Press release: Visionary leaders join the Art Bridges board
Art Bridges Foundation forms board of directors with visionary arts and philanthropy leaders
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Art Bridges, a new foundation dedicated to expanding access to American art across the country, has assembled a roster of industry leaders for its board of directors. Founded by patron of the arts and philanthropist Alice Walton, Art Bridges strives to bring great works of American art out of storage and into communities across the country. The foundation partners with museums of all sizes and locations, providing financial and strategic support of exhibition development, collection loans and programs designed to engage new audiences.
“The remarkable individuals who have agreed to join the Art Bridges board of directors are visionaries in their respective communities,” said Alice Walton, Art Bridges founder and board chairwoman. “Together with our new CEO, Paul R. Provost, they will help Art Bridges increase access to great American art for people in all corners of our nation.”
The Art Bridges board of directors will meet regularly and provide strategic oversight of the foundation. They will serve as advocates and advisors to the staff, helping to facilitate partnerships among museums and arts organizations across the country.
“The Art Bridges board of directors is an extraordinary group of leaders,” said Paul Provost, CEO of Art Bridges. “As we work to bring access to American art to more communities, their experience and knowledge will help Art Bridges become a truly transformative foundation. We are grateful for their willingness to help us advance our mission.”
THE ART BRIDGES BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Alice Walton, Art Bridges Board Chair, is a committed patron of the arts and philanthropist. She founded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and serves as chairwoman of the museum’s board of directors. She is a board member of the Walton Family Foundation and founder of the Alice L. Walton Foundation.
Rod Bigelow is the executive director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and also holds the title of chief diversity and inclusion officer. In this role, he guides the development of diverse museum teams in achieving the museum’s mission of welcoming all to experience the transformative power of art, architecture, and nature on its 120-acre campus. During his tenure, Crystal Bridges has welcomed more than 4.5 million visitors. In 2020, Crystal Bridges will open a satellite venue, the Momentary, championing the role of contemporary visual and performing arts in everyday life.
Gretchen Dietrich is executive director of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Under her leadership, the UMFA has flourished, with increased attendance, audience engagement and community outreach, higher revenues and new institutional support. Prior to her tenure at UMFA, she held positions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. From 2015-2018, Dietrich served on the board of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and oversaw AAMD’s Education & Community Issues Committee.
Charles M. Diker is the chairman of the board and founder of Cantel Medical Corp., a New York Stock Exchange listed company, marketing and manufacturing infection control products. He is also the managing partner of Diker Management LLC, a registered investment advisor and a director of Loews Corporation. Currently, he is on the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the board of trustees of the Guggenheim Museum and is a trustee of the Mailman School of Public Health. He is also the founding chairman of the National Museum of the American Indian, GGHC and on the board.
Michael Govan joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as chief executive officer and Wallis Annenberg director in 2006. In this role, he oversees all activities of the museum, from art programming to the expansion and upgrade of the museum’s 20-acre campus. During his tenure, LACMA has acquired by donation or purchase more than 56,000 works for the permanent collection, doubled gallery space and programs and more than doubled its average annual attendance to well over 1 million. Currently the museum is in the process of building a new, state-of-the-art permanent collection building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor.
Glenn D. Lowry became the sixth director of The Museum of Modern Art in 1995. He leads a staff of over 900 people and directs an active program of exhibitions, acquisitions and publications. He is a member of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Board of Trustees, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a resident member of the American Philosophical Society. He also serves on the advisory council of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and is Second Vice President of the Association of Art Museum Directors.
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion social justice philanthropy with offices in the U.S. and ten global regions. For two decades, he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Darren led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and chairs the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the High Line, VOW to End Child Marriage, Committee to Protect Journalists, National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received his bachelor’s and law degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been on Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Pauline Willis has been the Director and CEO of the American Federation of Arts (AFA), a century-old, not-for-profit organization that develops, raises money and handles all logistics to tour top quality exhibitions to museums across America, since 2012. Ms. Willis previously served as the organization’s Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. Under her leadership, the AFA’s exhibition program has been reinvigorated and traveling exhibitions increased from two to more than 20. Working with the board of trustees and a strengthened staff, she also developed innovative programs relating to museum exhibitions and collaborations, expanded the organization’s membership program and raised funds to enable these endeavors. She is a board member of ArtTable, a national organization for professional women in the arts, and is affiliated with the American Association of Museum Directors.
ABOUT ART BRIDGES
Art Bridges is a new foundation dedicated to expanding access to American art. Founded by patron of the arts and philanthropist Alice Walton, Art Bridges strives to bring great works of American art out of storage and into communities across the country. The foundation partners with museums of all sizes and locations, providing financial and strategic support of exhibition development, collection loans and programs designed to reach new audiences.
Art Bridges is currently working with partners in more than 25 states across America. For project examples, visit www.artbridgesfoundation.org/category/projects/. Organizations may seek support from Art Bridges at any time during the year; application deadlines are rolling and specific to each project. For more information, visit www.artbridgesfoundation.org/partner-with-us/.