the Garden Event Center, Panhandle Art Center, and Amarillo Art Institute portions of the property would remain and be renovated as the organization continues to seek non-profit status from the IRS.

Local developer and businessman MT Johnson, Jr. opened Sunset Center Market Town in 1960 to a crowd of 100,000 excited area residents.

This was the first mall for Amarillo and was the most popular place to shop for more than two decades until Westgate Mall opened its doors in 1982.

A decade later, in 1992, another local developer, C. W. Crouch, decided to buy the property out of foreclosure in hopes of eventually revitalizing the property.

In 2001, when Mr. Crouch passed away, his wife Ann took over management of the mall.

After successfully opening the Panhandle Art Center or PAC and renting out galleries throughout the center, Ann then opened the Amarillo Art Institute in 2004.

Today, Arts in the Sunset is run by the Crouch Foundation. The Foundation was created following the death of Ann in 2017.

Read the full press release below:

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