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Join us for the third annual Dream Run, a non-competitive, 5K and 10k fun run open to runners of all levels. Those who simply wish to walk and admire the iconic Cathedral Rock views, and pets on a leash, are also welcome.
The 2019 VVS Dream Run will begin and end on the school campus, taking runners through the stunning red rock scenery of Coconino National Forest that surrounds the campus towards the richly diverse Oak Creek riparian zone and back again.
Please fill out the form below to sponsor our Verde Valley School Dream Run event! With just a $250 (or more, if you wish) sponsorship you will be featured on the back of our iconic Dream Run t-shirts and recognition in our marketing! Thank you for your support of our Native American Scholarship Fund.
After completing the Sponsorship Information form please return to this page to complete payment transaction through the PayPal Button below!
NATIVE AMERICAN BROTHER AND SISTER PUNK/WORLD/POP BASS AND DRUM DUO, SIHASIN, RETURN WITH FIRST ALBUM IN 6 YEARS ~ FIGHT LIKE A WOMAN ~ DEBUT AT VERDE VALLEY SCHOOL MAY 26
Verde Valley School is thrilled to announce that Sihasin’s new album, Fight Like A Woman, will have its debut on the campus, Saturday, May 26th at 7:00 pm in a concert also featuring the Jones Benally Family Dancers. Admission is by donation.
Multi-award winning musicians, Jeneda and Clayson Benally from the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation in Northern Arizona create a politically-charged explosive organic sound out of bass and drums, inspiring their listeners with a hard punk backbone, softened by folk, world and thumping by pop. Jeneda is a Verde Valley School alumna, Class of 1992.
As brother and sister, they grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide against their traditional way of life. As teenagers, the siblings were the backbone of the award-winning punk band Blackfire for over twenty years, who performed with legendary rockers like Joey Ramone and Maynard James Keenan. In 2012, they formed Sihasin, the Navajo word for “hope”, releasing their Ed Stasium-produced debut album, Never Surrender, in 2012 to critical acclaim and numerous awards on the American Indian Music scene, and received the honor of being called the “#1 Freedom Fighting Band to Get You Through the Trump Years” by “The Huffington Post” in Dec 2016. They also collaborated on the song “Sister Moon and Brother Sun” for the 2017 Grammy-nominated album by roots children’s duo The Okee Dokee Brothers. Following the inclusion of their punk rock version of the Christmas classic, “Winter Wonderland”, last holiday season in an ad campaign for Hyundai’s annual Holidays Sales Event, in which Jeneda said, “We are excited to further open the doors for Native American artists.”, Sihasin are happy to announce the release of their self-released sophomore album, Fight Like A Woman, on May 25. “I hope that the vulnerability of these songs is relatable and the listener can feel empowered in knowing that ‘hey, you are not alone’”, she says.
“The process that we took in the creation of Fight Like a Woman was completely different than any other recording project that we’ve done thus far”, Clayson says. “It was very organic, most of the melodies and themes where from dreams. I’d wake up and try to hold onto the melodies, usually only a sliver of the song, and I’d share it with Jeneda later on in the day. To my surprise, she would have the complimenting and completing element. It was like the universe was gifting us these songs.”
The duo believes in creating positive change each and every day and Fight Like A Woman, working again with legendary producer Ed Stasium (The Ramones, Talking Heads, Mick Jagger, Living Colour, Soul Asylum), is an incredible personal journey. Clayson says, “Out of the blue Ed called us saying ‘It’s time to get back into the studio’. The state of the political climate, depression of the nation, and the need to work on something from the heart was desperately needed. After hearing the tracks Ed was like ‘we can’t rush this album. We’re going to let the songs speak to us. It deserves all the time it takes’”. He continues, “We are so blessed to have Ed as part of Sihasin.”
Another of Sihasin’s guides and mentors was Jackson Browne, the driving force behind the Verde Valley Music Festival held on the VVS campus back in the 1990s. Browne fell in love with VVS because it was founded to bring together people of different races and cultures. The concerts, which attracted big names like Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Keb Mo, The Indigo Girls, and Nancy Griffin, raised money for the VVS Native American Scholarship Fund.
The first single from Fight Like A Woman is the track “Strong Together”. “The song was inspired by the fact that we are a force when we find our commonality rather than our differences. With the movements and hashtag societies, we are changing the isolation of injustice. This song is a call for unity to create healthy and respectful communities”, Jeneda says.
In her words, the title track of the album “aims to occupy every stereotype about being a woman in Western society. It’s about how we are constantly being defined by what the masculine decides who we should be. This song is about finding your own power to be your own definition.”
