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March 30, 2016

Walton-Backed Crystal Bridges Museum to Open Satellite

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, one of the signature philanthropic endeavors of the family behind Walmart, will establish a new contemporary-art center in a defunct cheese factory, writes The New York Times. The 63,000-square-foot former Kraft plant in Bentonville, Ark., home to both the museum and the giant retail company, will be turned into a venue for exhibitions and other cultural programs with support from the Walton Family Foundation.

Crystal Bridges was founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton, and endowed with $800 million from the  foundation. The new space, reflecting a larger museum trend of reclaiming old industrial spaces, will allow Crystal Bridges to offer edgier, contemporary-art shows and projects and dovetails with family ambitions to make Bentonville a major culture destination. “This project is going to be huge for the younger generation, the millennials,” said Tom Walton, a nephew of Ms. Walton.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the Walton family's growing, and changing, philanthropic imprint.