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Volunteer Spotlight: Carolyn Merritt

Carolyn Merritt

Get to know a little more about this month’s Volunteer Spotlight: Carolyn Merritt!

Where are you from?

I grew up in St. Louis and attended Missouri University of Science and Technology, back when it was called University of Missouri Rolla, graduating with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. I lived in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Noblesville, Indiana. My husband and our two children then moved to Austin, Texas, where we lived for 20 years.

How did you end up in Northwest Arkansas?

My husband and I retired to Bella Vista in November of 2019. We were excited to retire to an area that had four seasons, but a mild winter. The area’s lakes, golf courses, cycling, and outdoor activities were a huge draw. As music lovers, we had been looking to attending the AMP. The presence of Crystal Bridges was also a major plus in our decision to retire to Northwest Arkansas.

What have you most enjoyed about being a volunteer at Crystal Bridges?

Behind-the-scenes knowledge of how an art museum operates. Meeting the other volunteers and the awesome staff has also been a highlight.

What’s your favorite artwork or space at Crystal Bridges and/or the Momentary?

Silver Upper White River by Maya Lin and the museum itself.

What do you do to relax?

Reading and stand-up paddling.

What would an ideal day in Northwest Arkansas look like for you? 

Waking up and having a cup of tea on our back deck watching the sun rise over the lake. Hiking or kayaking in
the area, exploring areas we haven’t seen yet. Taking a boat ride in the evening—if the water is smooth I would
water ski.

What’s your secret super skill?

Details—I spot the book out of place in the Crystal Bridges Library and often see the animal in the forest that everyone else misses.

If you had three wishes, what would they be? 

1. Real conversations across the political divide

2. Greater joy in the world

3. Disappearance of COVID-19 and any other pandemic