A Recap of UNC’s Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

The Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon is a global campaign in celebration of Women’s History Month. The goal of Art+Feminism is to “improve coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary folks, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia.” This Edit-a-Thon also seeks to close the Wikipedia gender gap. