News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

October 13, 2013

Conference Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 to feature eco-artist, nonprofit summit

Our Green Valley Alliance for Sustainability will host its third annual conference Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in the Sycamore Banquet Center on the campus of Indiana State University. The two-day event will include education sessions and a nonprofit summit, “Organizing for Action.”

“Again this year, we have a great group of experts addressing the gamut of issues surrounding sustainability during our Thursday educational sessions,” said OGVA President Lorrie Heber. “And on Friday, we’ll convene community organizations to get an update on our community’s sustainability plan and how we can band together to achieve the objectives in the plan.”

The conference will open with keynote speaker Betsy Damon. Damon is an internationally recognized artist whose work with water, site-specific sculptures, and performance has received widespread acclaim and publication. Her inspiration comes from extensive research of sacred water sites, and her curiosity for the biology and earth sciences that compose living systems. Damon is visiting Terre Haute in collaboration with 2013 Year of the River and Wabash Valley Art Spaces, which are partnering with OGVA to make Damon’s keynote speech possible.

Following the keynote presentation, conference participants will choose from education sessions on topics ranging from local foods to social justice to waste stream management. At lunch, OGVA’s first Sustainability Award winners will be announced. For more information about the awards, and to nominate a person or organization, visit Breakfast, lunch, and a social networking reception are included in the conference fee.

On Nov. 1, participants will “organize for action”; activities will feature Brewster Rhoades, executive director of Green Umbrella, a Cincinnati-based “backbone organization” that helps all member organizations work better together to promote a more environmentally sustainable region. Rhoades will lead a conversation about collaboration between nonprofits to solve problems more effectively than groups could working in isolation.

The Nov. 1 conference fee will include breakfast and a networking reception at noon, which will close the event. Both days are open to the general public; Nov. 1 events are tailored toward nonprofit organizations and their personnel.

“Good things are happening to help improve the quality of life in our community,” Heber said. “The conference lets us learn together and discover ways to keep that momentum going.”

Registration starts at $35 for the general public, with a reduced rate for students; early bird discounts are available until Oct. 18. For more information and to register, visit

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