Apr 14th 2022


The 2022 Caldwell Lecture WATER TALKS, scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, will be presented by Betsy Damon, an American artist who has been at the forefront of women’s, LGBT, and environmental rights.

Damon, born in 1940, first captivated the public in 1977 with 7,000 Year Old Woman, one of her earliest works. She was adorned with 400 bags of colored flour and contained within a sand circle on Prince Street in New York. In 1991, her shift toward environmentalism led to the creation of the nonprofit Keepers of the Waters with the support of Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The organization’s mission is "to restore and preserve living water throughout the world by educating, transforming, inspiring, and mentoring."

Damon has done work in China through the past two decades with a focus on protecting waterfronts and the environment. Her work during China’s rapid development contributed to the design of policy, parks, neighborhoods, university campuses, and cities.

Her newest book, Water Talks: Empowering Communities to Know, Restore, and Preserve their Waters, has been published. In a foreword, environmentalist Jane Goodall writes, “I have seen so much change, and that includes advances in living standards for millions of people on the one hand, and the increasing destruction of the environment on the other. Somehow, we must find a middle path. This is why Betsy wrote this book.”

Damon’s lecture will be hosted live in S. R. Crown Hall in Center Core from 5–6 p.m.