Portrait of Natalie Benally (Diné) the Performing Arts Program Manager


Performing Arts Program Manager Natalie Benally, a first-generation college graduate from the Navajo Reservation, combined her deep cultural roots with a passion for the arts, leading her to become a multifaceted performer and educator. With minimal access to formal art education, Natalie's early dance training occurred in nature, laying the foundation for her diverse hip-hop, popping, and house skills. After earning a Theatre degree from Fort Lewis College, she returned to her community, teaching dance and eventually joining a Native contemporary dance company. Natalie's artistic journey expanded into acting, directing, and producing, notably performing in the Navajo dubbed "Finding Nemo," appearing in AMC's "Dark Winds," and co-founding TséNató, a storytelling company. Her directorial debut, "Indigenize the Plate," showcases Native experiences through film. Now, in a strategic role, Natalie aims to enhance the Indigenous Arts Ecology, fostering networking and development for Native performing artists while ensuring their integration into broader arts programs.

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