$10M gift from Alice L. Walton Foundation to support Crystal Bridges interns

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,337 views 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville announced Thursday (May 26) one of the largest museum endowments in the country dedicated to developing the next generation of arts leadership.

A $10 million gift from the Alice L. Walton Foundation will support and expand the museum’s internship program. Walton is the museum’s founder and board chair emeritus.

“Five years ago, we strengthened an already successful internship program to focus on hiring and nurturing leaders from diverse backgrounds. Today we recognize there is still work to do,” Walton said in a statement. “I believe it’s essential for museums to build an inclusive culture, and in order to do so it’s imperative to educate and develop future arts leaders.”

According to a news release, Crystal Bridges is partnering with Spelman College (Atlanta, Ga.) and Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.) to recruit interns from populations currently underrepresented in arts leadership. Walton’s endowment gift also allows Crystal Bridges to add an administrative position focused solely on the internship program. The intern coordinator will track students’ cultural careers for a minimum of five years following their time at Crystal Bridges.

“This generous gift embodies everything I’ve known Alice to care about as a museum leader and arts patron — access, diversity, and nurturing the next generation, a representative generation, of arts leaders,” said Rod Bigelow, the museum’s executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer. “This gift asks Crystal Bridges to continually sharpen its focus on diverse student learners and helps to establish a new standard in the field.”

More information is at this link.