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Application Period for Design Excellence Program Now Open


The Walton Family Foundation is opening applications for the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program.

Through March 15, the foundation is inviting design professionals to submit their work for review at Professionals focused on landscape architecture and urban design in smaller communities are especially encouraged to apply.

According to WFF press release, the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program is “designed to accommodate design firms of all sizes, including nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary firms; smaller specialty firms; and young designers who may not yet be discovered.”

Industry experts and foundation representatives will select the designers who participate in the program. The chosen designers can participate in the program for up to five years or until they are chosen for a project.

Currently, over 50 architecture firms in 15 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Denmark have been selected for the program. In Arkansas, the Design Excellence Program has supported 11 projects, including:

  • City of Bentonville: “Quilt of Parks” and full redesign of Dave Peel Park near the City Square
  • City of Fayetteville: Cultural Arts Corridor by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia
  • City of Rogers: Design and rebrand of Frisco Park and its surrounding open space by Ross Barney Architects of Chicago
  • City of Siloam Springs: 5-acre Memorial Park, including a splash pad, amphitheater, landscaped green spaces and permanent farmers market venue by CARBO Landscape Architecture of Baton Rouge
  • City of Springdale: Municipal campus, including a new criminal justice facility and renovated administration building, by Duvall Decker of Jackson, Mississippi
  • Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista: Schematic designs for four accessory dwelling units by Robert Sharp Architects of Fayetteville and Massengale Architecture PLLC of New York City
  • Downtown Springdale Alliance: Expansion and renovation of Luther George Park by Spackman Mossop Michaels of New Orleans
  • Helen Walton Children’s Enrichment Center: 44,000-square-foot new early childhood education center including classrooms, landscaped playgrounds, a “teaching garden,” libraries and ancillary spaces in Bentonville by LTL Architects of New York City
  • Rogers Historical Museum: 28,000-square-foot adaptive reuse facility by de Leon & Primmer Architecture of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Thaden School: 30-acre campus master plan, school buildings and landscape by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple of New Orleans and Marlon Blackwell Architects of Fayetteville
  • TheatreSquared: 51,000-square-foot performance arts space in Fayetteville by Marvel Architects of New York City

A full review of current projects and detailed information about the application process are available at

READ MORE: Walton Family Foundation Officer Chosen for Leadership Program

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