Photo: Beth Hall, courtesy Crystal Bridges
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art officials this week announced that Olivia Walton will become the new chair of the museum’s board of directors.
Founder Alice Walton, who has served as chair since the museum’s opening, will move into a board member position.
“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,” said Alice Walton. “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.”
Olivia Walton joined the Crystal Bridges board in 2019, and 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 chair 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.”
Crystal Bridges recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The museum first opened on Nov. 11, 2011.
From the museum:
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.
Olivia’s curiosity, interest in big ideas and desire to make a difference come from her years of experience as a national journalist for NBC News, MSNBC and as an anchor for Bloomberg Television in New York and London. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree from the London School of Economics. Olivia lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with her husband, Tom, and their two daughters.