Artist Jeremy Dennis, creator of Ma’s House artist residency on the Shinnecock Indian Territory, has documented his experiences creating the center in “The First Twenty: Ma’s House,” an inspiring new documentary that began its national streaming debut on Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11) on ALL ARTS, a new arts and culture hub that was created by The WNET Group, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations. ALL ARTS content can be seen on its app, website and in the New York Metro area the ALL ARTS TV channel.
In the film, Dennis shares his incredible story, along with other members of the community, including his mom, Denise Silva-Dennis, who is a talented artist as well, creating intricate traditional and modern beadwork pieces. Silva-Dennis speaks powerfully about the microaggressions she has struggled against as an Indigenous woman artist. And Dennis reveals the experience of building Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in Southampton, which is aimed at providing a safe hub for creativity and healing. Ma’s House is the home where Dennis’s grandmother lived and where he himself grew up. By transforming it into an art space primarily designed to support indigenous artists and artists of color, Jeremy is helping to honor his grandmother’s wish to make her home a welcoming place that also spotlights Shinnecock history and future.
“Ma’s House” is part of “The First Twenty,” a timely and topical new content initiative from ALL ARTS, an Emmy-winning hub featuring original specials with ties to New York. The specials are all created by diverse artists and aim to illuminate how their unique cultures have been impacted by the first two decades of the 21st century.
“Our mission with ‘The First Twenty’ initiative is to contemplate and investigate contemporary society and its challenges through alternative lenses,” said James King, artistic director of ALL ARTS. “We are inviting artists from traditionally underserved communities to create exciting new content that illuminates their unique cultures and perspectives. This, in turn, breaks down barriers many members of those communities have with the arts by offering entry points for engagement that feel personal and reflect their perspective on American culture.”
ALL ARTS content, from digital shorts to feature films, is available online through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app and in the New York area, viewers can also watch the 24/7 broadcast channel.