2020 Viola Award Finalist for Community Impact (Individual)
Klee Benally is an activist, artist, silversmith, and filmmaker, who was born in Tuba City on the Diné (Navajo) Nation and currently lives in Flagstaff.
Klee has has worked nearly all of his life at the front lines in struggles to protect Indigenous sacred lands. Klee provides strategic planning and direct action training with Indigenous Action Media and is currently the national coordinator for Clean Up The Mines. Klee helped establish Táala Hooghan Infoshop, Protect the Peaks, Outta Your Backpack Media, and volunteers with Haul No.
Over the years, Klee has often blended his activism with his art. Klee has produced numerous documentaries and facilitated strategic planning for social & environmental justice campaigns. He directed and edited a documentary called “The Snowbowl Effect”, a feature documentary which has been screened both nationally and internationally. In 2017 Klee won the Viola Award for Excelled in Storytelling for his film Power Lines. Power Lines is a coming of age story about a young Diné (Navajo) poet who runs away and finds home.
He has been a participating artist in high profile, topical art exhibitions at the Coconino Center for the Arts including Hope + Trauma in a Poisoned Land (2017) and Parched : The Art of Water in the Southwest (2020).
Klee been an entertainer with Native American Music Award winning rock group Blackfire & the internationally acclaimed traditional dance group, The Jones Benally Family. Most recently, Klee hosted his latest album release “The Unsustainable Sessions” at the Coconino Center for the Arts in December 2019. This event encouraged guests to bring warm clothing donations.