Nearly 25 years ago, when our region was half the size it is today, my grandmother took a bold step in helping root a cultural community in Northwest Arkansas with the establishment of the Walton Arts Center. We have witnessed the tremendous power of the arts in transforming lives and communities. And since then, our definition of art has expanded.
Last year, we announced a new milestone in our region’s cultural journey through a partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to develop a contemporary arts venue in downtown Bentonville.
The space, newly named the Momentary, will be a cultural hub where inspiration brings together musicians, visual artists and the entire community. We are also welcoming Lieven Bertels as the leader who will realize this vision. Lieven comes to Northwest Arkansas from the Netherlands, where he worked as CEO and cultural director of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 European Capital of Culture, a year-long festival focusing on the arts in a rural setting.
Cultural experiences are not isolated; they are connected to downtowns, restaurants and people. With its proximity to the Razorback Regional Greenway and the recently opened culinary school, Brightwater, the Momentary will be a space where cyclists, foodies, artists and the entire community converge.
Like Crystal Bridges, the Momentary will shine a national spotlight on our region’s burgeoning arts scene. Based in the heartland of America, this will be an environment where everyone who seeks creativity is welcome.