Our Magic and Our Passing – Goodbye from the SL Shakespeare Company, Primtings, and sLiterary

Our Magic and Our Passing – Goodbye from the SL Shakespeare Company, Primtings, and sLiterary

We begin this letter with our thanks for those patrons who could no longer be with us. The resounding spirit has always been that the 4-sim SL Globe Theatre would fight to be around — and, there are many who donated and have passed away, hoping that they might survive through their contributions to SL Shakespeare or Primtings.

Since our time of passing is due to be in the same month as that of a major RL luminary, our Artistic Director Ina Centaur, has an anecdote to share:

“Once upon a time, after one of those fundraising rounds, the avatar of someone rich and famous in RL contacted me. The patron criticized me for paying too much for SL and attempting to do everything myself, but helped donate enough (through several alt’s) to help save the Shakespeare and Primtings sims.

“In early 2009, I received a mysterious package by mail in RL — an iPhone 3G. It was rather anonymized, but I thanked the patron by IM — and, he told me that that was what I should be putting my time into. He also said that he created iTunes so that independent creators could share their creations and even turn it into a viable business — something that could exist without being dependent on donations.

“Was it really Steve Jobs? I kept to our policy of respecting the privacy of our patrons, so I did not inquire further. Instead, I wanted to discover this from the other side — to be able to meet him in RL, of my own accord, for having done something great on iOS. I didn’t get to do that yet, but I knew two weeks ago, when he passed away, that this SL dream was over… But, it was beautiful while it lasted.”

There’s always the mystery and the hope that what we do here would reach out and change the lives of our audience – whomever they are, whether rich and famous or a moviestar or just yourself.

For a while, we held onto the odd notion that the creations in Second Life might get to live on beyond its usual time. It’s a childlike wish best summarized by the parable from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web – it’s hope that Wilbur the Pig might survive, as the world sees its wonder and magic via the brilliance of one small spider’s web.

But, all things come to an end, and it’s only in fairy tales that one small spider like Charlotte could manage to convey her message and save Wilbur before her death. In Second Life, our ventures have survived many passings – from patrons to founders to prospective actors. But, we simply do not have the significant reach to be saved.

The Shakespeare Primtings sLiterary and Skin City sims will go down on Oct 29 or thereabouts. The process in which sims are deactivated is not usually punctual – we aren’t sure exactly when the executioners would finally pull the plug, but when they do, it will be the end of our Second Life.

We thank you for having witnessed the short duration of this virtual miracle. Adieu.

sLiterary, 2007-2011
Primtings, 2008-2011
The 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company – 2008 to 2011

And, if you wish, here’s the other notecard with details about what happened and why Ina Centaur chose to quit: (EOL SL Shakespeare and the Reasons to Leave SL)

A Last Message from Ina Centaur

Dear mShakespeare and Primtings Patrons,

The Globe has been silent the year so far, as we figure out what to do on the new tier costs — if anything we can do. Primtings valiantly raised the needed amount to maintain its tier in time, but the 4-sim arts mecca infrastructure of sLiterary is in danger.

It seems there’s a limit to the funds an organization can raise in Second Life for a purely inworld cause. Pooling all efforts together, we were only able to fundraise the costs of two full sims — focusing the fundraising effort on Primtings, with member shareholder support on Shakespeare. Inevitably, the 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre will be losing two sims, and Second Life would be losing a rare historical theatre for live performance with large audience capacity. The timeline for deletion is uncertain, and it might happen any day now. But…

Myself and several others have made appeals to Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble on saving my account and these two sims, and thereby the 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre. It’s not yet clear what his decision is or how divine intervention might come to play. Perhaps, there’s still hope…

Currently, my account is locked out of Second Life. We are $3,245 behind in unpaid tier fees, and as many of you have already donated to save Primtings and Shakespeare, it is unlikely to raise the additional amount for the other two sims. I am unable to send this message to you directly from my avatar because of this. There is a chance that my avatar and virtual possessions might be deleted completely on June 3 or thereabouts. Shakespeare and Primtings tier have been paid 6 months in advance starting from February 23, but as my account would be unable to renew come next turn, that would be the end of everything.

