Crystal Bridges is Open for Everyone
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The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a Northwest Arkansas treasure. It's big, in the middle of the forest, with amazing architecture, and it's free.
In 2021, approximately one-fifth (22%) of its visitors identified as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color, and 8% of visitors self-identified as Hispanic or Latino. These data are based on an ongoing study of a typical day at the gallery, said the Museum's Mary Benchoff.
For Latinos, the museum offers guided tours in Spanish and an audio guide in that language. Each work of art is explained in Spanish and there are selected materials and brochures in several languages, including Spanish and Marshallese.
There are also educational opportunities for adults and youth.
For adults, the museum partners with literacy councils and education centers connecting English learners with works of art, enhancing their knowledge as they learn about American history and culture.
For young students there are free field trips from all schools K-12. Thanks to the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, the museum reimburses transportation up to $250 per class, pay for a substitute teacher per class, and each student receive a free bag lunch. This program has allowed the visit of 300,000 young people from all groups.
The CB to You Mobile Art Lab allows Northwest Arkansas artists to visit local libraries and festivals with art, music, storytelling and more. This includes festivals like Cinco de Mayo at the Jones Center in Springdale; the Hispanic Heritage Festival (September 25) in Fayetteville; Arkansalsa (October 15) in Springdale, and the Day of the Dead Celebration (November 5) in Springdale. The Mobile Art Lab will feature local artist Lupita Albarrán when she visits the Springdale Library on October 13 and 27 and Huntsville on October 20.
There is no Latin culture without music and, in collaboration with NWA Bachata Beats and Breathe Dance Repeat, there will be a free night of Latin dance on November 4th. The fun begins with a one-hour bachata class for beginners at 7:30 p.m. (no partner needed), followed by social dancing from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. There will be modern bachata with a touch of salsa, merengue and cumbia.
The Future is Latino
Crystal Bridges will offer two exhibitions highlighting Latino artists: Entre/Between in October 2022 and Diego Rivera's America in March 2023.
The museum also has Latino artists on display: Félix González-Torres, Martine Gutiérrez, Patrick Martínez, Luis Alfonso Jiménez, and Alfredo Ramos Martínez.
At the Momentary, a contemporary art space and satellite of Crystal Bridges in downtown Bentonville, Esteban Cabeza de Baca's Let Earth Breathe is on view through September 25. During the exhibition, ceramic workshops are held to create a seed bank for vegetables, medicinal plants, and pollinating plants native to the region. Seed packets are free to the public.
In the fall of 2022, the Momentary will offer two solo shows by Latino artists: Yvette Mayorga and Firelei Báez. Both exhibitions are large-scale, immersive, and highlight the Momentary's commitment to supporting the production and exhibition of work by Latino artists at various points in their careers.
Past exhibits with Latino themes include State of the Art, Discovering American Art (2014), Border Cantons (2017), and Siempre Selena/Selena Forever (2022) which featured talks with community members like Patricia Rodríguez.