SALAMANCA – The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum has received a $100,000 donation from the Showtime Network to support the museum’s vital work in preserving the history and heritage of the Seneca Nation.
Showtime announced the generous donation Feb. 16, saying it will help preserve the history of the Seneca Nation in honor of Showtime’s “Dexter: New Blood” special event series. The sequel to the hit series is set in the fictional town of Iron Lake in upstate New York.
Part of Showtime’s commitment to giving back and enriching the people and communities where its series was shot and filmed, and contributing to the museum will help make a meaningful impact within the Seneca Nation community. Specifically, the donation will fund resources to support the museum’s efforts in digitizing media and archiving the history of the Seneca Nation, making it accessible for generations to come.
This initiative will address the timely need to preserve decades of Seneca history, including video footage, music, recorded histories, printed news, and notable events passed down from tribal elders. The contribution will also support the museum’s Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center in its efforts to educate and raise awareness of western New York’s tribal history.
“I am thrilled to receive this gift from Showtime, which demonstrates its commitment to heritage preservation,” said museum director Dr. Joe Stahlman. “We can’t wait to begin digitizing media, some of which hasn’t been seen in decades.”
Stahlman said the museum essentially needed to digitize sound, images and video clips on a project-by-project basis before Showtime’s donation. Over the past year they have applied for a number of grants. He said they had some minor hits, however, Showtime’s $100,000 donation definitely propels them further and much faster.
“We are honored to support the legacy of the Seneca Indian Nation, whose people and rich culture are embedded in the narrative of ‘Dexter: New Blood,'” said Puja Vohra, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, Showtime. Networks Inc. “The Showtime team is dedicated to helping make a meaningful difference that both commemorates the history of the Seneca Nation and strengthens its future.”
The fictional Iron Lake created for the series is located near the territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians. The Seneca historically lived south of Lake Ontario, an area that corresponds to the location of the actual Iron Lake located in a deserted area of Hamilton County. The actual filming location is the village of Shelburne Falls, Mass.
“If memory serves, Iron Lake was based on the fact that there are multiple Seneca communities, and the show’s creators didn’t want to focus on one community over the other,” Stahlman said. “Also, it was a great opportunity for community members from a few localities in Seneca to work on this project.”
Stahlman said he’d like to think Showtime’s announcement and the Seneca Nation’s ties to the popular “Dexter: New Blood” series will bring more visitors to the museum and cultural center as well as an awareness of the Seneca culture.
The most-watched series in Showtime history, “Dexter: New Blood,” stars Emmy-nominated Michael C. Hall as America’s favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan. The cast also includes Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Julia Jones (“The Mandalorian”), Jack Alcott (“The Good Lord Bird”), Alano Miller (“Sylvie’s Love”), Johnny Sequoyah (“Believe”) and Clancy Brown (“The Crown”).
Reuniting Hall with original series showrunner Clyde Phillips, “Dexter: New Blood” consists of 10 hour-long episodes. Set 10 years after Dexter disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Laura, the new series found him living under an assumed name in the fictional small town of Iron Lake. Dexter may have embraced his new life, but following unexpected events in this tight-knit community, his Dark Passenger inevitably beckons.
The original eight-season series of “Dexter” premiered in the fall of 2006 and became one of the most acclaimed series on television, earning multiple Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding TV Drama Series, a Peabody Award in 2008 and was twice named one of AFI’s top series. 10 TV series.