New Crystal Bridges board chair Olivia Walton is on a mission to expand the definition of art

Olivia Walton, the new board chair for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is full of hints of what’s to come.

Named in mid-November to the post, she takes over for museum founder Alice Walton in that role. Olivia Walton, a former technology reporter for Bloomberg and NBC, is married to Tom Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Her background in the arts stems from childhood through college to her adult work.

“I have really been sort of a lifelong museum junkie,” Walton says in an exclusive Talk Business & Politics interview. “I think that art has this incredible power to inspire creativity, to inspire new ways of seeing, to inspire new ways of thinking. Alice has this expression. She says, ‘If you have access to art, you have access to imagination. And if you have imagination, you have hope.’ And I just think that’s a beautiful sentiment. So I really think that art has power to lift the spirit, and I think that museums are incredibly powerful. I mean, museums are able to educate. They are able to entertain. They are able to inspire. They are able to build community.”

When she was named to chair the board of the Bentonville-based world-class museum, Walton said she wanted to “expand the definition of art.” To her, that means moving outside the traditional media of painting and sculpture. Read MORE.

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