BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/ KFTA) — For the past decade, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has become a go to destination for visitors from around the world. The museum opened its doors to the public back on November 11, 2011 and celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Nestled in the heart of Bentonville, Founder Alice Walton had a vision to bring access to art, nature and architecture to residents of Northwest Arkansas and beyond. Local artist and founding member Zeek Taylor stood behind that vision 10 years ago and has watched the museum continue thrive over the years.

“I knew that it was was going to be a way to bring people to Northwest Arkansas and put us on the map as an art mecca and to let people know that not all good museums aren’t just on the east or west coast,” said Taylor.

During its first year alone, Crytsal Bridges welcomed more than 650,000 guest. By August 2013, over one million people had visited Crystal Bridges, and by its seventh anniversary back on November 11, 2018, the museum had received more than four million visitors.

With no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion officer Rod Bigelow said community connection and engagement play a big part in the museum’s continue success.

“We’ll continue to bring different experience to our community whether it’s inside or outside of the building, adding to the collection creating programs both here in Bentonville but also across Northwest Arkansas. So you’ll have more and more opportunities to connect, engage with us and with each other,” said Bigelow.

It’s that engagement and personal connection that Taylor said resonates within the local art community.

“Crystal Bridges has been a major asset to the art community in particular, it’s a place we can go as artists to learn and to be inspired.” said Taylor.

As part of its Cheers to 10 Years celebration, Crystal Bridges has four days of anniversary activities planned for the public. For info, be sure to visit the museum’s website.