$7 million grant extends free admission program at Crystal Bridges

A rendering shows what an expanded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will look like once completed. (Courtesy Safdie Architects)

It looks like general admission will continue to be free at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for the foreseeable future.

The museum this week announced a $7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to support free admission for all visitors, as well as to support operations at the Momentary.

Admission at Crystal Bridges has been free since the museum opened in 2011, thanks to Walmart’s initial investment in the endowment. Since then, Crystal Bridges and the Momentary have welcomed more than 10.8 million guests, according to a news release.

“We’re grateful for the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to making art accessible to the people of the Heartland and beyond,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer at Crystal Bridges. “With their support, we can continue to expand access to Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, and welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. This wouldn’t be possible without the Walmart Foundation’s consistent generosity.”

Crystal Bridges has begun a major expansion project will increase the museum’s size by 50%, adding nearly 100,000 square feet of space for more galleries and programming opportunities.

Once complete, the facility will include about 300,000 total square feet of space to showcase the museum’s growing collection and to increase educational and outreach initiatives, cultural programming, and community events.

The Momentary is also undergoing a transformation, officials said, which should be complete later this summer.