Walton family influence reaches beyond business

Grants support cultural connections

Posted: March 27, 2016 at 1 a.m.

Photo By Ben Goff - Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers Arkansas.

Wal-Mart's fingerprint is all over Northwest Arkansas' growing economy. That's not surprising when the world's largest company calls Bentonville home.

Foundation gifts

The Walton Family Foundation contributed $27 million to Northwest Arkansas institutions in 2014. The foundation donated another $7.5 million to Arkansas education, including some area schools.

Here are the Northwest Arkansas grants:

Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Department of Education $29,000

Beaver Watershed Alliance $123,998

Bella Vista Foundation $75,000

Benton County School of the Arts $732,219

Bentonville Bella Vista Trailblazers Association Inc. $934,923

Bentonville Child Care and Development Center $49,849

Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks $145,767

Catholic Diocese of Little Rock $98,000

Amazeum $5,374,080

Cisneros Center for New Americans $50,000

City of Bentonville $2,053,304

City of Fayetteville $1,855,185

City of Rogers $2,703,401

City of Springdale $400,000

City of Siloam Springs $638,510

Credit Counseling of Arkansas Inc. $216,217

Downtown Bentonville Inc. $160,000

Endeavor Foundation $3,000,000

Fayetteville Public Education Foundation Inc. $134,850

Haas Hall Academy $500,000

Hispanic Scholarship Fund $152,500

Illinois River Watershed Partnership $200,000

Jones Trust $1,000,000

KIPP Delta Public Schools $400,000

Northwest Arkansas Community Creative Center $91,840

Northwest Arkansas Council Foundation $1,699,337

Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission $306,667

Ozark Montessori Academy $220,000

Rogers New Technology High $249,180

Rogers Public Schools $40,000

Springdale Public Schools $262,000

Symphony Orchestra of Northwest Arkansas $136,293

The Peel Compton Foundation $220,000

Theatre Squared $430,000

Tricycle Theatre For Youth $56,494

Walton Arts Center Inc. $1,600,000

Watershed Conservation Resource Center $100,000

Winrock International $634,613

Northwest Arkansas Total $27,073,227

Regional leaders

Several Northwest Arkansas leading business families made contributions to the region last year:

• John Brown University support — The Simmons family last year donated $5 million toward a renovation project for the Walton Lifetime Health Complex at John Brown University in Siloam Springs. The family and the Walton Family Foundation also helped fund a $170,000 5-mile mountain bike trail in Siloam Springs.

• Walton Arts Center expansion — The Walton Family Foundation’s announced a $5 million challenge grant in March for the $23 million campaign for the Fayetteville center.

• Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences — John Tyson announced in March a $5 million gift from Tyson Foods Inc. and the Tyson family to support a $16.3 million Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences.

• Razorback Regional Greenway — The 37-mile trail opened in May and received more than $50 million from the Walton Family Foundation for trail-related projects over the past 15 years.

• New independent school — The Walton Family Foundation announced in July that it will support the development of a new independent school in Bentonville.

• Brightwater Culinary Institute — The Walton Family Foundation in August announced it would provide $15 million to the Northwest Arkansas Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program.

• Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program — The Walton Family Foundation in September announced its new design program, which supports the highest level of design for future public building spaces in Benton and Washington counties.

• Arkansas Nature Center — The J.B. Hunt Family announced in November that it would provide $5 million for a proposed $15 million J.B. Hunt Family Northwest Arkansas Nature Center in Springdale.

SOURCE: NORTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNCIL

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