USA Today Visits Bentonville's Crystal Bridges, Notes Snack Foods

USA Today last week published a big piece on Bentonville about the changes wrought by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Here’s the way it was pitched to a national audience:

“Two alternate realities in the town that Wal-Mart built are represented on a food truck menu at the Saturday farmer’s market: Gluten-Free Breakfast Wraps, advertises one sign. Fried Oreos, reads another.

“Trendy, nutritional fare commingled with the ultimate junk food. Maybe you can have it all.”

The article was headlined “Wal-Mart’s hometown: Mayberry goes Manhattan” and was accompanied by many photos.

For Arkansans, it’s a big yawn. We knew the development was going to be fabulous, but some whom writer Jayne Clark interviewed weren’t as optimistic, such as Dayton Castleman, identified as the museum director of the new 21c Museum Hotel:

“The growth of arts in a community is typically from the ground up. But the great thing about Bentonville is that, boom! We had an $800 million museum. I was as skeptical as anyone, but when I visited Crystal Bridges, I was just blown away. It’s an important collection. It’s not just a vanity project.”


However, we did enjoy this observation by Clark: “And since opening in November 2011, this Bilbao of the Ozarks is helping transform tiny Bentonville into an art lover’s mecca.”