May 12, 2023 - Development

$10 million donation will add 5,000 square feet to Amazeum

Rain didn't dampen spirits for the announcement Thursday. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

The Scott Family Amazeum will receive millions for its first major expansion since the interactive children's museum opened in 2015.

What's happening: Lee and Linda Scott, along with their sons Eric and Wyatt and daughters-in-law Elda and Janell, announced Thursday they will give $10.35 million to the science-focused center that bears the family name.

  • The donation will pay to build a 5,000-square-foot community gathering building and a "dedicated space for early learners," adding to the existing 50,000-square-foot museum, according to a news release.
  • Holland Hayden, spokesperson for the Amazeum, told Axios details about those additions and the construction timeline are TBD.

The intrigue: The Amazeum is a draw not just to NWA, but to a four-state area, Lee Scott said Thursday during an event to announce the gift.

  • "These kids in southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, (northeast) Oklahoma — they don't have the same experiences that the kids in Bentonville are having now with the success that Walmart and Tyson and J.B. Hunt and others have brought," the former Walmart CEO said.
  • The museum offers kids a space to think and learn that will hopefully inspire them to continue their education and want to participate in the economy, he said.

Context: The Amazeum is basically a curious kid's dream. Patrons can make music in the Nickelodeon play lab, mix some bread dough in the bakery at the Walmart Market or explore technology at the tinkering hub.


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