Monday, March 4, 2024

Interview With Jarden Alexis on The PBC Cultural Arts Center And The Black History Month Exhibit

By Dancerina Starlight,
The Second Life Newser focuses on capturing Second Life news that would be of great interest to the community.  This article captures the establishment of the Premier Business Center Cultural Arts Center by Jarden Alexis. It's an interview developed by SLN's reporting team. It is located on the northeast side of sim; surrounded by greenery and cascading lights of many colors. The edifice has two-levels with historical categories, space for adequate entertainment, lounging, and of course, walk-throughs.

Jarden, I am humbled, yet honored, to have been asked by Second Life Newser (SLN) to interview you and capture the work you have done to establish the PBC Cultural Arts Center (PBC CAC) to share with Second Life (SL) residents.  I realize that the PBC CAC is just one part of what you do here at the Premiere Business Center (PBC). Thus, it will be very difficult for me to only focus on this aspect of your overall work so I will try not to use my peripheral vision to avoid getting impressively distracted by your surrounding projects.

I will need you to keep me on task with the PBC CAC so I won't get drawn to the other surrounding projects. I remember writing an article about PBC about a year ago and also remember last year you had a similar expose event. I remember having plans to write about that and then real (RL) happened. This time SLN is ensuring we capture PBC CAC by extending awareness through journalism.

With that, thank you for agreeing to sit with SLN to discuss your current project, PBC CAC.  

SLN 1:  How was the PBC CAC established and what is its purpose?

J1:  February is Black History Month in the United States and the PBC Cultural Arts Center was established in 2021 as a month-long Black History project. The idea for the PBC Cultural Arts Center originated several months prior while I was planning and setting up for an Art show to promote the works of my SL sister Indea Vaher prior to her passing away on January 31, 2022. At some point during planning and set up Indea decided that she didn't want to display a lot of her real life work in Second Life so we ended up halting plans for the art show.

With the month of February approaching I wanted to do something of substance on the PBC sim for Black History Month that would integrate the PBC mission. Since I had already started set-up for the art show, somehow a thought came to mind that I could use the setup for black history month as a means of educating, motivating and inspiring others through exhibits that would detail African American contributions that impacted the world!  I began online research and before long the bottom floor of the venue was filled with Black History exhibits that included black history facts, black leaders and activists, pioneers, innovators and more!

SLN:  Fascinating beginning, Jarden.

SLN 2:  What types of resources does the PBC CAC recognize?

J2:  Currently the exhibits stem from past achievements and contributions that have major impacts on society made by African Americans as pioneers, inventors, or innovators. There is also information about the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements, as well as bits and pieces of the arts which include or will include exhibits in the categories of performing arts, literary arts, and visual arts.  As time permits I will work to incorporate more information and modern contributions by black people including black children.  

SLN:  You seem to really have a vision for expansion and capacity. Wonderful!

SLN 3:  Specifically and categorically, how do you identify who and what will be displayed in the museum?

J3:  With the month of February designated as Black History Month in the United States, each year there is a RL Black History Month Theme which I attempt to incorporate into the exhibits while staying true to my PBC mission and the initial reason for establishing the PBC Cultural Arts Center, which is to display educational, motivational, and inspirational information from past to present pioneers which include, but is not limited to inventions, innovations, and critical contributions.  

SLN:  I see, Jarden.

SLN 4:  What are the criteria for inclusion in the PBC CAC?

J4:  Exhibits will display milestones and achievements of Black people past and present including children who have done extraordinary things, or made sacrifices, and world wide contributions, that have a significant impact or could impact on a global scale.

SLN:  So, what I hear you say is that your focus is vast and extend beyond the conventional United States approach to Black History Month, but will include the continuum of historical implications across the world. Great!

SLN 5:  What are some named individually, whether past and present?

J5:  Let's begin with Barack Obama, the first African American elected as president of the United States in 2008 and Kamala Harris who is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African-American vice president.  There are also Pioneers and innovators whose inventions and ideas or improvements have greatly impacted the world. You will find information on The Civil Rights Timeline, The Black Lives Matter Movement, and so much more. It is a lot to name and a lot more to add. As time permits I will update information with modern contributions and provide information on black children who have made major contributions as well.

SLN: Very well. You have started at a good place and with recognizable names. Thank you.

SLN 6:  How are resources added to the PBC CAC?

J6:  Through online research and resources as well as suggestions that are researched and added as an exhibit based on their contributions.

SLN:  I would imagine with the vastness and variety you have on the sim altogether that perhaps your sim is opened to the SL public. With that--

SLN 7:  What does your traffic on the sim resemble and what do you hope for the future direction of the PBC CAC?

J7: I don't monitor traffic much unless there is a PBC event. PBC is a global multicultural sim, it is open daily and everyone is welcomed! I am happy and appreciative to see people as they explore the sim and all that PBC has to offer. I am tremendously grateful for those that visit and or attend the PBC events. I believe that collectively we make PBC and PBC events a success!

