Alice L. Walton, Founder and Board Chair
Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton is committed to increasing access to arts, improving education, enhancing health, and advancing economic opportunity for all. Alice is dedicated to promoting diversity and access in all of her philanthropic work.
Enhancing Health and Well-Being
Alice Walton founded Whole Health Institute in 2019 to help improve the health and well-being of all people in all communities. Through her own health care experiences, Alice recognized the need for better processes and health outcomes. She discovered that a whole-person approach with health care professionals focused on physical, mental and spiritual health provided the most beneficial results, and thus founded the Institute to increase access for others to this transformative approach.
A non-profit organization, the Institute strives to create fundamental changes to the way communities, employers, government policies, and health systems work together to help individuals take charge of their health and live their fullest, most meaningful life.
In 2021, Alice founded a new MD-degree-granting non-profit, the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. The medical school will help students rise to the health challenges of the 21st century through a reimagination of American medical education that incorporates whole health principles to help people live healthier and happier lives. The curriculum will combine traditional and conventional medicine with integrative techniques based on whole health principles.
Providing Access to Art + Nature
In 2005, Alice Walton founded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as a non-profit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Located on 120-acres of Ozark woodlands in Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges’ mission is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening, it has welcomed 5.6 million visitors from around the globe, with no cost for admission. Alice serves as a board member and chair emeritus of the museum’s Board of Directors.
Sharing Art Across the US
Building on Crystal Bridges’ success in sharing masterworks of American art from its Arkansas location, Alice Walton established the Art Bridges Foundation in 2017 to expand access to American art across the nation by providing funding support to museums of all sizes in order to create projects that educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local communities.
Art Bridges’ goal is to get art out of vaults and in front of people across the country. It has its own art collection, and it also partners with museums with vast collections to share art with institutions throughout the US. To date, Art Bridges has worked with 170 organizations in 37 states, funding 400+ projects that have reached more than 2.4 million people.
Creating Access for All
In 2017, Alice founded the Alice L. Walton Foundation, which works to enhance the quality of life for individuals through providing access to offerings that improve well-being and create diverse and inclusive communities. The Alice L. Walton Foundation focuses on efforts to expand and diversify educational opportunities that can help put a secure, fulfilling, and self-determined life in reach for more Americans.
Alice has supported major initiatives to increase teacher diversity, expand art programs at universities, and diversify museum leadership. Through this work, the foundation strives to deliver meaningful and lasting change to individuals and communities most in need.
Recently, the Alice L. Walton Foundation and Cleveland Clinic announced a joint initiative to identify ways of providing access to Cleveland Clinic’s renowned specialty care services in Northwest Arkansas. The organizations are currently assessing specialty care needs in the region and developing recommendations for healthcare solutions to best meet those needs.
Alice is also a member of the Walton Family Foundation, which works in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in its home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.
Alice Walton’s vision and philanthropic leadership has prompted numerous accolades. She is a recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art Medal, the John Cotton Dana Medal for Visionary Leadership in Museums, the Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts, and the Getty Medal for contributions to the Arts and Humanities. She was recognized by TIME magazine in 2012 as one of the most influential people in the world, and was inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame in 2018.
She has served as a member of the board of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Trustees’ Council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity University and an honorary Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters from the University of Arkansas.
Learn more at AliceWalton.org.