Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty

Academy of Music Theatre (274 Main Street, Northampton MA 01060)


The Massachusetts premiere of the award-winning documentary film “Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty.” presented by Filmmakers Collaborative & Kestrel Land Trust

The only full length biographical film of this towering figure in mid 20th Century American conservation. Stewart Udall is noted for his service as Secretary of Interior under both JFK and LBJ. Stewart and his brother Morris (Mo) Udall both were raised in a Mormon family in the far rural north of Arizona. They went on to become towering public figures in their native Southwest and on the national stage. Stewart Udall was a Renaissance man and authored numerous books on American history and public policy. An early campaigner for racial justice and environmental justice, Stewart was also a poet and admired Robert Frost. He played a key role in raising the profile of poet Frost in the White House and in Washington, D.C. cultural life. As Secretary of Interior, Udall in essence converted JFK, and subsequently both LBJ and Ladybird Johnson into becoming conservation leaders in their own right. Under Udall’s leadership, more units were added to our protected lands and waters than under any other leader at the helm of Interior. Including national parks, national wildlife refuges, national seashores and more. Plus, Stewart Udall was directly responsible for the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the establishment of a National Trails program. Udall was one of the earliest public leaders at the federal level to warn of the looming dangers of climate change.

After leaving public office, Udall was a tireless advocate for both compensation to “downwinders” affected by the years of testing of nuclear weapons in Nevada, and for compensation to Navaho uranium miners for the detrimental impact on their health. During his entire career, Udall worked across the aisle, making a point to collaborate with his Republican colleagues to get important work done to protect our air, lands and waters. This film reflects on a turbulent time when the nation was polarized by many social and political divisions–the 1960s, yet a time when many political leaders in both parties found a way to work together to get important business done for the future of the nation. The screening will be followed by a panel conversation with Writer/Director John de Graaf, Consulting Producer Laurence Cotton (a former resident of the Connecticut River Valley), biographer Thomas Smith, a Massachusetts resident, and Stewart Udall’s personal aide, Sharon Francis, (who lives nearby in New Hampshire). Both Smith and Francis can be seen as frequent “talking heads” in the film.

This event is participating in the Card to Culture Program! They will be offering 10 seats for free to any patrons with a valid EBT, WIC, or ConnectorCare card. To purchase these tickets, please visit or call the box office Tuesday through Friday between 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Limit 4 tickets per cardholder per show. Tickets are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. Find out more at:

The Academy will hold all shows at full capacity and this show will require no additional COVID precautions or requirements. Click here to read our health and safety policy. Fees always apply to purchase. Tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone Tuesday through Friday 3pm to 6pm. Tickets can also be purchased online at any time for no additional cost/fee. All Sales are final. If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact the box office at or (413) 584-9032 X105.

Show Date/Time:
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Doors at 6:00 pm

Ticket Prices:
$10.00 for Adults ($13.95 after Fees) - Children & Students FREE

Where/ How Tickets Can be Purchased:
Purchase online using the button on the top right (scroll to the bottom of the page if using mobile), or you may visit or call our box office at 413-584-9032 ext.105.
Box Office Hours are 3pm - 6pm, Tuesday - Friday. Service fees always apply with purchase.