Second Life Endowment for the Arts: first grants

via Linden Lab

On Friday, November 2020, the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA) announced the first group of artists who have been awarded grants to use the new SLEA art facilities in the first six months of 2021.

As I reported in September this year, the SLEA is the successor to the former Linden Endowment for the Arts, which ran from 2009 through until 2019, when the user committee responsible for running it decided to close it down. At the time of the closure announcement, moves were initiated to try to keep the LEA afloat, which transitioned into discussions with Linden Lab to develop a successor – the Second Life Endowments for the Arts.

Operating on a smaller scale than the original LEA, offering an initial group of five regions for art installations: four for region-wide installations and one offering quarter-region art spaces, all of which are supported by a central hub and a sandbox. Grants for the use of the spaces run for between one to six months in duration.

The seven SLEA regions.  Image courtesy of SLEA / LL

The first set of artists selected for the opening round of installations are as per the table below, and include artists who will be also be presenting on the core SLEA region (“Region 7”) – presumably using the SLEA theatre or the Art Challenge space.

Commenting on the selection, Tansee Trillium stated:

Rather than filling out a specific form to apply for a grant, SLEA requested the artist respond in his or her own words the concept of the submission.
Upon the initial review it was realized that a grading system was not necessary as each essay was clear, concise and very detailed and equally befitting of a grant. As the process continued, it was noted that a very interesting pattern was evolving. Out of 19 applications no-one requested a one month grant which made that region flexible for a longer period. The majority of requests were made for 1/4 regions, 8 to be exact.
It was at this point as Coordinator of SLEA, I made what I believe to be a very balanced, mindful decision to fill the first 6 months from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 giving each of the applicants the chance to show us their original creations to be on display for others to enjoy, appreciate, be inspired, learn from and most of all represent The Arts.

– Tansee Trillium, announcing the first SLEA grants

The first group of SLEA artists, the dates when they’ll be exhibiting and the regions in which they’ll be exhibiting. courtesy: SLEA

In  addition to the awarding of the first grants, Tansee has announced that the SLEA regions will officially open to the public on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2020, with a special “ribbon cutting” event that will include fireworks and particle display, held simultaneously across five regions together with live music, DJ’s, and dancing.

There will also be a special SLEA Grand Opening on Sunday, January 24th, 2021, featuring a special 24-hour Celebration of the Arts. Any artists wishing to participate in this event should contact Tansee or Hannington Xeltentat.

Congrats to all of the participating artists.

Announcing the Second Life Endowment for the Arts

via Linden Lab

In August 2019, and after an eight-year run (it’s first public exhibitions coming in 2011 after initially being announced in late 2010), the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) closed, the organising committee having decided to step away from managing it (see: Linden Endowment for the Arts to officially close, LEA: more on the closure, and a move to save it and Linden Endowment for the Arts: update).

Following the announcement, there were numerous discussions on how the work of the LEA might be continued. In particular, artists Tansee Resident and Riannah Avora launched an in-world group specifically with the aim of gathering ideas and viewpoints on how the work of the LEA – and Linden Lab’s involvement in the body – might be continued.

At the time, a lot of discussions were held and a considerable number of ideas put forward (I was happy to play a small background role in advising both Tansee and Riannah in a number of areas, including potential discussions with Linden Lab). Ultimately, both went on to found groups operating on similar principals to LEA, with Tansee co-founding the Hannigton Endowment for the Arts (HEA) along with Hannington Xeltentat, and Riannah co-founding United Artists of SL.

However, the idea of a Lab-supported facility to help promote arts in Second Life never entirely went away, and Tansee continued to pursue ideas, refining a proposal originally created from the ideas gathered after the LEA had closed down. Then, in June 2020, a conversation with Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg at the SL17B event opened a door of opportunity. This in turn lead to a series of meetings with senior staff at the Lab, including Patch Linden, Vice President of Product Operations, and Brett Linden, the Lab’s senior Marketing Manager. After several such meetings, which included reviews of, and updates to, the proposal, Linden Lab indicated a willingness to support a new body similar to that of the LEA, but operating on a more modest and flexible footing.

Announced today, and starting an January 2021, the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA) will operate across seven regions supplied by Linden Lab, and managed by Tansee and Hannington supported by a Board of Advisers (the full list of whom is yet to be announced), and a team of volunteers to help in the day-to-day operations, once the new regions are open.

The seven SLEA regions

The seven regions, which are currently being set-up, will comprise the following:

  • A  central hub (SLEA7). This will likely include:
    • A landing point.
    • Facilities for SLEA coordinators, advisers and volunteers.
    • An education centre.
    • A events centre to support arts activities and events across Second Life.
    • A teleport hub serving the SLEA grant regions and information on the artists currently exhibiting.
    • The SLEA Theatre for mounting art-related and special events.
    • An art Challenge corner.
  • Four Full regions (SLEA1-3 and SLEA6) for region-wide art installations ranging from 1 to 6 months duration.
  • A single region (SLEA4) providing four quarter-region installation spaces.
  • A sandbox region. This will include an artist hangout and club for events and parties along with a new underwater building area.
The planned SLEA 7 hub region

As  noted above, SLEA will formally début in January 2021. Between now and then, the plan is to release information over a period of time, starting in October. These activities will include:

  • Providing information on:
    • How those interested to volunteer to help run SLEA, and on specific volunteer roles that are available.
    • How artists will be able to apply for grants, and requirements / guidelines for exhibiting through SLEA.
  • Updates on region design status.
  • Detailed information on the SLEA website, social media channels, etc.
  • The opening of the first round of applications for artists.

The reason for not having the website / social media presence in place alongside of this announcement was explained by SLEA co-ordinator Tansee Resident as follows:

We intentionally do not have a Website or a FB page or any of the essential networking tools. The reason for this is we truly want to include the artists in building this community from the ground up. In order to build a solid foundation it is imperative that we establish a Volunteer base and find people who are willing to share their area of expertise.

Tansee Resident, SLEA Co-ordinator

Proposed time line for SLEA development

So, in the interim period, those interested in SLEA as artists and / or as potential volunteers are asked to join the SLEA in-world group, which will be the primary channel of communications for the next few weeks. Also, to help promote SLEA, there will be a special Designing Worlds show featuring Brett and Patch Linden, together with Tansee and Hannington, which will be show at 14:00 SLT on Monday, September 14th via the Designing Worlds website and channels.

You can also read the official SLEA announcement from the Lab.

I’ll also continue to provide updates through these pages.