After Crystal Bridges, Bentonville Looks Toward Children's Museum

The movement to provide more arts and entertainment options in northwest Arkansas continues to gain momentum, specifically in Bentonville.

Home to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and a proposed Walton Arts Center campus, the city is also the planned location of a children’s museum.

Plans for a proposed 35,000-SF facility can be found online and fundraising efforts, including a capital campaign, are ongoing.

Recently the board of directors, which includes representatives from Wal-Mart, Arvest, Procter & Gamble, Nickelodeon and others, selected an executive director. Sam Dean, we have learned, is the choice to lead the museum efforts.

Dean joins the Children’s Museum of Northwest Arkansas project after working in similar posts in San Francisco and Fort Worth.

What exactly is the goal of the Children’s Museum of Northwest Arkansas?

Per the organizers: “The Children’s Museum of Northwest Arkansas represents the dream of a community. That dream: to educate children in the best ways possible for whatever lies ahead.”

Haizlip Studio of Memphis and North Carolina lists the museum among its upcoming architectural projects.

Haizlip has designed multiple children’s museums and was involved in the design of The Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith.