The lead grant in the museum's newly created Next Generation Fund will be used to cover admission fees for all visitors. Before the announcement, a $10 fee for adults was being considered. The fund aims to address the economic, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent diverse audiences from participating in the arts.
Funded primarily by the Walton Family Foundation, the museum will include galleries and meeting and classroom spaces as well as a cafe on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking two creek-fed ponds and a Marlon Blackwell-designed museum store. Sculpture and walking trails will connect the museum's 120-acre park and gardens to downtown Bentonville.
"One of the greatest challenges for museums today is finding ways to remove barriers to community participation, including admission charges," said Crystal Bridges executive director Don Bacigalupi. "Walmart has shown extraordinary vision and foresight in funding access to the museum, providing all that Crystal Bridges has to offer to all people at no cost. We know that this gift will allow the museum to become a daily resource in our community."