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Warehouse 508 operator to undergo ‘internal restructuring’

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

An official with the New Mexico Extreme Sports Association, which operates Warehouse 508 and extreme sports programs for young people ages 11 to 20, said the nonprofit organization will undergo an “internal restructuring” after laying off four employees Friday.

Warehouse 508 is a popular Downtown youth art and entertainment center known as an incubator for aspiring young artists.

Board President Jacqueline Vigil said the reorganization will not affect any of their current or upcoming programming. She wouldn’t discuss the organization’s fiscal health.

“We believe the path we are taking is going to make us stronger at the end so we can continue to provide these programs for the youth,” Vigil said. “… I know there may have been some idea that our doors are completely shut, and that’s not the case. We’re going to continue on with all of our programs.”

April Freeman, who served as Warehouse 508 program director, said many of the staff considered Warehouse 508 a second home after not only working there, but also participating in the programs as students.

“This is something that I am passionate about,” Freeman said. “I worked at Warehouse 508 for seven years. I will definitely miss the faces of those kids. Warehouse 508 has been growing and thriving and doing great work with youth. We work for that moment when a young person is inspired by their potential.”

Freeman said employees only received notice on Friday that they would lose their jobs, but the idea of a possible restructuring had been “floating around in our awareness for a while.”

The Warehouse 508 venue, near First and Lomas, features a computer lab, screen print shop, art gallery, recording studio, concert venue and street-style skate park. Recent events at the facility have included a poetry slam and a hip-hop activism conference.