Another highlight of the new album, the opening song “Child of Fire”, “pays recognition to the fact that we are biologically made of all elements. It is a remembrance that we are children of our Mother Earth. Simply, we cannot live without her so, why then do we destroy her? It also pays homage to our first band Blackfire.”
The track “Shine” Jeneda says, “Is a song of empowerment. I hope that when people listen that they will feel a sense that they are potential and possibility.” “See You” is a love song. “We have always written love songs about justice, equality, and freedom. This is the first time that we’ve recorded a love song of the heart. It’s incredibly personal.”
Originally from Black Mesa on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, Jeneda and Clayson were born into the heart of a political land dispute between a coal mining company and the Navajo and Hopi tribes, separating them by a fence from traditional homeland and family. They grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide, and became known for creating music that reflects hope for equality, healthy and respectful communities, and social and environmental justice. When they formed Blackfire as teens, Clayson told Laurel Morales from “NPR” in 2015, “There was a lot of anger,” Clayson recalls. “Starting the band and performing was a way of channeling that anger and frustration and putting it into something positive, as well.”
Sihasin is a rare band who does more than just perform. They leave their audience with an exhilarating feeling of Get Up, Stand Up, and Do! They have performed at SXSW (playing at and helping organize a Native American showcase), WorldFest, Grassroots, Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, Native American Music Awards, The Woody Guthrie Center, Globalquerque, TanzFest, among many others. They have toured in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and across the US, and the siblings are also known by their internationally acclaimed traditional Dine’ (Navajo) family Dance Troupe “The Jones Benally Family”. The duo also gives presentations and workshops on Native American, environmental, and social justice issues, and are dedicated to bringing that hopeful message to schools all over Indian Country, which have disproportionately low graduation rates with youth at high risk of suicide, where they teach Native American youth how to write their own songs. Jeneda says that she’s helped teens in times of desperation find the right words in a song.
With driving music, transcending labels and rooted in Native, Rock, Punk and World music and vocal harmonies including Dine (Navajo) singing, Clayson says, “The meaning, energy, and intention behind each song speaks to the love and commitment to producing music with a substance.” As Jeneda told KNAU radio, “We want to make music that makes people feel good and that they can do something—that they can create positive change in their community and that’s kind of the spirit behind Sihasin.”
We are continuing our travels across the nation to connect and celebrate with VVS Alumni! Head of School, Paul Amadio, and Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Jenae McCarroll, are co-hosting lively events across the country, with Class Agents and VVS Ambassadors. Check out the upcoming events, save the date, let us know you are coming and if you would like to host an event in your area give us a call. Hope to see you all very soon!
More information always being added…
Join us at The Harvard Club of Boston for an alumni and community relations focused gathering, hosted by Board Member and alumna Andrea Coville ’76. Please bring your friends, family and anyone who may be interested in Verde Valley School and our mission.
Event Location: The Harvard Club of Boston, 374 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
RSVP HERE or email email@example.com.
We’re headed to the East Coast and we’ll be in DC on May Day! Swing by the Petworth area on your commute home, we’ll be enjoying some yummy food and drinks, sharing stories and talking about recent VVS developments. Welcomed by our youngest host yet – we are excited to join Jill Nguyen ’11 and her husband in their home, and if you know any VVS alumni in the area please reach out and encourage them to come. We want to see all our DC friends!
Event Location: 911 Monroe Street NW, Apt. 3, Washington DC
RSVP HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join one of our most beloved alumni events ~ a VVS gathering at Bucklin Vineyards in Sonoma Valley! This year Will Bucklin ’80 and his wife Lizanne will host us for a luncheon on their gorgeous ranch. Along with Head of School Paul Amadio, the VVS Alumni Team and several VVS Board Members – we are flying in two special chefs who will be spinning artisanal pizzas in Will’s wood fire oven. You won’t want to miss this festival annual event! Please let us know you are coming and spread the word!
Event Location: 8 Old Hill Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442-9668
RSVP HERE or email email@example.com.
Boulder: Friday, September 15th, 2016, 4:30-6:30pm.
Informational Open House hosted by alumna and current Board Member, Melissa Shanahan ’83, owner of Educational Pathways, specializing in assisting students and families find safe and supportive educational environments that nurture positive growth and change. Interested consultants, counselors and families came to learn more about the Verde Valley School curriculum and community from Paul Amadio (Head of School) and Jenae McCarroll (Advancement Coordinator)! Held at the Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder.
Boulder: Saturday, September 16th, 2017, 3-6pm.