Like Cirque du Soleil, in that other life, we started as homeless nomadic street performers — from absolutely nothing that somehow managed to accumulate land and a following and a brand, all without any external funding. It was a good run, but if only Second Life could be as limitless and far-reaching as real life. We’ve done all that we can in Second Life. It’s an end to an era that you’d be witnessing. The uncertainty lies in how it will turn out.

In the event that this is my last message to you, then it’s all up to you — the theatre and the spirit of creation lives through you — the precious few we’ve touched through circumstances unlikely in Real Life.

Thank you for sharing a dream that should otherwise never have lasted.

Ina Centaur

Paint by Prims – Last Chance!

Dear Primtings Patron,

We are now less than L$50,000 away from our campaign goal. Through
Paint by Prims and pCampaign, we have managed to raise over L$460,000,
bringing us very close to our L$502,502 ~ US$1700 6 month tier for the 2011
nonprofit/edu sim pricing decreed by Linden Lab.

There are stil LOTS of prims unpainted on the Paint by Prims exhibit – slated
to become the newest prim’d painting in our New Media gallery. But, it does
need a few non-white prims that could use your choice of paint color!

For those who have not had the chance to paint, please do take the moment to
drop by the LM below… right click to select a white prim, and pay the $L
amount that corresponds to the color of paint you’d like to put on the prim.

It’s a collaborative art piece that helps raise the funds needed to keep Primtings
Museum as a single piece on Second Life.

Plus, it’s your permanent mark on a primting – each time someone touches the
prim you painted, your name will be whispered in chat!

Further details on Paint by Prims are available on http://pbp.Primtings.com
and also via that first notecard @ Create to Save Primtings

Continuing the pCampaign’s tradition of open transparency, each donation
will be instantly recorded to http://campaign.Primtings.com — moreover,
anyone on the Internet can view the status of this Paint by Prims project @


Do drop by…


Ina Centaur
Founder, Curator and Director,
Primtings Museum

Contingency and the Impossible Campaign

Dear Primtings Patrons,

We’re so close to making tier, and yet so far away… And now the short yet long email — if your heart stops in the middle of reading this, please skip the middle and scroll to read the part in the end.

We are now past due for our tier payment, so I do not know how long Primtings will stay up. We’ve raised over L$300,000 in less than 3 weeks, with all donations tracked on pCampaign @ http://campaign.Primtings.com … We can try raising the remaining L$180,000 in whatever remaining time that we have left before Linden Lab deactivates Primtings.

I have sent the letter below to Linden Lab, in hopes that they can give us a week or two buffer time. They never respond to anything I send (not even support tickets – concierge calls are always deferred to support ticket, nowadays), so I have no idea what’s going to happen:


Dear Linden Lab Billing,

We are in the process of raising funds to support the sim tier fees. For the upcoming payment of US$1770, Primtings has raised over L$318,277 from over 700 donations by nearly 500 unique avatars. Primtings is a nonprofit arts and education sim based entirely in SL, and 500 significant donating supporters is a major metric.

Our main source of funding has always been from microdonations from our community in SL.

Please give us two more weeks to try raising tier. We would be able to pro-rate to pay the time difference, if we are unsuccessful. 

Thank you,
Ina Centaur, on behalf of the Primtings Community


In the event that we are unable to raise tier by the time Primtings is deactivated… Well, I’m not a fan of destruction unto deadend, so, I will outline a contingency process that balances:

1a) Primtings Mobile: I’ve created a mobile 3d mesh creation app called ClayAR. It basically lets you model any 3d mesh in an intuitive way using your fingers by manipulating a virtual “clay ball” on your touchscreen. Even though that app is still in alpha/private beta, that’s about 3423581234935 times harder than making an app that lets you create stuff via prims like SL. So, we’re going to have a mobile Primtings where anyone can create prim’d paintings using prims on their mobile device (or on the web).

1b) Out of SL/Skipping OpenSim??? Why mobile? Well, unlike SL’s limited ecosystem, mobile has a much larger (and proven) paying population. Primtings would be able to make enough to be able to pay tier — at least — or more. Yes, the plan is also to route funds from Primtings Mobile to fund that ginormous lump. Linden Lab will make its loads of petty profit from poor Primtings, anyway.

