Charitable Arts

As we neared the launch of Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), the grid was abuzz with anticipation; Who was going, who wasn’t, what was happening. Along with these stirrings, the art world developed a little buzz of its own, although “little” is hardly the word to use for two of the most colorful personalities in the SL Art World.

Filthy Fluno and Winter Nightfire, sponsored by Avalon Art District and CounterpART Gallery, devised the SLCC Artathon – taking to the floor of the convention with a mixed palette of paints, pastels and amazing energy to capture the excitement of the SLCC. The result was a vibrant mix of abstract art and culture that was ultimately auctioned off at the convention to benefit Virtual Ability, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Virtual Ability is a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities overcome difficulties in accessing and becoming successfully involved in virtual worlds like Second Life. While many of us are aware of the unique opportunities that SL presents to us, like flying and teleporting, many people have handicaps that make even these virtual feats challenging.

Virtual Ability works to help people with assistive hardware like voice recognition, special styluses and specialized typing determine the best way to access their virtual environment. They provide community members with support and encouragement, training, virtual field trips and more. You can learn more about Virtual Ability at

What really impressed me most about this whole adventure was not just the fun and creativity and excitement generated by it, but the unveiling of two truly kind and generous hearts hanging out behind those outrageous and sometimes controversial Avatars.

On Sunday, August 30th at 2pm, Filthy and Winter will host the official SL opening of their Artathon Artworks in the Avalon Art District. ( At that time, they will present a check for over $1000 to Virtual Ability, the funds raised during their 4-day Artathon adventure.

Filthy and Winter are just the tip of the ice burg of philanthropic potential in SL and every day the community members of Second Life work together to raise funds, raise awareness and generate support for the organizations they believe in. I encourage everyone to take the step that these two did and become an advocate for or donate to the cause that touches you most.


Shirtless for Breast Cancer

I recently learned about a great project launched by the innovative people of the Steelhead Region called ‘Shirtless for Breast Cancer’…

October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the US, and this year it is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Last year was the inaugural year for the Shirtless for Breast Cancer fundraiser and the Calendars and Thinc Book, featuring photos submitted by Avatars kind enough to go tastefully topless for the cause, have raised more than L$22,000 for the nonprofit organization is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete, and up-to-date information about breast cancer. All medical information on the organization’s web site and in their printed materials is carefully reviewed by a Professional Advisory Board consisting of over 60 practicing medical professionals from around the world. (

Avalon Gallery Owner, Photographer and Photojournalist PJ Trenton brought this worthy cause to our attention via the Avalon Ning. He shared a call for volunteers on behalf of his friends in Steelhead and already Avalon has taken to the challenge and run with it, with some of our most esteemed community members already turning in their contributions. (Including yours truly!)

Both male and female volunteers are needed, so uncover your assets and take a tasteful snapshot of yourself for a great cause! You may contact Annechen Lowey from within SL if you have any questions. Following, you will find the requirements for submission. Have fun, put a creative twist to it that represents who you are, your philosophy or your niche in SL… and don’t forget the sunscreen!

The shots not selected for the calendars will be included in the 2010 book, and your inclusion in either depends on the submission fitting the technical requirements:

1) Submissions should be 2048 x 2048 square FULL PERMISSIONS PNGs. These may be e-mailed to

2) Please keep the composition TASTEFUL – Art, not smut, please.

3) No Minors. Diminutive adults, fine – but we wish to stay legal with this. Legal-age avatars only for values of the American legal system (18 years old or older), no exceptions, not even for time travellers.

4) Submissions are to be sent to Annechen Lowey BEFORE 1800 SLT on 1 September 2009.

LATE Submissions will not be considered.

Harmony Cafe Reopening

Those of you who frequented Cetus Gallery District may remember a little cafe in the corner of the district called Harmony Cafe.

Harmony hummed along in the district for over a year, enjoying regular Friday night DJ music from Aron McBride, then Tarsis Korobase spinning music from his popular podcast Alternative Classix, along with live music from some of the best performers in Second Life.

Due to changes in the District, life, finances and all those fun things, Harmony took a little nap. Since then, both Tricia Aferdita and Ethan Westland, the Cafe’s proprietors, have moved on to new adventures, landing in the amazing collective of SIMS known as Avalon. The main commercial SIMS, Tabula rasa, Ars Lunga, and now Vade Mecum make up Avalon Town. In the newly developed section of Avalon Town on the Vade Mecum SIM, there just happened to be the perfect space to cozy Harmony Cafe into.

After much thought and discussion and pushing around of prims, Harmony Cafe was reborn. The space required a slightly more modern decor than the old site and along with the new decor, new signage was born. PJ Trenton fired up his magic graphics and soon there was a sparkling new Harmony Cafe Logo. (seen above)

Current plans for the Cafe include a Grand Opening on August 28th, featuring Srv4U Conacher (Tha Bluez Preacher), along with integrating the cafe into the events venues of Avalon Town (Joining spaces like Speaker’s Circle, the Sculpture Garden, the Lock/Party Pontoon and The Labyrinth Theater. Discussions regarding whether there will be a regular weekly DJ event are floating around the ethers now… we’ll keep you informed!

Ethan and Tricia invite you to stop in and check out the new space, join us for the Grand Opening and think of Harmony Cafe when you’re looking for somewhere to hang out and relax. They continue to encourage a warm, inviting atmosphere along with the vibrant, open and energetic aspects of the Avalon community. Stop in and visit, we know you’ll want to come back!