The LEA is a collaborative venture between Linden Lab and the arts community, established to help create a center of arts activity in Second Life. It is committed to providing access to engaging experiences in the arts for the SL community, through exhibitions, programmes and events, all helping to foster awareness of artists’ contributions to our virtual world and encouraging others to get involved or to be inspired.
While the regions used by the LEA (some 29 in total) are provided by Linden Lab, the LEA itself is run by a committee of SL artists and residents, supported by an advisory board. However, given the LEA does have 29 regions, all playing host to a range of art installations (some permanent fixtures, others representing the LEA’s Artist In Residence programme or other dedicated activities), finding one’s way around all the regions and knowing what is going on at any given time isn’t always easy.
True, there is the LEA blog, with notifications of upcoming openings and events, and there’s the LEA website, for information on the various LEA programmes, and the regions almost always offer visitors the opportunity to grab a HUD to help them navigate their way around all the exhibits. However, there has never really been anything resembling a central gateway, a place where visitors can go to and find out what is going on and where, ask questions, and have the means to teleport to anything that interests them, and then back again should they wish to continue their explorations.
LEA Committee member Honour McMillian recently blogged on behalf of the LEA that LEA3 is being re-purposed as a gateway / hub for the LEA regions. The work is being carried out by LEA committee members and volunteers (of which more in a moment), and while it has yet to be completed, much is already in place.
Central to the gateway is a map to all 29 LEA regions, complete with teleport links, while nearby is an event board listing all upcoming events and activities. A short walk from this is a set of information givers which provide note cards on the various installations within the LEA. Around these areas is a mixed land / water park wherein a number of pieces from various SL artists are displayed and open to be explored. The selected items will change over time, helping to reflect the diverse range of art on offer within the LEA regions.
The welcome area will be staffed, as time an availability, by the LEA Volunteers, overseen by Honour herself. Although there are over 40 volunteers already, they undertake a variety of tasks, including providing guided tours of the regions, assisting the artists using the regions, helping with opening events and other activities, and so on. As such, new recruits are always being sought; so if you’re of a mind to volunteer your time, contact Honour in-world, and she’ll get you into the group and onto the training and orientation course.
As noted above, there’s still more work to be done at the gateway, but it as now open, so if you’re thinking of exploring the LEA regions, there’s now an even easier way to get yourself started!