It comes as no surprise that Wikipedia reflects the cultural and historical prejudices ingrained in our society. Since its creation, the site has been male dominated in terms of both content and contributors. Women in all fields are underrepresented, and fewer than 10% of editors identify as female. But many are committed to diversifying and enriching the open source encyclopedia. Art+Feminism is one such group that is on a mission to increase Wikipedia’s representation of women in the arts.
Those goals were realized this past Saturday at Art+Feminism’s second annual Wikipedia edit-a-thon, which took place at MoMA. Over 200 volunteers converged on the museum to edit and improve existing pages and create new articles about women artists. Around 1300 people participated in satellite events taking place in 17 different countries worldwide. The MoMA meet-up alone produced 41 new articles and 102 enhanced articles (see the details).
Me in action: helping a student search and navigate MoMA Library's E-Resources
By the afternoon, nearly every seat in the MoMA Library reading room was full. Undergraduate students, academics, artists, librarians, experienced editors and those new to the craft worked together to improve the most widely used resource on the internet. Jenny Tobias and I were on hand to assist those wanting to use the Library’s resources to research an artist or provide the requisite citations for their articles. And of course, we were also working on our own articles, doing our small part to make information about women in the arts more accessible to all.
To learn more about the day and the project, take a look at the Art News interview with Jacqueline Mabey, one of the founders of Art+Feminism.
Megan Williams, NYARC Kress Fellow