Brightwater, a culinary and food study department of NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, has received $1.8 million in grant funding from the Walton Family Foundation to support new programs, increased professional development opportunities and to provide an overall safe educations environment.
NWACC said with the funding the culinary center will focus on food entrepreneurship, bar and beverage management and whole health and wellness.
In addition, the grant will support Brightwater’s mission to offer a safe educational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school plans to use funds to create two new classrooms so students have more space to socially distance, and increase classroom technology used for remote instruction and making digital recordings of lectures and demonstrations.
“This grant makes it possible for Brightwater to continue its mission of providing world-class training and learning for individuals, students and professionals at any point on their journey into the world of food, and shape the change of our industry through focusing on the instruction of food systems, responsibility, sustainability, culture and the craft of food,” said Brightwater Executive Director Marshall Shafkowitz. “Students are also able to learn and engage in a safe environment without feeling like their academic experience has been compromised.”
Karen Minkel, director of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region funding, said the school’s well-rounded programs will prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs who will help strengthen the local hospitality industry.