Crystal Bridges Museum Turns Five

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art celebrated its fifth anniversary on Friday (Nov. 11).

The museum opened its doors on November 11, 2011 with the expectation of attracting up to 250,000 visitors per year, according to Crystal Bridges.

Since that time, about 2.7 million visitors have toured the halls, said Rod Bigelow, executive director of Crystal Bridges. He said every move the museum has taken has been a success.

"It's not just walking into a gallery and seeing a work of art," Bigelow said. "It's about experiencing that in many ways, through our programs, hands on art making activities, our after school programs and on our grounds."

For people like Chanel Barlow, who is from Kansas, a trip to Crystal Bridges is always on the schedule when she comes to Arkansas to visit with her sister.

"I usually come about twice a year," Barlow said. "Every time I come, Crystal Bridges is a must do."

Bigelow attributed the millions of visitors who have walked through the doors to the way the museum is set up.

"Being welcoming is sort of the foundation of what we do," said Bigelow, who said Crystal Bridges welcomes everyone. "Being able to welcome people without a background in art is just as exciting as welcoming someone who is well experienced in art."

A few events will be held in conjunction with the anniversary.