As far as the future of PBC I hope to provide more events that demonstrate the PBC mission with hopes that someone is impacted positively by something that they have done or seen on the PBC sim whether exploring or attending a PBC event.

SLN:  We are in SL. The reality is that just as in real (RL), SL has people from all over the world. Often times we can all wrap our arms around what is familiar to us; often forgetting that there are people from all over the world around us in SL.

SLN 8:  What are the benefits of bringing awareness through this historical and artistic format in SL?

J8:  PBC  is a Global MultiCultural sim with a mission to motivate, educate, and inspire. Second Life is a platform with a global multicultural audience therefore it is a great place to share information and spread knowledge and awareness about the many past and present contributions of African Americans and black people.

SLN 9:  What is your inspiration? What do you hope to gain from your work?

J9:  My Inspiration comes from the encouraging words and support of those around me as well as my passion for the things that I do in SL.  I believe that if I am going to spend a lot of time in SL, I want to do something more than play "a game." I want to do something constructive and impacting with hopes that I can encourage or inspire others to do the same. There is satisfaction in the thought of bringing awareness and increasing knowledge to a large audience and making a difference that could potentially impact real life relationships through the knowledge gained from visiting PBC or a PBC event!

SLN: That is inspiring.

SLN:  Let's take a look back at 2023.

SLN 10:  You had an event in 2023 commemorating some notable African Americans/Black, etc. Who were some of those people highlighted in the cultural center last year? Are they still factored into the museum?

J10:  The PBC Cultural Arts Center was recently moved from its original location to where it stands now.  Prior to the move there were a lot more exhibits which included people like Dr Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, Harriet Tubman, Carter G. Woodson, Maya Angelou, Benjamin Banneker,Jesse Eugene Russell, Tony D. Hansberry, II and so many more. Those exhibits were removed during the move, but will be added back as time permits. Last year the exhibits consisted mostly of the Civil Rights Movement time-line and that exhibit still remains as part of the PBC Cultural Arts Center today.

SLN: You have really invested quality time in your establishment of the CAC.

SLN 11:  What is the difference between last year and this year?

J11:  Last year the exhibits were based on The Civil Rights Movement Time-line.  This year the museum still includes the Civil Rights Movement Time-line, but in addition to the Civil Rights Movement, you will find information about the Black Lives Matters Movement and many other categories such as inventors, innovators, the , science, musicians, choreographers, and more.

SLN:  Isn't it amazing how a vision can unfold in a way that fills in the blanks or gaps of the outcome?  Wonderful.

SLN 12:  What do you hope residents in SL would gain from such an enriched edifice with historical knowledge?

I would hope that the museum and its content will increase knowledge and awareness of SL residents and ultimately lead to people realizing that contributions of Black People are critical to the world, and without the efforts of these pioneers, inventors, innovators, doctors, scientists and so many more along with their groundbreaking contributions where would this world be!

I want people to realize that Black History is not just American History! Black History is EVERYONE's history! BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY!

SLN:  WOW! On that note, Jarden, this interview has been so enlightening and enjoyable. It is always a pleasure to sit with you and learn of your work in the SL community. Before you provide any final remark, I understand there might be congratulations in order?

SLN:  Do you care to talk about it?  Well, if you don't know what I am talking about--Does "Destination" sound familiar? Yes, someone has let the "cat out the bag" and shared that PBC is now a Destination local.  

Please conclude this interview with your elaboration on that aspect and any other final remarks you might have.

J:  *Laughs* I can say this much, this was not something that I had even thought of nor expected!  I was extremely shocked to get an IM from Strawberry Linden while busy still setting up exhibits and unaware that she was standing outside in front of the PBC Cultural Arts Center!  I was honored to give her a tour and I was very happy, and more than grateful to hear her say that she was going to add the PBC Cultural Arts Center to the Destination guide under three categories:  social awareness, museums, and galleries! I am hoping that she will eventually return to explore more of the PBC sim along with other Lindens who might enjoy all that PBC has to offer! PBC is open to the Public and ALL LINDENS!!!

JardenAlexis and Strawberry Linden

Dancerina, I am more than grateful to you, Gemma, and Bixyl as well as for the rest of the SL Newser for your excellent coverage of PBC events in times past and for this interview today! Not only has each one of you helped to bring exposure to PBC, but you have also attended and supported PBC events. Through all of you, I am inspired, and fueled by your presence, your support and every PBC event that you attend!

You have provided the SL community with an excellent introduction to PBC, The PBC Cultural Arts Center, the PBC Mission, and all that PBC has to offer. I am extremely grateful for your time and this amazing opportunity to sit and chat with you! Thank you so much for all that you do, not just for PBC but for the entire SL community! Your work does not go unnoticed and you all are tremendously  appreciated!

SLN:  What a way to conclude this interview! Congratulations to you and PBC for having earned a space in the Destination Guide!  Jarden, thank you very much. 

Premier Business Center has a social media presence at:



Again, thank you for your time, Jarden.

Submitted by: Dancerina Starlight and the Second Life Newser Team

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is a constant source of growth and learning, and I'm grateful for that.