The Walton Family Foundation has announced its grantmaking plans through 2020 for its home region, including an investment of $320 million for northwest Arkansas and the Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi.
Initiatives in northwest Arkansas will focus on four areas: expanding high-achieving Pre-K-12 school options by increasing the number of charter schools and other options; establishing the region as a leader in arts and cultural amenities by boosting the number of performances at performing arts centers and companies; strengthening coordinated regional economic development policies and projects; and preserving a sense of place by revitalizing neighborhoods, improving transportation networks, and increasing green space.
In the broader Delta region, initiatives will include efforts to expand high-quality school options in partnership with organizations such as KIPP Delta and Teach For America, while in Phillips County, Arkansas, and Coahoma County, Mississippi, the foundation's grantmaking will focus on improving public safety, bolstering youth engagement and development, and strengthening job creation, especially in the area of cultural heritage tourism.
"The 2020 plan is one that is built on the foundation's desire to help provide resources for success in northwest Arkansas and in the Delta," said Rob Brothers, director of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Focus Area. "Though each has its own unique opportunities, the goal is the same: to develop and grow great communities where people want to live, work, and play."