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“You Belong Here” by artist Tavares Strachan, site-specific neon sculpture.

“You Belong Here” by artist Tavares Strachan, site-specific neon sculpture.

The Momentary, a new contemporary art space for visual, performing and culinary arts, has opened. Northwest Arkansas residents will get their first opportunity to see the museum on Saturday. The museum opened to members earlier today.

The Momentary champions contemporary art’s role in everyday life, serving as a satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Occupying a former 63,000 square-foot cheese factory, The Momentary offers art and music with galleries for exhibitions, performance spaces, artist-in-residence studios, culinary experiences and a festival field. General admission is free.

The Momentary was founded by the Walton family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting the project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. Its commitment to cultivating arts and cultural experiences provides more opportunities for education, engagement and enjoyment of the region.

 “Our family shares a passion for the arts and for this region of the country,” said Olivia Walton, the founding chairperson of The Momentary. “The idea for this new contemporary art space came together through an ambitious vision of cultural expansion and economic opportunity for Northwest Arkansas, and of course, inspiration from Crystal Bridges and our aunt, Alice Walton.”

“By witnessing how Crystal Bridges became an arts destination, bringing tourism and new audiences, new ideas and new perspectives to Bentonville, it was clear that there was more room to expand access to the arts in Northwest Arkansas. The Momentary will allow people across the community, and from across the country, to engage in cultural experiences together, in a space that welcomes all to come try something new.”

The adaptive reuse design of the Momentary, led by Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects and lead project architect Calli Verkamp, maintains the integrity of the former cheese factory with added elements to support the new purpose of the space. The additions use contemporary materials and construction methods to differentiate themselves from the existing building.

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Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: