History museum

Lopez-Farrer named executive director of Bentonville History Museum

BENTONVILLE – Rebekah Lopez-Farrer has been named the first executive director of the Bentonville History Museum.

Lopez-Farrer joins the museum after three years at the University of Arkansas working for the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and later for the Bentonville Collaborative, the university’s presence in education and research in Bentonville.

Lopez-Farrer, 27, worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America before college work.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and a minor in International Relations from the University of Arkansas. She is pursuing a Master of Science in Operations Management.

Lopez-Farrer said she was honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as executive director.

“Rebekah will shape the direction of the museum from scratch, focusing on all aspects of the museum – exhibits, programming, event coordination and community engagement,” said Leah Whitehead, chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “In addition to establishing the emerging museum, she will inspire broad financial support, oversee operations and develop staff. She will work with the community to create a museum that will engage the community and improve the town of Bentonville.”

The operating budget will be set by the executive director and board of directors and will be paid for by the public and community through donations and memberships, as well as programs and events, Whitehead said.

“Our mission at the Bentonville History Museum is to preserve the past for the future through collection, exhibition and education,” Lopez-Farrer said. “My goal is to make everyone who enters our space feel welcomed and represented through our collective history.”

Remuneration is set at $85,000 per year and is subject to a two-year contract. The first two years of salary are paid for by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, Whitehead said.

Lopez-Farrer lives in Rogers with her husband and son. She is originally from River Valley. The family moved to northwest Arkansas in 2017 after living in Texas, Lopez-Farrer said.

The free museum will be in the historic 2,026-square-foot railroad depot across from the Main Street Public Library, Whitehead said. The museum leases the space from the city for $100 a year, a measure approved by the city council last year.

A soft opening is scheduled for September 1.