Because Wikipedia’s lack of representation of women is by now well-documented and because less than 15% of Wikipedia editors are women, an organization called Art+Feminism is making a concerted effort to add more women artists to Wikipedia. Building upon the success of their 2014 Edit-a-Thon, rad Wikipedians all over the world gathered—both literally and virtually—the weekend of March 7 to create new articles for over 300 women artists and expand many more.
Wanting to be part of this year’s effort, I called upon my friend Meredith Moore at Wonder Fair. This event seemed a natural extension of our YWAS: Young Woman Artists show at Wonder Fair last summer, so we decided to host a satellite. Our academic friends were understandably busy working on their own articles, dissertations, etc. so we did not have high hopes for attendance. However, we knew that even if our satellite event only consisted of the two of us and our laptops, we would still be participating in a global movement.
Fortunately, we discovered the power of the Wikipedia Community pages. After posting our Lawrence, KS satellite event on Wiki, we were contacted by Stephanie Iser, a librarian and feminist who was planning an edit-a-thon in KC three weeks later. She RSVPed and also let us know that two regional Wikipedia organizers would be coming out to share their expertise. All in all, we had six participants in person and one who joined us remotely. We were told that it was the largest local Edit-a-Thon so far!
The Edit-a-Thon was even more satisfying than I had hoped. Having taught myself to edit Wikipedia, it was entirely different to work on editing in a group setting. This made me feel more like I was participating in a movement AND I was able to learn a great deal from some experienced Wikipedians. They taught me easier ways to cite sources and familiarized me with Wiki standards. I can’t wait to participate in the KC event on Saturday, which should be even larger and more productive. Come out to join us or show your support. Also, tune in to Up to Date on Wednesday at 11:00 am on 89.3 KCUR to learn more.
- Saturday, March 28
- 12:00-4:30 pm
- Kansas City Public Library, Central Branch
- 14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105
- There will be free snacks!