Sunday, August 14, 2011
Given over a period of five years, the grant of $20 Million donated by Walmart to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, is destined to sponsor the admission to the museum. Prior to the grant, an admission fee of $10 was being considered for adults.
Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke said "While saving people money is how we make people’s lives better every day, we realize that things like listening to your favorite song, seeing a beautiful painting or laying eyes on an amazing sculpture make our lives better, too."
"One of the greatest challenges for museums today is finding ways to remove barriers to community participation, including admission charges,” said Don Bacigalupi, Crystal Bridges executive director."
In order to adress social, economical and cultural barriers that often prevent diverse audiences from participating in the arts, the museum has set a Next Generation Fund.
Promoting environmental sustainability is also one of the priorities of this fund created by community-minded philanthropists.
Founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation and set to open 11-11-11, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has in its mission to actively collect, exhibit, interpretate, and preserve the representative works that illuminate the history, heritage and artistic possibilities of America.
Its collection features American masterworks dating from the Colonial era to contemporary times and will be on view to the public year-round. An ever-changing array of special exhibitions featuring art from museums and collections throughout the region, the nation and abroad, will also be organized.
Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie and located in Northwest Arkansas, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art comprises series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds, with house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large glass-enclosed gathering hall.
A museum store designed by Marlon Blackwell welcomes visitors who wish to take a souvenir from their visit to this excellect cultural place, while a café on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds will make the delight of those who wish to take a pause.
Sculpture and walking trails will link the Museum's 120-acre park and gardens to downtown Bentonville, Ark.
The Grant donated be the Walmart Foundation will cover cost of admission for all Museum guests.