No comments on the demise of LEA?

Caliandris

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I've been hoping to avoid starting the thread myself, but I've been surprised that no-one has commented on the apparent demise of LEA. I have only had two connections to LEA myself, once when I started a project in 2015 and my Dad died and so I had to abandon the project, and in a strange and unhappy concatination of events, when I started a project in early 2018 and had to abandon after my ex husband had a stroke and then my mother was admitted to hospital and deemed terminal, within a month of each other.

So I have hardly any firsthand knowledge of how the LEA has worked in the past, except the knowledge that it was run by a committee of residents and that committee has apparently (according to the LEA Facebook) decided that LEA is no longer viable, and to hand the whole thing back to the Lindens. There doesn't seem to have been an opportunity for new committee members to join or any real communication with the community of creators who regularly applied for the chance to develop the LEA sims, which seems pretty extraordinary.

There's a lot of hostile bickering going on between the various factions including those who think it's pointless to revisit the questions surrounding the demise and feel fatalistic about it, those who hope that something can be done to save the project, and those who were involved as creators.

I respect the SLU/VV community as usually having a handle on these sorts of things, and wondered why there had been silence on the issue.

This is what was posted on the LEA facebook by Joanna Balugh:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:
The Committee of the Linden Endowment for the Arts regrets to inform residents of Second Life that the LEA regions will be closing at the end of August 2019.

In November 2018, the Committee decided that the best way forward was for the members to step down, and allow Linden Lab to revamp or re-organise the program, with new members if they wished. At that time, the bi-annual Land Grant (the AIR regions) were shuttered. A small number of the Committee stayed on to administer the Core regions until the remaining grant commitments ran their course. Those grants are now coming to an end, and therefore the LEA will be closed at the end of August 2019

The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) was established to help create a center of arts activity in Second Life. It was founded in 2010 and launched its first events in 2011. For the last eight years, it has been a collaborative venture between Linden Lab and the arts community. Guided initially by a board of renowned Second Life artists and more latterly also bringing in people with a strong interest in promoting the Arts in Second Life, the LEA has been committed to providing access to engaging experiences in the arts for the Second Life community. Over the last eight years, through its exhibitions, programs, and events, the LEA has fostered awareness of artists’ contributions to our virtual world and encouraged others to get involved and be inspired.

It has long been divided into two parts; The Core Regions and the Artists in Resident Regions.

The LEA Land Grant (the AIR Regions) was a program to distribute 20 regions (LEA10 - LEA29) generously donated by Linden Lab. These regions were used to promote art and artistic endeavors in Second Life. Full regions of virtual land were made available to in-world artists through an application process. The AiR Land Grant was a 6 month grant.

The LEA Land Grant was shuttered by Linden Lab in January 2019 at the request of the LEA Committee, pending decisions on the future of the LEA.

The Core regions (LEA1- LEA9) hosted a variety of artistic events and installations for a three month period. The Core regions included a Welcome Area, a four region theatre, a sandbox for artists, and partial and full regions that could be used for the three month period, with a great emphasis on community art events.

This program will be closing at the end of August when all the regions will be shuttered by Linden Lab at the request of the Committee.
The Committee wishes to express its gratitude and deep respect for the artists of Second Life, whose work they have been privileged to support over the last eight years. We hope that in time Linden Lab will be able to create a new program that will continue their support of the arts in Second Life.

Any questions concerning the Linden Endowment for the Arts should be addressed to PatriciaAnne Daviau or JMB Balogh.
The Linden Endowment for the Arts Committee
 

Han Held

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Personally speaking, I only just found out about it. I haven't had any ties to the LEA at all, apart from briefly being a member in the sandbox group -so I don't feel like I have anything worth saying about it.

It's obviously a huge blow to the grid. The LEA regions didn't just serve as wank for elitists, but quite often showcased ideas for visitors, both in techniques and themes. During the course of the program the regions served as a place to take new players and say "See? This is some of the things you can do in the game", as well as serving as a mentoring program to help artists learn to publicize themselves and to network with other artists.

On a personal level I'm a bit bummed out. I've always felt like doing the LEA was the "final boss" of SL and I eventually wanted to try my hand at it since I've already done SLB (several times) and Burn2. I feel a loss, like now there's nothing further for me to shoot for w.r.t. SL

[ETA]
Here's a photo from Feb 2014, at one of the first LEA regions I visited. I don't remember the name of the exibit, but I believe it was by Ferd Frederix (?) and based on the movie "The Birds" -it was vibrant and alive, you would have had to have been there, I guess.
 
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Knutz Scorpio

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I don't recall seeing LEA events ever being promoted. I think a couple times I came across mentions of it in forums or such, may have visited once but I can't recall what was there at the time.
 
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I don't recall seeing LEA events ever being promoted. I think a couple times I came across mentions of it in forums or such, may have visited once but I can't recall what was there at the time.
Same here. Apart from some random posts in the forums, I don't remember to have ever seen LEA events being promoted -- and I must confess I almost forgot about LEA entirely until I read the opening post. Then I was like "Oh, there was something, once..."
 

Beebo Brink

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I've been a pretty active member of SL since 2006 and I had no idea what LEA was. If I'd ever heard about it, I apparently forgot.

Aside: As a sign of the times, my first thought on reading the thread title was "Which department has Trump destroyed now?"
 

Ashiri

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I have not been active in SL recently so had not heard this news. When I was more active I would check out the LEA regions, mostly because of contacts who exhibited.
 

Aeon Jiminy

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I've read a little about LEA over the years, but my mind reacts in the same way my cat reacts when he hears thunder. Take cover. My working life has been about 5 miles from ground zero where you mix art, artists. patrons, judges, talent, resources, and narcissistic egos together. Even with a strong institution to contain it, there's always a chance that baby is just gonna blow. Art can be a wicked little booger.
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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LEA has always been most heavily promoted within the art community itself, in various groups. I guess probably on FB and the main forums too though that's not where I heard about it. Also word of mouth. If you follow an artist or go to gallery openings and such there is always some LEA chatter about the work itself and gossip about the artists.

The art community in SL is pretty cloistered compared to other ones I've been involved in. They think they're not, but they are. And they have the most massive, ridiculous drama-ramas of any group in SL. Constant dumpster fire.
 

Sid

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I'm over 12 years in SL now, from those almost 10 years real active (logging in every day for several hours) and I never ever heard about LEA.
So marketing their place, wasn't their strongest point I guess.
 

Mistryl Glyn

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I've visited LEA regions several times. It wasn't always art being hosted.

I did visit installations from artists such as Haveit Neox, Mistero Hifeng, Dave Searby Mason.

However, I spent a LOT of time completing a Christmas-time mystery hunt developed by the group Sleuth-Sayers (I miss them greatly.)
Another time, I trick-or-treated there and got a few prizes for completing the Havenhollow halloween maze. I still have some of the candy handed out by the "residents."
I even visited a Titanic experience there.

I'd find out about events through word-of-mouth, group notices, blogs, event announcements on the SL forum. There were at least 29 regions at one point.

A couple of years ago, I read about some kind of internal LEA management fighting that got so bad LL had to step in.

I enjoyed being able to interact with the exhibits, knowing that space was being allocated so people could showcase the fun and intrigue of Second Life.
 

Qie Niangao

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From the grapevine, it seemed LEA had become such a mess that it would be better to replace it than to try (again?) to save it.

I was surprised LL wasn't ready with a replacement. That's a bit worrisome because the mission of LEA is pretty important, even if its execution was pretty disappointing all along.

Maybe at this point somebody needs to propose a way to achieve the still vital LEA objectives, maybe augmented by whatever lessons are to be learned from LEA's failures. Maybe (or maybe not) integrated with other Lab and private efforts to promote arts and artists on the grid. But I have no idea if there's anybody at the Lab prepared to receive a proposal like that.

