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Community Advisory Council

About the Community Advisory Council

The Community Advisory Council supports the museum to better serve surrounding communities and regional audiences. By intentionally seeking out and incorporating community feedback and interests into core functions and early planning stages, Crystal Bridges and The Momentary will increase their relevance and accountability by becoming better aligned within the region it serves.

Scope of Work for a Council Member

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Community Advisory Council having small group discussions

A council member’s role is to provide input and feedback on the museum’s priorities and serve as community ambassadors. Council members will participate in the five planning sessions. Each will be given materials and prompts in advance and asked to review these materials three weeks in advance of the meeting. All materials will be included in Spanish, Marshallese, and English. The prep work requires reflection and discussion with peers so that the council members can come to the meeting with more intention and thought with their input and feedback. If council members cannot completely share their input during the session, they can follow up with the co-facilitators by email or phone.

Given the importance of this group to the museum, information about the Council will be shared on the museum’s website. Furthermore, each Council Member will be invited and recognized at special events, such as Director’s Receptions and Opening Lectures.

Each Council Member’s input and feedback will be included in meeting notes that will be shared back with the group. A follow-up report from departments on how feedback can be implemented will also be shared. At the end of the council session, a full report from the Museum’s Research and Evaluation team will be provided. These will be produced alongside a full, end-of-year report synthesizing the year’s activities, accomplishments, resolutions, the members’ reflections, and recommendations for improving the Council structure. A team member may also invite you to participate in an optional exit interview about your experience to make improvements.

Group of adults taking guided tour in art galleries
Community Advisory Council touring the galleries

The council member term is one year, including attendance at all five sessions throughout 2024. At the end of the year, we will assess the council members’ continuation for the next year.

Community Advisory Council Members

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Chris Seawood

Chris Seawood: “Chris Seawood is the Corporate & Institutional Giving Manager at TheatreSquared. In his role he leads in establishing and managing all corporate and institutional giving programs and relationships. Chris also worked at Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated for nine years in various operational and supply chain management roles. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Chris also serves as treasurer of the Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Council and is a member of the Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Committee. He has been married for 23 years to his lovely wife Maranda, an educator, in the Fayetteville School District and is the father to three boys: Caleb, Micah and Joshua.”

Alex Davis: “Alex Davis is a proud citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Alex is a senior at the University of Arkansas majoring in agriculture business pre-law. She currently serves as the President for the UARK Native American Student Association and as a Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences Senator for the Association Student Government. Over the summer Alex interned as the Indian Arts and Crafts Act Intelligence Fellow. Alex has been awarded the Udall Scholarship for tribal public policy and is passionate about advocating for Indigenous agriculture across Indian Country.”

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Alex Davis
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Whitney Scales

Whitney Burgess Scales: “Whitney Burgess Scales, vice president of strategy at MHP/Team SI, is an award-winning and enthusiastic marketing strategist committed to maximizing growth with measurable results for clients.”

Debi Osment: “Debi Osment was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. After a career working in healthcare, she moved to Austin, TX with her husband and two children. While in Austin, she became known for her organizing abilities and became a key community member. She has a large breadth of interests that range from sports to health care to art and local politics. If there was a group project or a fundraising event that needed organizing, Debi was there.

After moving to Bella Vista five years ago, Debi became a volunteer at Crystal Bridges, donating her with time to create an enjoyable experience for all visitors. She loves giving guided tours at the Museum, especially to new guests. Art has always been a lifelong interest, and Debi is so excited to be a part of this Museum’s volunteer staff and the new community board.”