“Brews, Shoes & Food” hosted by VVS alumna and board member, Melissa Shanahan ’83 at her ranch home in the Boulder headlands! Alumni enjoyed a round of horseshoes, an afternoon reconnecting with VVS alumni and hearing about the exciting developments at VVVS from HOS, Paul Amadio. Alumni were also recorded sharing their VVS memories on film as part of our YouTube Storytelling Series!
Los Angeles: Thursday, October 6th, 2017, 6-9pm.
Alumni joined Deryn Warren (founding family /class of ’62) and Head of School, Paul Amadio, for a jovial and informational VVS gathering. They enjoyed a light dinner and string quartet with a short presentation and shared their VVS memories, on film, for our Storytelling Series! This event was open to alumni and their families, prospective students and families and the broader VVS community.
Los Angeles: Friday, October 7th, 2016, 8-11pm.
Hosted by Phil Noyes ’84 and Noah Farrell ’86, this event was held at a nautical themed clubhouse with pizza, drinks, live music, updates on the new VVS Strategic Plan, and the VVS Storytelling Series. Entertainment was provided by alumni who brought along their instruments and sang their favorite songs in a VVS family band style performance!
Oakland: Saturday, October 8th, 2016, 6-9pm.
90’s Reunion hosted by alumna Tiffany Zelaya Grissette ’94, and Wanda Stewart, former VVS Director of Admissions.
Sonoma: Sunday, October 9th, 2016, 12-3 pm.
Our annual North Coast VVS Alumni Gathering was held by alumnus and current Board Member, Will Bucklin ’80, at his home overlooking the Bucklin Vineyard. Will is a current trustee and class of 1980 alumnus. Home-made, artisanal pizza was served for lunch paired with wines from the Bucklin’s family ranch. Paul Amadio gave an update on all things VVS and participants were invited to share memories for our inaugural Alumni Storytelling Series. Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, this gorgeous venue is located 50 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Santa Fe: Friday, February 24th, 2017 5-8pm.
Dinner and celebration at The Cowgirl BBQ in Santa Fe, NM, hosted by former Head of School Anne Salzmann, alumnus Terry Fernandez ’66 with several special alums and VVS Board Members.
Austin Alumni Gathering: Saturday, February 25th, 2017 6-9pm.
Host by Shanti Heyer ’84 at her home, with Head of School – Paul Amadio, and Coordinator of Alumni Engagement – Jenae McCarroll, this was a celebratory evening reconnecting with VVS alums and hearing about the exciting developments at Verde Valley School.
Austin Benefit and Silent Auction: Sunday, February 26th, 2017 5-9pm.
This VVS benefit and fundraising event was hosted by ScoreMore Shows, Sacha Stone Guttfreund ’07, and Logan Foret ’07 at the NXNW Brewery & Restaurant.
Seattle, WA • Saturday, February 10, 2018. 4-7pm.
A lively and welcoming evening hosted by Tracey Peyton ’88 and David North ’83 atTracey’s house.
Portland, OR • Sunday, February 11th, 2018. 5-8pm
Hosted by Adam Haas ’73 and his wife Marsha, at their home in Portland! The gathering included an opportunity to be a part of a Moth Radio Hour program, sharing influential moments from experiences at Verde Valley School.
Chicago, IL • Sunday, April 8, 2018. 3-6pm.
Hosted by alumnus and current Board Member, Matt Helm ’88 in his home just outside Chicago. We were very lucky to have several alumni come by and share their stories from across the decades – still grounded in the same traditions and red-dirt-filled-adventures!
Please join Deryn Warren (founding family /class of ’62) and Head of School, Paul Amadio, for a jovial and informational VVS gathering. We will enjoy a light dinner and string quartet with a short presentation and the opportunity to share your VVS memories, on film, for our Story Telling Series! To register or inquire further, call or email Alumni Engagement Coordinator Jenae McCarroll, at 928-284-2272 ext.32 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is open to alumni students and families, prospective students and families and the broader VVS community, upon registration.
Please join Will Bucklin (Trustee / class of ’80) and Head of School, Paul Amadio, for our annual North Coast VVS Alumni Gathering at Old Hill Ranch Vineyard on Sunday October 9th from 12-3pm. We will be serving home-made, artisanal pizza for lunch paired with wines from the Bucklin’s family ranch. Paul Amadio will give an update on all things VVS and all participants will be invited to share memories for our inaugural Alumni Storytelling Series. Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, this gorgeous venue is located 50 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Please RSVP to email@example.com for registration and further directions.
We look forward to seeing you there!