2) Support for the Mobile Future: We’d need some amount of serverside support for Primtings Mobile. But, the costs for a decent Intel Xeon quadcore server with 3TB bandwidth in RL is less than $100/month — it’s even less, since I own a rack of them in RL. For those who wish to support Primtings Mobile, you will receive an option to have your existing donations routed to Primtings Mobile.

3) Maintaining Responsibility in Transparency: One week after Primtings’ deactivation, I’ll send everyone who has donated a link to have their donations transferred to Primtings Mobile or returned. Within 3 weeks from that, if you don’t respond to the link, your donation will be returned automatically.

I think 1) might have gotten some of you just a tad bit too excited. (I know – it would be *so cool* if we could all go maker on our mobile devices!) Just to be clear, 1) is something I’d work on both ways. If Primtings can make tier, that’s even better. (I’ll foot the RL server bill myself.) If not, then at least, Primtings will exist elsewhere, though in a different form… and likely with very different exhibits. It’s not possible technically or legally to directly port these exhibits, so what you see in Primtings Museum really is an ephemeral art form — take one last look at it, please!

In summary, Primtings will be around in some form, albeit reduced, no matter what. Your donations will be returned or transferred, per your choice, if we do not make it.

Also – we are not yet over yet! – Please continue painting prims or donating in Second Life.

Thank you for the past, and let’s look forward to the future,
Ina Centaur

Create to Save Primtings via Paint by Prims

Dear Primtings Patron,

It’s been two weeks since the launch of our first pCampaign in 2011, under LL’s new sim tier pricing. We now have less than 10 days to raise the remaining L$350,000 needed to keep the Primtings sim going for 6 more months. The cynics among you would think this a futile task. Maybe it it is, but maybe it’s not — I want to side with those on the side of hope — those who still believe.

We’ve had over 2500 unique visitors to Primtings Museum in the past few years, and if each of you donate L$150 — a fraction of a dollar — we’d have enough to be able to make this goal. The problem, then, is how do I unite all of you on this cause to save this virtual museum? We hold common ground — we all love the spirit of Primtings Museum. I’m going to try pulling something out of the same essence of creative wonder that launched Primtings Museum and its legacy.

I am inviting all of you to participate in the creation of our newest prim’d painting — a massively collaborative primting called “Paint by Prims”.

It’s inspired by the “Paint by Pixels” live crowdsourced artpiece launched by iam8bit at GDC last week. Each attendee of GDC was given a colored square, and each attendee chose where to put that colored square on a wall-sized paint-by-color grid.

We’re taking this to SL by converting these paper pixels to prims, and letting anyone anywhere in the world join in. Instead of giving each participant a random color, the difference is that we’re applying a “real world” cost of paint colors to prims — those who donate more, will get more colors to choose from. This gives true creative freedom to the participants — this is a blank canvas, where you can color each prim anything you want, per your donation level. Supply and Demand: These pixel prims are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Upon completion of this piece — when all 2,000 prims have been painted — we should have more than enough to meet our fundraising goal to keep Primtings Museum alive for six more months. We would also have given birth to a new primting — made possible by you.

Continuing the pCampaign’s tradition of open transparency, each donation will be instantly recorded to http://campaign.Primtings.com — moreover, anyone on the Internet can view the status of this Paint by Prims project @ http://paintbyprims.Primtings.com

Please help me make this miracle of creation happen. Become a Paint by Prims artist. Come paint prims with me! Visit Primtings Corridor annex (along North Entrance).

Ina Centaur
Founder, Curator and Director,
Primtings Museum

First Board Meeting 2011

We will be holding our first board meeting of 2011 on Sunday, Feb 13 @ 9 AM SL Time (PST). This event is open to the public, and we invite all those interested in Primtings Museum, its exhibits, events and doings, to come!

Tentative Agenda

  1. State of Primtings Museum
  2. Upcoming Sim Tier Drive
  3. Long-Term Funding – Grants?
  4. Open input – ideas on events, exhibits, artist invitations. Open to ideas!

Meeting Transcript is HERE.

More bullet-pointed agenda is here.

Primtings Campaign Reaches Goal in 10 Days!

Primtings Campaign has met its goal of raising L$251,251 — in 10 days! It all started with this letter from Ina Centaur, posted to the Primtings blog on Oct 9. The letter hinted at the soul-moving background of Primtings Museum — how it was started by a SL artist without any external funding, and how it’s managed to survive three years purely through support from the SL community — Primtings has managed to upkeep a sim-sized museum while keeping true to the quixotic ideals of that founding artist — a free and open museum. The letter also tried establishing a primting – prim’d painting – as a unique new form of art, “beyond mere replica.”

Residents of SL who have been to Primtings Museum can appreciate its significant contribution to both the virtual art world and to RL education — and edification beyond. Founder Ina Centaur describes this experience as, “Once you visit Primtings, you remember it. For life. For good.”

Along with a series of three different IM advocation messages, Ina Centaur’s letter was sent  as a notecard with LM to about 5,500 visitors to Primtings Museum since 2008 (minus those who opted out). Here’s for tracking the Campaign, starting from the first Primtings Messenger IM (All times in PST):

October 9 @ 8 AM: Primtings Campaign needs your help to keep Primtings open for the next 6 months. Enclosed is an open letter to our current and future patrons. Help us raise tier by Oct 21 deadline! – http://campaign.primtings.com or TP to the Primtings sim to donate

Subsequently, L$84,056 was donated via 102 donations by 91 unique avatars (datetime>=’2010-10-09′ AND datetime<=’2010-10-14 12:00:00′).  As you can tell from the campaign metrics graph below, the donation rate started slowing down midweek. A second IM was sent:

October 14 @ noon: Since its beginning, Primtings has been an open museum – despite being sim-sized, artists are not charged commission or upfront; visitors are not charged fees. Primtings Campaign, beyond the ‘3d paintings’, is about keeping that idealistic principle of ‘art for art’ alive. We are entirely dependent on your donation – we are at our halfway point with 7 days left. Please help keep Primtings going – http://campaign.primtings.com has the latest campaign details.

This second period raised L$102,371 via 57 donations by 52 unique avatars (datetime>’2010-10-14 12:00:00′ AND datetime<=’2010-10-19 16:30:00′). With two days left, and L$40k off, Primtings might or might not make it! A third and final IM was sent:

October 19 @ 4:30 PM: Did you know that some of our exhibits are created by SL artists who have passed away? These primtings will be lost forever if Primtings closes down! 48 hours left in Primtings Campaign with less than L$40,000 needed to reach Primtings Campaign’s goal of L$251,251 to pay 6 month’s nonprofit tier to keep Primtings alive for 6 more months. Please help us make this last stretch! Check out http://campaign.primtings.com for the up-to-the-second-barring-SL-lag campaign total.

In the hours since then and now, 15 unique avatars made 18 donations, totaling L$35,720. (datetime>’2010-10-19 16:30:00′ )

As of this writing at 10PM PST on October 19, Primtings Campaign has broken over its goal to L$253,796 (starting at L$31,149 remaining from the previous round, before campaign start).

The graph below shows the pCampaign Donations Total by Day — starting from October 9, when the campaign message was first sent. The size of each dot represents the number of transactions per day. Data is from the Primtings Campaign API (Totals for 2010b and Transactions for 2010b)

Primtings Campaign launched in early 2010, and was  the only source of funds for the Museum’s first 6 months of sim tier in 2010. New to this round was the suggestion by a Primtings Board member of putting donation kiosks right next to each Primting. This “Primtings Donate Anywhere [inside Primtings sim]” contributed L$86,314 via 121 donations (109 unique avatars) to the 2010b pCampaign Total. These any-donation-amount bins included donations ranging from L$1 to L$10,000.

2010-10-20 L$238,756 was cashed out at L$260:US$1 for $885 to meet 6 months nonprofit island sim tier.

A live running list of donations since the beginning of pCampaign (2010a and b) with patron names anonymized is available via the pCampaign API here.

