East End Community Spotlight: Ma’s House

James Lane Post presents the “East End Community Spotlight” series, highlighting non-profit organizations doing work on the East End. To submit a non-profit organization to be featured in this series, email info@jameslanepost.com.

Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio is an artist’s space based on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton with a mission to support BIPOC artists and engage the community. It was founded by Indigenous artist Jeremy Dennis.

Can you tell us about your organization?

Ma’s House, nestled within the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island, New York, is a dynamic communal art space and the brainchild of Indigenous artist Jeremy Dennis. Rooted in the legacy of “Ma’s House,” a home filled with love and cultural richness, the space is undergoing restoration to become a hub for artistic exploration, cultural preservation, and community engagement. With a mission deeply tied to the wishes of Dennis’s grandmother, Princess Silva Arrow of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Ma’s House aspires to honor her vision of creating an educational museum, a safe haven, and a space where arts and culture unite people.

This visionary project, initiated in 2020, aims not only to provide a platform for Dennis’s artistic endeavors but also to fulfill a communal need. Ma’s House seeks to counteract the isolation exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for BIPOC artists. The project envisions an inclusive and accessible space where individuals, particularly those historically underserved, can explore their creativity, engage with diverse art forms, and participate in cultural activities.

Jeremy Dennis. Photo by Simon Howell

Talk about the importance of this work on the East End.

Ma’s House holds profound importance in the East End of Long Island, as it emerges as a cultural beacon and a transformative force within the community. In a region historically marked by economic disparities and cultural underrepresentation, Ma’s House serves as a vital catalyst for change. The East End, while renowned for its scenic beauty and affluent communities, often conceals the struggles faced by marginalized populations, including the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

The establishment of Ma’s House is significant in addressing the cultural gaps and systemic inequalities that have persisted in the region. By providing a dedicated space for Indigenous and BIPOC artists, Ma’s House becomes a focal point for diverse voices and narratives. The communal art space not only amplifies the artistic contributions of historically underserved communities but also challenges the prevailing narratives that have overlooked or tokenized their presence.

Ma’s House. Courtesy photo

How can the East End community get involved?

Financial Contributions:

Donations: Individuals and businesses in the East End can make financial contributions to Ma’s House to support its restoration, ongoing programs, and the realization of its vision.

Sponsorships: Local businesses can explore sponsorship opportunities, aligning their brand with Ma’s House initiatives and supporting the organization’s mission.

Volunteer Engagement:

Skilled Volunteers: Individuals with skills in construction, renovation, or related areas can contribute their time and expertise to help with the physical restoration of Ma’s House.

Event Volunteers: Local residents can volunteer during events, workshops, and exhibitions to ensure they run smoothly and effectively.

Promote and Attend Events:

Event Promotion: East End residents can help promote Ma’s House events through local media, community bulletin boards, and social media platforms to increase attendance and engagement.

Attend Workshops and Exhibitions: Actively participating in Ma’s House workshops, exhibitions, and cultural events fosters community engagement and strengthens the impact of the organization.

Community Partnerships:

Collaborate with Local Organizations: Establishing partnerships with local schools, community centers, and cultural organizations can enhance Ma’s House’s reach and impact.

Cultural and Educational Institutions: East End museums, galleries, and educational institutions can collaborate with Ma’s House to create a network of support and shared resources.

Spread Awareness:

Word of Mouth: East End residents can spread awareness about Ma’s House within their social circles, creating a ripple effect of support and interest in the organization’s initiatives.

Local Media Coverage: Encourage local media outlets to cover Ma’s House initiatives, sharing its story and mission with a broader audience.

Advocate for Inclusivity:

Encourage Diversity and Inclusion: Advocate for diversity and inclusion within the East End community, supporting Ma’s House in its mission to provide a safe and inclusive space for all.

Artistic Contributions:

Local Artists: East End artists can contribute to Ma’s House by participating in exhibitions, workshops, or even offering mentorship to emerging artists within the BIPOC community.

An East End Experience

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