Walton Arts Center is pleased to announce Pat Walker as the third recipient of the Helen R. Walton Distinguished Achievement Award.

The Helen R. Walton Distinguished Achievement Award is awarded to an individual whose outstanding service, support and leadership has had a significant impact on bringing the communities of Northwest Arkansas together in support of the arts and the culture life of our community. The Helen R. Walton Award was first awarded during Walton Arts Center’s 10th Season Celebration and honored Mrs. Helen Walton for her countless contributions to the arts community of Northwest Arkansas. Mrs. Walton was instrumental in the vision, development and building of Walton Arts Center as a regional arts facility. Five years later, the award was presented a second time to Billie Jo Starr who has supported Walton Arts Center for over twenty years and continues to be a steadfast advocate for the arts in Northwest Arkansas.

“Pat Walker shares the generosity and philanthropic vision of Helen Walton and Billie Jo Starr, pledging her time and talents to our community,” said President and CEO Peter B. Lane. “Mrs. Walker’s personal involvement and legacy of philanthropy has impacted innumerable lives.” Mrs. Walker and her husband, Willard were leaders in the original campaign to build Walton Arts Center. Baum Walker Hall is named in their honor and the Pat and Willard Walker Foundation continues to support the mission of the arts center and the Walmart AMP.

Billie Jo Starr, a previous recipient of the Helen R. Walton Award said “Helen Walton was a central figure in the arts tapestry that has been woven in all of Northwest Arkansas and indeed throughout the state of Arkansas and beyond. She had a passion and commitment to making the arts a part of the lives of each and every one of us.”

“Mrs. Pat Walker shares the same generosity and philanthropic vision of Mrs. Walton and Walton Arts Center is honored to bestow this award on an individual whose dedication to the cultural vibrancy of our community has transformed Northwest Arkansas,” said Lane.

The Helen R. Walton Award was presented during a ceremony celebrating the beginning of construction tied to the expansion and renovation of Walton Arts Center.