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Crystal Bridges Receives $7 Million Walmart Foundation Grant to Cover Admission Fees for All Visitors and to Support the Momentary 

Photo by Iron Lotus Creative / Stephen Ironside

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art today announced a $7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to support free admission for all visitors, as well as to support operations at the Momentary, a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. Since opening in 2011, Crystal Bridges and the Momentary have welcomed more than 10.8 million guests free of charge thanks to Walmart’s initial investment in the free admission endowment.  

 “We’re grateful for the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to making art accessible to the people of the Heartland and beyond,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer at Crystal Bridges. With their support, we can continue to expand access to Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, and welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. This wouldn’t be possible without the Walmart Foundation’s consistent generosity.” 

Nestled in 120 acres of Ozark Forest with five miles of trails, Crystal Bridges has an extensive collection of American art and stunning architecture. The museum’s galleries include masterworks and surprising lesser-known gems from the colonial era to today. Sculptures grace both interior galleries and outdoor trails, and the museum’s galleries are refreshed regularly. Today, thanks to the unparalleled access to the collection provided by Walmart, the museum is recognized by The Art Newspaper as a “Top 100” visited museum in the world. 

 In February 2020, the institution opened the Momentary, a catalyst for creativity and economic vitality in Downtown Bentonville that explores visual, performing, and culinary arts. Walmart Foundation’s investment will also support continued programming at the Momentary, a vital space for community connection in the Northwest Arkansas region. 

“We are excited to help Crystal Bridges and the Momentary continue to provide free admission to all visitors,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. “We are so fortunate to have such world-leading, welcoming spaces right here in our Northwest Arkansas home region  spaces that invite community members to connect with art, culture, and each other. It is a privilege to support the continued growth of Crystal Bridges and the Momentary so that more people can come together to enjoy the beautiful architecture and nature these places have to offer.” 

Crystal Bridges has begun a major expansion project that will increase the size of its current facilities by 50 percent. Envisioned to support the museum’s commitment to free access to art for all, the new space will raise capacity for presenting art and exhibitions, educational and outreach initiatives, cultural programming, and community events.

The Momentary is also undergoing a transformation. Guests will begin to see a reimagined space later this summer, and the site will be abuzz with activities in the galleries, on the Green and beyond. Follow along at 


About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg. 

 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 more than 10.8 million visitors across its spaces, 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 the Momentary in Downtown Bentonville (507 SE E Street), conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. For more information, visit The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712. 

About the Momentary

Opened in February of 2020 in Downtown Bentonville, the Momentary is conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. It is a catalyst for creativity and economic vitality, and a welcoming hub that gathers and celebrates local heroes and international stars. The Momentary was founded by the Walton family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia, and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting this project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. Its commitment to cultivating arts and cultural experiences provides more opportunities for education, engagement, and enjoyment in our region. The Momentary is an extension of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton. The Momentary welcomes all with free general admission. Additional offerings include live music, an artist-in-residence program, culinary experiences such as Onyx Coffee Lab and the sky-high Tower Bar, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, an outdoor festival space, and a retail shop. For more information, visit The Momentary is located at 507 SE E Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712. The Momentary’s Founding Funders are Walton Family Foundation, Walmart, RØDE Microphones, The Coca-Cola Company, Tyson Family Foundation, and Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation.