As I believe we all know by now, after the formal publication of the news by Brett Linden in the “featured news” section of the Second Life Community, the ancient LEA project will continue under the new name SLEA (Second Life Endowment for the Arts). The old LEA (Linden Endowments for the Arts) project lasted 7-8 years and ended because the steering committee decided to stop running. Following the LEA project’s formal closing communication, Tansee Trillium tried to involve the community in sending ideas, suggestions, and proposals to continue the LEA. Tansee called the group LEA 2.0 that several people joined.
Subsequently, the group closed, but Tansee remained active in her vision of promoting art in Second Life. So she created a new project called Hannington Endowment for The Arts, which has hosted several artists during these months and has aroused the interest of many passionate in the artistic world of SL.
Reading the post by Inara Pey, linked from the article by Brett Linden, I understand that it was not easy to convince Linden Lab to realize a project that was LEA’s successor. Only thanks to an interview with the CEO of LL, Ebbe Altberg, there would have been the decisive turning point in the realization of the company.
As for the details of the project and how to join, I refer to the official Community page and Inara Pey’s post (Inara’s post is very detailed and informative, so I recommend reading it first).
These are the facts, in summary, now I would like to express some considerations.
When the LEA project’s closure was announced, I tried to understand why by reading the comments posted on the Facebook group dedicated to the project. Today the group is closed, but it is still possible to read the comments.
Among the various elements that emerge from reading the comments, one, in particular, seems to me to be recurrent: unilateral management of the project by the LEA committee, lack of transparency and communication of its decisions.
I must reluctantly admit that I, too, had the same impression: visiting the various art exhibitions, I came across questionable choices in the allocation of spaces, in some cases even occupied by private homes equipped with orbs. Perhaps due to lack of control or carelessness, the old LEA project had failed to convince the artistic community of excellence, to the point that many projects were born, carried out very well among private individuals. The GBTH of Marina Munter, the MEA (Moon Endowment for the Arts), Electric Monday’s The Sim Quarterly, the Kultivate Art Gallery, and Hannington Endowment for the Arts itself, mentioned above.
In the meantime, after the closure of the old LEA project and the advent of the new, a long time has passed, and the artistic community has not stood still. Excellent and gigantic projects were born in OpenSim (Craftworld), such as the enchanting idea carried out by Rosanna Galvani, namely the Metaverse Museum.
In short, the Second Life artistic community is not static, but in continuous movement and continuously looking for solutions to express itself.
That said, let’s go back to SLEA and the new project conceived by Tansee Trillium. The project’s structure seems to be identical to that of the old LEA project, a select committee of people who bear every decision’s weight. In the old scheme, the committee’s people were much more numerous. In the SLEA project, everything is entrusted to only two people’s care and decisions: Tansee Trillium and Hannington Xeltentat.
Furthermore, at the close of the LEA project, several people interested in developing a project involving the artistic community and Linden Lab had written to the same LL, receiving the following response:
Thank you for your expressed interest in the Linden Endowment of the Arts (LEA) program. As this program comes to an end we are considering our options to move forward with Arts Program support. Once a decision is made on how best to support the amazing talents within the Second Life community we will post a public blog so that everyone will have an equal opportunity for involvement.
Thank you for your support of The Arts in Second Life,Linden Lab ™
You can read more in my previous post.
Linden Lab has probably changed its mind about equal engagement opportunities; I don’t know what other considerations to make about it.
As for how Tansee is curating the project, I think it’s far too early for any consideration. I like the idea of not creating social references to allow the community to participate in the project. I think this is the most challenging task of all: actively involving the artistic community, although the project is entirely entrusted to only two people.
I don’t have much more to add about SLEA than to wish Tansee Trillium and Hannington Xeltentat an excellent job.