The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville will use $2 million in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation for an exhibit update and an exterior area expansion. The hands-on, interactive museum announced the grants on Thursday (Aug. 31).
According to a news release, a $1.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation will be used to build an outside space and exterior gathering area where families and the community can connect. A $500,000 grant from Walmart will be used to refresh the Market exhibit to reflect the existing branding, initiatives and store experience of Walmart and Sam’s Club.
The release shows the expanded outdoor space will include flexible rooms for events. Future expanded common spaces will allow for shared experiences and celebrations, such as birthday parties, community events, robotics competitions and corporate team-building activities.
Holland Hayden, senior manager of marketing and communications at the Amazeum, noted the renderings and square footage of the expansion are not yet available.
“The Market will be completely updated by December 2024, but there will be a light refresh this year,” she said. The new outdoor space will include a covered pathway but will not be attached to the museum building. “There will be amenities anyone can use without paying admission.”
“We are fortunate that the Scott Family Amazeum provides such an enriching space for families to build stronger connections in our home region,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president and chief operating officer of the Walmart Foundation. “We are excited about the outdoor gathering space, which will offer a creative, inspiring place for residents to deepen connections, and about refreshing the popular Market exhibit to show kids how fun retail can be. We are honored to support the Amazeum’s mission to make a positive impact on families in our community.”
The 50,000-square-foot museum at J Street and Museum Way includes a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, 3M Tinkering Hub, Hershey’s Lab, Nickelodeon PlayLab, the Market sponsored by Walmart and nearly 1 acre of outdoor space.
“The Amazeum is grateful for the continued support from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation,” said Jennifer Martinez Belt, chief philanthropy officer of the Amazeum. “These funds will help children and families across Northwest Arkansas and beyond have access to quality, hands-on learning opportunities in a creative atmosphere where all are welcome.”
Since opening on July 15, 2015, the Amazeum has provided guests of all ages with hands-on experiences and activities in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). The Amazeum has 105 employees, including 51 full-time staff.