The long-awaited Amazeum will open July 15, officials announced Tuesday.
The nearly 50,000-square-foot interactive children’s museum, located on 5 acres off Northeast J Street near Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, has also changed its official name to the Scott Family Amazeum.
Lee and Linda Scott were major donors to the project and early advocates of what was initially known as “The Children’s Museum of Northwest Arkansas.”
“Our board finds it most fitting to honor their gifts in this way,” said Molly Rawn, the museum’s director of development and communications. “Theirs is a key donation that keeps the momentum moving toward our $28.5 million comprehensive campaign goal.”
Scott’s son, Eric, serves on the museum’s board of directors. His wife, Elda, is a volunteer at the Amazeum.
“We are honored to have an institution we care so deeply about be named for our family,” said Lee Scott, a 35-year veteran of Walmart who retired as CEO in 2009. “We are so happy that we have been given the opportunity to give back to the Northwest Arkansas community, and we hope that our support of the Amazeum will inspire others to give.”
Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean said Walmart is also a signature sponsor of the museum. He said a new exhibit called The Market will recognize the company’s support.
Dean described The Market as an interactive exhibit where guests will be able to “shop” for produce and groceries, work behind the butcher counter or in the bakery, serve other guests in the café, or play the role of cashier. One of the goals of the exhibit, he said, is to connect young people to the source of their food.
The Market will include work by artist Matthew Moore who was featured in Crystal Bridges’ landmark exhibit, State of the Art. As a farmer, Moore’s work focuses on nature and the land. His time-lapse photography of crops growing will be installed among the produce in The Market. Guests will be able to use a dial to speed up, slow down or reverse the growth process.
More details will be released in the coming months, including information about additional exhibits, hours of operation, and admission fees.
For more information, visit Amazeum.org.