Arkansas museum turning factory into contemporary art space

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A shuttered Kraft Foods plant in Arkansas will be transformed into a performance and visual arts space thanks to an investment by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that was founded by a Wal-Mart family heiress.

Museum officials announced Wednesday that the revamped Bentonville plant will feature film, theater, music and contemporary visual arts and an artist-in-residence-program. It is scheduled to open in 2018. Officials said the idea blossomed from the 2014 “State of the Art” exhibit at Crystal Bridges for which curators met with more than 1,000 artists around the country.

Tom Walton of the Walton Family Foundation says “this experimental space will be a living room for the community, sitting at the intersection of art and everyday life.”

Crystal Bridges, founded by Alice Walton, opened in 2011.