Primtings Museum – Open Letter for Support to Patrons, 2010

Dear Patron,

Primtings Museum has, over its three years on SL, reached out to thousands of SL residents in a positive and constructive way. Touted by some as one of the “wonders of SL”, Primtings Museum is host to nearly three dozen “primtings” – prim’d paintings – by a range of artists. These are unique SL interpretations of famous art pieces that have defined RL culture – each primting is beyond just a testament to a SL artist’s skill, but it’s also innovative in an original way, a new piece of art. Visitors discover a primting in an organic, interactive way, while seamlessly learning art history. It’s awesome in the sense that had someone else started it – say, an NEA or RL Arts Council funded project – it would have taken a budget of US$50,000 or more, but it was started by an artist, and so much more became possible.

Yet, despite its scope as a sim-sized open-submissions museum, it’s a project dedicated 100% to the art itself – with absolutely no commercial element. Selected artists have their works displayed “for the merit of it” – they are charged with neither commission nor setup fee. Patrons, from students to educators to art connoisseurs to SL tourists, are not charged for admissions, either. It’s through a pro bono effort that the entire endeavor came to be – from the founding infrastructure to the website and directory at http://Primtings.com to the formidable build and wonder on SL. Primtings, since the beginning of its existence, has been an open museum – in spirit and in practice. Primtings Museum is completely dependent on the support of its patrons.

Primtings extends its philosophy of openness to its major fundraiser – Primtings Campaign – as well. Every single monetary transaction in Primtings Campaign – the receipt of individual donations and the usage of, have been transparent, each usage publicly recorded at http://campaign.Primtings.com

Rarely, do you see quixotic virtues like this actually happen in reality – beyond just beautiful idea, but tangible, accessible anywhere in the world by signing online and TP-ing to Primtings sim. But, funding this dream – it’s possible through numbers – Primtings Museum would not have survived the first half of 2010, without its dozens of patrons, but it did. It can happen again.

I am asking for your help – your support of Primtings museum, its idealistic vision and its outreach of creativity and art history education to SL. We have little more than ten days left, with an absolute deadline of October 21. We need to be able to raise at least L$200,000 more to pay tier for 6 months. We can do it – with your help.

Ina Centaur
Founder, Curator and Director,
Primtings Museum

P4 – P3 Planning Notes!

Today we held P4 – the Primtings Patrons Party planning event! Chat transcript available here.

Party Events:

  1. Primtings Primtionary – it’s like charades but with prims, and it’s artist’s choice… audience guesses which famous RL painting the SL artist is trying to interpret!
  2. Jackson Pollock Live on SL – Authentic paintings of this guy’s worth are auctioned off for millions of USD, and it’s all about scattered paint, streaked in chaotic lines. But, at P4, anyone can create a collaborative action-painting by SL ice-skating around the pCanvas on the Primtings Campus!
  3. Augmented SL-reality Music – Rhythm controlled by your avatar movement. Each time your avatar moves, the music will play the next note — if no one moves, the music will hang!
  4. (Invite Tuna Oddfellow and Trinity Sisters and La Performance to dance and interpret!)
  5. Primtings Scavenger Hunt – Visit each Primting listed @ http://Primtings.com – to collect a mystery prize relating to that Primting!

Fundraising Events:

  1. Patron Requested Primtings – Where artists take bids for the primting you want to see most!
  2. Ina Centaur sketches anything! – Say it, and Ina will sketch it. It’s like Drawing Day all over again!
  3. P3 Raffle – Win a primting or win a Primtings Snow Globe!

The events above will be on-going throughout the party, with a finale:

Finale Event

  1. Raffle winners announced
  2. Patron Requested Primtings Bids announced
  3. Primtings Photography Contest winners announced – and they’d give a few words to inspire other aspiring photographers to extend primtings via SL photographic interpretations!

Primtings P4 Planning Pre-Party

The Primtings P4 – “Primtings Patrons Planning Pre-Party” is this Sunday at noon. Come help us make the P3 exactly how you want it — and, since we are an artist’s museum (and fiscally sponsored by an RL 501(c)3 nonprofit) sponsors welcome, as well! ;-)

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The mostly-admin-stuffs blog about Primtings Museum - a sim-sized gallery of prim'd paintings - 3d virtual world interpretations of RL artwork that has shaped the history and culture of mankind