There are lots of good deeds done by residents of Second Life, many of which provide donations to an array of First Life charities and causes. Relay for Life, in support of the American Cancer Society, is well known and loved by many SL residents, and there are many other less–well-known fundraisers that do excellent work. But in SL as in RL, the arts are often overlooked when it comes to funding. The Avatar Charitable Trust seeks to improve that situation.
Founded by Chuk Edman and Lillie Radek Edman in 2011, the Avatar Charitable Trust (ACT) states as its purpose the following:
1. raise funds to be used to financially promote charitable endeavors for the arts, humanitarianism, education, and the general welfare of avatars in Second Life and people in real life;
2. promote goodwill, personal fulfillment, and enjoyment among those in the Second Life community,
3. promote non-political, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory and non-violent causes for the good of us all, and
4. improve the standard of our lives in the virtual world of Second Life.
With these in mind, ACT provides grants to artists and organizations who are doing cultural or charitable art work in SL.
I visited the ACT gallery in SL and took in the current exhibit there, which is called A Year in the Life of Fuchsia Nightfire - A Photo Diary. The artist Fuchsia Nightfire has captured hundreds of images of the changes in her avatar over the course of a year, and displayed them, month by month, on the gallery walls.
The images are a good reminder of how quickly things, and people, can change in SL; they remind us of the fun that can be had with our appearance but also let us know that what we see may not always be the complete picture. There's more to us than what we look like, this exhibit seems to say, so why shouldn't we manipulate our outward appearance in creative enjoyable ways?
My photos don't do the exhibit justice, so hurry down to check it out. While at the gallery, I joined the ACT in-world group to keep up on the future events. I also made a donation to ACT's treasury avatar Banks Copperfield and I'd encourage you to drop a few $Ls to him as well if you can.
Visit A Year in the Life of Fuchsia Nightfire at the ACT Gallery.