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Opera in the Ozarks Gets $34M Grant From Waltons

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The Walton Family Foundation announced it would give a $34 million grant to the Opera of the Ozarks to fund the building of a new theater.

The Opera of the Ozarks, a training school on Highway 62 in Eureka Springs, opened in 1950 as a summer camp. The grant will fund a new 300-seat theater as well as cabins for faculty housing.

Construction is scheduled to begin this month and it is expected to be completed in 2025. Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects in Little Rock is the architect and the contractor is Crossland Construction of Rogers.

“For seven decades, artists have traveled to Opera in the Ozarks on their music education journey,” said Jim and Lynne Walton, the son and daughter-in-law of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton. “A new theater continues this legacy by offering generations of future musicians and singers a new stage to showcase their talents.”

Notable alumni of the Opera of the Ozarks include Latonia Moore, Leona Mitchell and Mark Delavan, all of whom have performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

“A new theater will be transformational for our artists and audiences,” said Nancy Preis, the general director of Opera in the Ozarks. “It will offer artists a stage worthy of their talents. Our new home will also be a welcoming space for audiences to enjoy an intimate and high-quality performance.”

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