Walton Arts Center announced today a $500,000 gift from Tyson Foods, Inc. This gift is designated for the Investing in our Future: The Expansion of Walton Arts Center, Walton Arts Center’s $23 million campaign to add 30,000 square feet of space, including a new and expanded atrium lobby that connects to Dickson Street, significant renovations and expansion of Starr Theater, expanded space for back of the house technical and theatrical equipment, and new administrative offices.

The goal is to complete the Dickson Street renovation by fall of 2016. Heavy construction of the main lobby and Starr Theater will occur during the off-peak summer months of 2015 and 2016 to minimize the impact on regular programming and ensure the arts center has a full season.

Since Walton Arts Center opened, Tyson Foods has sponsored season programming, education programs and capital projects. This gift will continue the legacy of Tyson Foods’ support of Walton Arts Center by renaming the renovated exterior Tyson Plaza and naming the primary entry from the Dickson Street entrance as the Tyson Entrance. The renovation and expansion of the facility will transform Tyson Plaza into a new linear plaza along Dickson Street and West Avenue.

“Thanks to the long-time partnership with Tyson Foods, Walton Arts Center is able to provide enriching arts opportunities for children and audiences in Northwest Arkansas,” said Peter B. Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center. “We are excited about the new Tyson Plaza and Tyson Entrance which will welcome those attending our renovated campus. Thanks to this generous gift, Walton Arts Center will continue to be a place where people of all ages can enjoy great entertainment, experience cultures from around the world and learn together.”
“In the last few years our region’s population has grown by nearly 8%, versus the 3% nationwide average. Needless to say, this area is booming,” said Tyson Foods’ Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Sara Lilygren. “We find it so important to give back to this community, and we’re delighted to support access to cultural and recreational assets like the Walton Arts Center.”

Private support is key to leveraging the generosity of Tyson Foods, the City of Fayetteville and its residents who voted in support of the Yes! Yes! Yes! Campaign. Walton Arts Center is excited about what the future holds and invites the community to join us as we plan for the future.

To learn more about giving opportunities to the Walton Arts Center, contact Missy Darwin Kincaid 479.571.2781.

About Walton Arts Center
Walton Arts Center is Arkansas' premier center for the performing arts and entertainment. Each year more than 190,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend over 275 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, graduations and more. Approximately 42,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 300 volunteers donate more than 22,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 50% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

About Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee® frozen bakery, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to lead the business with his son, Don Tyson, guiding the company for many years and grandson, John H. Tyson, serving as the current chairman of the board of directors. Tyson Foods provides a wide variety of protein-based and prepared foods products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, supplying customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 124,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.