Meanwhile there's still a month, and it's kinda going out with a bang IMHO.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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For those "in the know" - what exactly happened here? The announcement has a kind of post-Noodle-Incident subtext written all over it and that seems to be confirmed by the way some people here are talking, very very nonspecifically, about "failures" and management issues and such. Some context would be really great.
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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I'm over 12 years in SL now, from those almost 10 years real active (logging in every day for several hours) and I never ever heard about LEA.
So marketing their place, wasn't their strongest point I guess.
Well again, LEA was very well known among folks into the art thing. I'm sure there's a lot of stuff most of us never heard of cuz we aren't 'into it and seeking it out. 🤷‍♀️
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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I was surprised LL wasn't ready with a replacement. That's a bit worrisome because the mission of LEA is pretty important, even if its execution was pretty disappointing all along.
I feel like LL will step up and do something, a new iteration at some point. I hope they do. Hopefully they won't muck it up and dilute it like they did the SL Birthday celebrations.
 
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Han Held

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Well again, LEA was very well known among folks into the art thing. I'm sure there's a lot of stuff most of us never heard of cuz we aren't 'into it and seeking it out. 🤷‍♀️
I'm ...not into the art thing, but I've heard of it as I said. Mostly from following people's social media and crap? 🤷
I feel like LL will step up and do something, a new iteration at some point. I hope they do. Hopefully they won't muck it up and dilute it like they did the SL Birthday celebrations.
 

Caliandris

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I'm sorry I didn't give an explanation of what LEA was, I suppose I always expect VV/SLUers to be much more knowledgeable than I am about SL stuff, and didn't realise that I was in possession of information that was going to be new to many of you. I'm not that well informed but as far as I know, Linden Endowment for the Arts had in their gift a number of sims for creative projects. There was a committee of residents to officiate. Artists and creators wishing to participate were called upon to apply to the committee and the sims were granted to successful applicants for a limited length of time (2 rounds per year I think), with targets for the development of a sim and the opening of the sim to other residents. One had to undertake to hold a number of events.

Nowadays, there are few possibilities for people who can't afford a sim to do prim building, as mesh building is so much more efficient. LEA was one avenue for prim builders to still be able to put their vision into the world, and the committee did seem much more interested in ideas than the methods by which those were to be put into action.

Some of the sims were very impressive, some were a mess. Some fulfilled all their promises, others (like me!) abandoned projects part of the way through. I can see that there was a lot of work involved in administering and keeping to the schedule. I know nothing of the events that led to the closing of the committee, however. I'd have expected there to be more publicity to the problem, if recruiting residents to serve on the committee WAS the problem.

My own two projects were both going to be games. The first was intended to be a quest with musical clues within a spiral mountain, the second was a game to teach basic genealogy research for English ancestry, via a town with a mansion house, church with churchyard, rectory, museum, post office and houses. I had devised an entire fictional census for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, etc to 1911, and there was a death at the Mansion House which required the player to discover who should inherit the dead woman's estate, learning methods for genealogical research as they followed the clues to locate the heir.

I had completed the build except for dressing the internal places for the houses, and had the rest planned out, but it was impossible to complete within the timescale required once I was nursing first my ex and then my mother and away from home. I know it was coincidence that first my father and then my mother died during my LEA projects, but it made me very reluctant to apply again, nevertheless.
 

Clara D.

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Our lack of knowledge of the existence of LEA is yet another epic communications fail on the part of LL.

"There was a committee of residents to officiate "

Gods help us all. That sort of thing led to the demise of the Hobo group -- they got an Island and it became a clique-driven drama-fest. After having a couple of builds arbitrarily returned I decided I was done with 'em.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Just let me highlight the important parts for you:

In November 2018, the Committee decided that the best way forward was for the members to step down, and allow Linden Lab to revamp or re-organise the program, with new members if they wished.

[...]

This program will be closing at the end of August when all the regions will be shuttered by Linden Lab at the request of the Committee.
The Committee wishes to express its gratitude and deep respect for the artists of Second Life, whose work they have been privileged to support over the last eight years. We hope that in time Linden Lab will be able to create a new program that will continue their support of the arts in Second Life.
So in other words that's not Linden Lab's fault; the user governance entity for it stepped down because in the end it had only four members, there was much drama between the artists and external critics, decided to shut it down and now it's up for the lab to reopen it in another way.

And a new group to save LEA has already been formed and the Lab is willing to support it so far, more here: Saving the Linden Endowment for the Arts – how YOU can help
 
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