Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced Tuesday that Olivia Walton will become the new chairperson of the museum’s board of directors. Founder Alice Walton, who has held the chairperson role since the museum’s opening, will transition into the position of board member. The announcement follows the recent celebration of the museum’s 10-year anniversary.
“I’m delighted to have Olivia step into this leadership role,” said Alice Walton. “Over the past several years, I’ve founded new organizations focused on the arts as well as health and well-being, and I’d like to focus more fully on my board chair roles at these entities. Olivia and I have worked together closely for the past several years. Not only does she have a lifelong interest in and passion for the arts, but she has also gained significant experience through her leadership of the Momentary as well as serving as a Crystal Bridges board member. She’ll be an excellent leader of the museum’s board and will capably guide Crystal Bridges into its next decade.”
In 2005, Alice Walton founded Crystal Bridges as a non-profit charitable organization open to everyone. She gifted her art collection to form the basis of the museum’s collection, and the Walton family gifted 120-acres of land in downtown Bentonville as the site for the museum. Crystal Bridges opened to the public on Nov. 11, 2011. Since opening, it has welcomed more than 5.6 million visitors from around the globe, with no cost for admission.
In 2020, Crystal Bridges opened a satellite location, the Momentary, focusing on contemporary visual and performing arts. Founded by the Walton family and based on the vision of Tom, Olivia and Steuart Walton, the Momentary also welcomes all with free admission.
Olivia Walton joined the Crystal Bridges board in 2019. In 2020, she guided the opening of the Momentary, the museum’s satellite contemporary arts organization, as co-founder and chair of the Momentary council. She will continue as chair of the Momentary in addition to assuming her new role as chairperson of the Crystal Bridges board.
“I am a big believer in Alice’s vision to create access for all and to welcome all,” said Olivia Walton. “I’m excited to continue our work to expand our physical space, expand our definition of art, and ensure that visitors feel a sense of belonging at both Crystal Bridges and the Momentary.”
Olivia Walton lends her voice and leadership to advocacy for the arts, childhood wellbeing and economic empowerment in America’s Heartland. In addition to her new role as board chairperson for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Olivia also serves as executive board chair of the Momentary, principal of Ingeborg Investments and is a co-founder of Heartland Summit.
In her personal philanthropy, Olivia focuses on promoting the arts as an economic driver; improving the wellbeing of children in Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas/Mississippi Delta; and women’s empowerment. Olivia leads the vision for OZ Art NWA, which supports the regional arts scene with its own collection on view throughout Bentonville and collaborates with regional and national artists to bring outdoor art to parks and trails. She also serves on the national board of directors for Teach for America.