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Debi Osment
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Irma Chavez

Irma Chavez: “Irma Chavez, was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, prior to relocating to Los Angeles, California at 18 years old. She has lived in the US for almost 30 years. She is the proud mother of four young men. She is passionate about helping and serving others. She dedicates her life and work to strengthening her community. She has worked hard all her life. Her first job was babysitting and housekeeping. She also worked in a restaurant for many years. 15 years ago, she moved to Northwest Arkansas (NWA) and worked at a Chiropractic Clinic. More recently, she worked at Arkansas United as an Operations Director helping our community through advocacy and services. In 2016 she established Conexión de Negocios Latinos as a networking group. Finally, in June 2021 Conexion was established as a nonprofit organization, for which Irma is the Founder Executive Director. She is deeply involved in different community organizations:

  • Founder of Kids Pro-Life/Niños-Pro-Vida in which we help children and young people with low incomes in El Salvador.
  • Founder of Conexión de Negocios Latinos (CNL) which is a networking group to support and promote the latino businesses in NWA.
  • Founder of “Grupo de Apoyo” which is a support group that provides help to people in need and assists them with available resources whenever possible.
  • Chair board member of Valle Pino Foundation (new mental health nonprofit)
  • Chair board member WFA Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

Daymara Baker: “Daymara Baker is a remarkable individual with an extensive background in Sales and Marketing, boasting over two decades of experience with international companies, leading promotional agencies, and social enterprises. In recognition of her exemplary contributions and dedication to empowerment and positive change, Daymara was recently honored as one of the “2023 Arkansas Top 100 Women of Impact” and emerged as a finalist for the prestigious Arkansas Latino Business Award. Beyond her corporate career, Daymara is a passionate social entrepreneur who founded “Rockin’ Baker,” an artisan bread bakery with a profound mission of creating a safe workplace for neurodivergents to thrive. This endeavor embodies her commitment to creating meaningful opportunities and making a positive impact on individuals’ lives.

Daymara’s dedication to her community extends beyond Rockin’ Baker. She previously co-founded the “Community Creative Center” in Fayetteville, emphasizing her commitment to nurturing creativity and artistic expression within her community. Daymara Baker’s outstanding career and philanthropic endeavors reflect her unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the business world, the neurodiverse community, and the broader NWA community.”

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Daymara Baker

Melisa Laelan, Executive Director of Arkansas Coalition of the Marshallese: “Melisa Laelan is a native Marshall Islander, born and raised in the Marshall Islands. At only 17 she enlisted into the Armed Services where she served for ten years. She moved to Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas in 2004 and immediately fell in love with Northwest Arkansas. In 2011, along with other Marshallese leaders, Laelan founded the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese (ACOM) and in the year 2015, ACOM received its non-profit status, making it the first organization founded and directed by native Marshall Islanders. As the executive director of ACOM, she has become a resource contact in both Marshallese and non-Marshallese communities. As the Marshallese community continues to grow in Arkansas, she is frequently visited by many from the Marshallese community and has a great depth of knowledge of the community.”

Emilio Rivera: “Emilio Rivera is from Puerto Rico and moved to NWA with his family 11 years ago. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in human resources. After moving to NWA, he worked in HR roles at Walmart Global team and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and he currently works at The Jones Center for Families as Director of People & Inclusion. He loves to support local non-profits and serves as a board member of Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville. As a strategic leader with over 20 years of experience, he is passionate about fostering a positive workplace culture, creating inclusive and supportive work environments, and facilitating employee development. Emilio is an avid photographer and loves spending time traveling and doing exercises.”

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Emilio Rivera

Kelly Robbins: “Kelly Robbins proudly served both stateside and overseas as an active-duty military police officer in the US Army. While serving, she developed strong leadership and organizational skills. Her time abroad allowed her to gain valuable international experience while enriching her global perspective.

Her banking career began in 2013. She currently serves as Business Development Officer at United Bank in Northwest Arkansas. Her role involves cultivating meaningful relationships with clients, developing and implementing tailored financial solutions to meet the diverse needs of her clients, and collaborating with internal teams to ensure seamless execution of business development strategies.

