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Crystal Bridges Announces Public Talks and Programming with Renowned Speakers for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy  

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is closed today, Monday, January 30 due to inclement weather. Any programs, tours, lectures or classes will not be held. If you are a ticket holder for a tour or an event today, we’ll contact you about rescheduling.

Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and David M. Rubenstein among featured lecturers

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headshot
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headshot

View press kit here.

Today Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces a lineup of public talks plus other live and virtual programs featuring prominent American leaders in connection with the exhibition We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy. Former U.S. Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, David M. Rubenstein (philanthropist and co-founder of The Carlyle Group), and famed musician Yo-Yo Ma will present in-person programs at Crystal Bridges to celebrate and reflect on this historic exhibition – beginning with Constitution Week in September.

In a continued effort to expand and deepen understanding of the American narrative, Crystal Bridges has invited these renowned speakers and public figures to engage fellow thought leaders and artists in meaningful and inspiring dialogue. Each of these public conversations will provide fresh entry points to explore the profound significance of the world’s longest-surviving written charter of government and make space for diverse perspectives on the nation’s founding principles.

We the People places a rare, original print of the U.S. Constitution — there are just eleven known in the world — in conversation with works of art. Original prints of other founding and historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the proposed Bill of Rights and the Emancipation Proclamation are also on view alongside works by influential historical and contemporary artists.

Public Talks

Artists as Changemakers | Oct. 2, 2 – 3 p.m. | Ticket Required
David M. Rubenstein will converse with contemporary artists, Luis Garza and Bethany Collins, whose creative practices both celebrate and challenge the ideas that shape our nation.

Condoleezza Rice | Oct. 18, 5 – 6 p.m. | Ticket Required
66th U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, will discuss how we create and sustain democracy through hard work, persistence, strong institutions, and dedicated citizens.

An Evening with Carrie Mae Weems and Yo-Yo Ma | Nov. 10, 7 – 8 p.m. | Ticket Required
Acclaimed musician Yo-Yo Ma and multidisciplinary artist Carrie Mae Weems will participate in a conversation centered on artists and their civic duties.

Veteran’s Day Conversation: Defending Our Constitution | Nov. 11, 6 – 7 p.m. | Ticket Required
In honor of Veteran’s Day, Wesley Clark, retired U.S. Army general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, will be joined in a special conversation with Rick Waddell, retired lieutenant general in the United States Army Reserve and former assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commander Susan Kilrain, NASA astronaut, distinguished navy test pilot, and aerospace engineer.

Hillary Clinton | Nov. 30, 5 – 6 p.m. | Ticket Required
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins Dr. Angie Maxwell, director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas, in conversation about how our nation’s founding documents continue to shape our lives, with a special focus on Arkansas and the South.

Chef Nico Albert and Professor Gerald Torres | Dec. 15, 6 – 7 p.m. | Ticket Required
Chef Nico Albert will be joined by professor Gerald Torres for a conversation centered on the relationship between the Constitution, tribal law, and Indigenous heritage, with a close look at use of Indigenous land and resources (such as food) through a lens of environmental justice, equity, and cultural histories.

Constitution Weekend

The museum will also host a weekend of programs September 16-17 in observance of Constitution Day. Constitution Weekend will include talks, performances, artmaking and gallery conversations. A series of brief talks in the galleries will be led by community members, experts, artists and educators who will use art as a vehicle to explore themes of freedom, justice and civic engagement.

Civic Commons | Sept. 16, 3 – 7 p.m. & Sept. 17, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Free
The museum’s Garrison Lobby will transform into a lively common room for the community to meet non-partisan civic organizations serving the state of Arkansas such as Arkansas United, Legal Aid of Arkansas, Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas, Arkansas Alliance for Disability Advocacy, and others.

Short Talks, Big Ideas: Radical Notions of Democracy | Sept. 16, 6 – 9 p.m. | Ticket Required
TV host and comedian Adam Conover will present a group of featured thinkers shaping contemporary civic conversations during an evening of fast-paced talks and performances centering multiple perspectives about the relevancy of the Constitution. Guests will include Julian Saporiti, Vietnamese Italian American songwriter of No-No Boy; Najja K. Baptist, assistant professor of political science at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville; Maria de Los Angeles, artist whose imagery focuses on issues of migration, displacement, identity and otherness; Hadia Choudhary, high school senior and founder of End the Uyghur Genocide, a youth-led activist project; Lauren Zungia, Oklahoma City based poet, designer and content strategist; and Osyrus Bolly, Arkansas hip hop performer.

The Art of the Constitution | Sept. 17, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free
Throughout the day, community members, experts, artists, and educators will hold short talks in the galleries using art to explore themes of freedom, justice and civic engagement. Additionally, public radio station KUAF will be curating a line-up of performances on Walker Landing and the studios at the museum will be open for all-ages artmaking.

The museum will mount free virtual talks and resources including a new lecture series, Critical Conversations: Finding the We in We the People, in partnership with the Bill of Rights Institute, Clinton Presidential Center, National Archives Museum, and the American Enterprise Institute. In September, they will also launch a microsite with a full virtual exhibition tour and curriculum resources for teachers.

Ticketed public talks are $12 for members and $15 for the general public. Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, August 24 on the museum’s website.

For more information and details on these and other upcoming programs, please visit CrystalBridges.org.

Support

The Speaker Series is sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc.

We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin.

Learning and engagement programming for the exhibition is sponsored by Scholastic Inc. | Walmart | Tyson Family Foundation | Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. | Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops | Alturas Foundation | Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. | Sotheby’s | Bob and Becky Alexander | Marybeth and Micky Mayfield | Lamar and Shari Steiger | Jeff and Sarah Teague / Citizens Bank | Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities | Avis and Bill Bailey | Scarlett and Neff Basore | June Carter Family | Terri and Chuck Erwin | Jackye and Curtis Finch | The Harrison and Rhonda French Family | Jim and Susan von Gremp | Laurice Hachem | Shannon and Charles Holley | Valorie and Randy Lawson / Lawco Energy Group | Donna and Mack McLarty | Steve and Susan Nelson | Neal and Gina Pendergraft | Helen Porter | JT and Imelda Rose | Lee and Linda Scott | Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees | William Reese Company

Visit the Exhibition

We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is on view from July 2, 2022 to January 2, 2023, in the museum’s collection galleries. Admission to this exhibition is free. Admission to Crystal Bridges’ collection galleries is always free.

About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed over six million visitors, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and philanthropist, Alice Walton. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 300,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and five miles of art and walking trails. In February 2020, the museum opened a satellite contemporary art space in downtown Bentonville called the Momentary (507 SE E Street). For more information, visit  CrystalBridges.org. The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.