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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces board leadership transition

November 17, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following the recent celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art looks to the future today with the announcement that Olivia Walton will become the new chairperson of the museum's board of directors. Founder Alice Walton, who has held the chairperson role since the museum's opening, will transition into the position of board member.

"I'm delighted to have Olivia step into this leadership role," said Alice Walton. "Over the past several years, I've founded new organizations focused on the arts as well as health and well-being, and I'd like to focus more fully on my board chair roles at these entities. Olivia and I have worked together closely for the past several years. Not only does she have a lifelong interest in and passion for the arts, but she has also gained significant experience through her leadership of the Momentary as well as serving as a Crystal Bridges board member. She'll be an excellent leader of the museum's board and will capably guide Crystal Bridges into its next decade."

Olivia Walton joined the Crystal Bridges board in 2019. In 2020, she guided the opening of the Momentary, the museum's satellite contemporary arts organization, as co-founder and chair of the Momentary council. She will continue as chair of the Momentary in addition to assuming her new role as chairperson of the Crystal Bridges board.

"I am a big believer in Alice's vision to create access for all and to welcome all," said Olivia Walton. "I'm excited to continue our work to expand our physical space, expand our definition of art, and ensure that visitors feel a sense of belonging at both Crystal Bridges and the Momentary."

In 2005, Alice Walton founded Crystal Bridges as a non-profit charitable organization for all to enjoy. She gifted her art collection to form the basis of the museum's collection, and the Walton family gifted 120-acres of land in downtown Bentonville as the site for the museum. Crystal Bridges opened to the public on Nov. 11, 2011. Since opening, it has welcomed more than 5.6 million visitors from around the globe, with no cost for admission.

In 2020, Crystal Bridges opened a satellite location, the Momentary, focusing on contemporary visual and performing arts. Founded by the Walton family and based on the vision of Tom, Olivia and Steuart Walton, the Momentary also welcomes all with free admission.

"Crystal Bridges and the Momentary are wonderful gifts to our community, and Alice and Olivia Walton's leadership have guided these institutions to become what they are today," said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer. "Alice has brought a vision for art in the Heartland to life, and Olivia is carrying that forward as these organizations continue to serve our region and country."

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