Kelly’s passion is to help people meet their personal and professional goals. She has dedicated her life to supporting numerous causes while ensuring that all people know their value. She currently serves as a board member of OneCommunity, is a member of the Springdale American Legion, and champions causes that support law enforcement agencies in Northwest Arkansas.

She supports her husband, Nick, in his nonprofit work and their two sons, Alex and Andrew, who are both active-duty military. Kelly and Nick enjoy spending time at home on their farm and staying active within their community.”

Talicia Richardson: “Talicia serves as the Executive Director of 64.6 Downtown a non-profit organization specializing in creative placement in downtown Fort Smith. Talicia understands business and the keys to success in the workplace and marketplace. She has acquired a wealth of knowledge crossing multiple business disciplines possessing over 20 years of experience in operations, quality control, and counseling in the industries of hospitality and health care. Her experience and infectious enthusiasm engage all levels of an organization, from CEO to line employees. She is committed to passing on the knowledge she has acquired over the years to others.

A graduate of historically black all female institution Spelman College receiving a BA in Sociology, Talicia also attained a MS from the University of Arkansas in Counseling. She is a License Associate Counselor, with experience as well as a speaker in the subjective matter of Diversity-Equity-Inclusive, long before the concept was formalized. Her philosophy simply stated, “how can we work together with kindness and respect while sustaining a greater a place for all to coexist”? Talicia is serving her third term on the Fort Smith School Board, an advisory board member with the UCA Community Development Institute, Arkansans for the Arts, former Advertising & Promotion commissioner, DEI committee member with Fort Kids Museum, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.”

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Talicia Richardson
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Hellen Verjerano Molina

Hellen Verjerano Molina: “I am an international student from Panama pursuing a degree in animal sciences. I describe myself as passionate about the search for new experiences that can help me improve myself every day, and due to the circumstances, that come through new experiences, the inclusion and tolerance of the word cannot be missing from my vocabulary since they are a fundamental part of the process. Furthermore, I consider myself passionate about agriculture and all the magic that lies behind this term, with the objective of instructing new generations so that they can understand the importance of this field of study.”

Jessica Walden: “This is Jessica Walden, while she currently resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas she is originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She is attending the University of Arkansas completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with a dual minor in Psychology and Medical Humanities. During her time at the University of Arkansas, she has been able to become involved with numerous organizations and held various leadership positions on campus. Due to being a tribal citizen of the Choctaw Nation, she had the opportunity to become heavily involved in the Native American Student Association. While being involved in the Native American Student Association she was able to hold numerous positions within the organization such as Vice President, President, and Director of Communications. Jessica is thankful to have the chance to represent her culture and thoughts to Crystal Bridges Museum. She is looking forward to working with different council members and hearing different views and cultures.”

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Jessica Walden
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Victoria Daughtry

Victoria Daugherty: “Victoria Daugherty has lived in the Ozarks the entirety of her life, graduating from a rural high school in southwest Missouri in 2015 before receiving her bachelor’s of arts in Religious Studies and Writing from Missouri State University, Springfield. She has volunteered with Harmony House domestic violence services, and recently began spending time with Beautiful Lives boutique in Bentonville. She aims to incorporate accessibility and economic equity in her work, to make more meaning of the hurdles she faced as a single parent. In her free time Victoria enjoys adding native wildflowers to her garden and writing poetry and short stories. She and her family call Bentonville home.”

Dr. Coby Davis: Dr. Coby Davis serves as the President of the Northwest Arkansas branch of the NAACP. Dr. Davis also serves on the Welcome Health Board, serves as treasurer for the National Alternative Education Association and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Professionally, he has spent ten years in the Springdale School District, including three as a math teacher at Sonora Middle School before becoming an instructional facilitator for a year, then assistant principal and now principal at the Archer Learning Center. Davis is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University. He earned his master’s degree from Tennessee State and his doctorate from Trevecca Nazarene. He taught for five years in the Williamson County (Tennessee) school system before teaching for nine years in the education department at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.