Walton Family Foundation Opens New Design Excellence Program Application Cycle

Betty Woo - Oct 6, 2020 9:24AM

Media Contact:
Kathryn Heller
Walton Family Foundation


Walton Family Foundation Opens New Design Excellence Program Application Cycle

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 16, 2020 – The Walton Family Foundation is seeking new professionals for its Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program. Now in its fifth year, the foundation opened a new application cycle today to replace designers whose terms have expired. Interested architects, landscape architects and urban designers are encouraged to visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org/design now through Oct. 14 to apply.

Established in 2015, the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program promotes the highest level of design in the development of future public buildings and spaces in Benton and Washington counties. The program is focused on fostering effective, inclusive and equitable engagement within the community.The selection of design professionals and projects are guided by four key principles: a commitment to strengthening public life; elevating standards of sustainability and resilience; celebrating local cultures and place; and building regional capacity.

The program is designed to accommodate nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary firms; smaller specialty firms; and young designers who may not yet be discovered. A selection committee of industry experts and foundation representatives choose which professionals will be added to the program. If accepted, designers can participate for up to five years, or until they are chosen for a project. Currently, more than 70 architecture and landscape architecture firms representing 15 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Denmark have been admitted.

To date, the Design Excellence Program has supported 13 projects across the region’s five largest cities, including:

City of Bentonville: “Quilt of Parks” and full redesign of Dave Peel Park near the City Square by Design Workshop, as well as a destination park on nearly 100 acres at Southwest 8th and I Streets by PORT Urbanism of Philadelphia and Chicago

City of Fayetteville: 12-acre Cultural Arts Corridor, which will link local institutions in downtown Fayetteville through trail and street improvements, by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia

City of Rogers: Design and rebrand of 5-acre Frisco Park and its surrounding open space, featuring a play-yard with water features, performance venue, farmers market plaza and urban promenade, by Ross Barney Architects of Chicago

City of Siloam Springs: 5-acre Memorial Park, including a splash pad, amphitheater, landscaped green spaces and permanent farmers market venue by CARBO Landscape Architecture of Baton Rouge

City of Springdale: 125,000-square-foot municipal campus, with a new criminal justice facility and renovated administration building, by Duvall Decker of Jackson, Mississippi

Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista: Schematic designs for four accessory dwelling units by Robert Sharp Architects of Fayetteville and Massengale Architecture PLLC of New York City

Convergence: A outdoor collaborative playscape between Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Scott Family Amazeum for visitors of all ages, abilities and backgrounds

Downtown Springdale Alliance: Expansion and renovation of the 14-acre Luther George Park, complete with play areas and performance space, by Spackman Mossop Michaels of New Orleans

Helen Walton Children’s Enrichment Center: 44,000-square-foot new early childhood education center in Bentonville with classrooms, landscaped playgrounds, a teaching garden, libraries and ancillary spaces by LTL Architects of New York City

Rogers Historical Museum: 28,000-square-foot adaptive reuse facility by de Leon & Primmer Architecture of Louisville, Kentucky

Thaden School: 30-acre campus master plan, school buildings and landscape by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple of New Orleans and Marlon Blackwell Architects of Fayetteville

TheatreSquared: 51,000-square-foot performance arts space in Fayetteville by Marvel Architects of New York City

Additional information about current projects and the application process is available at waltonfamilyfoundation.org/design.

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2019, the foundation awarded more than $525 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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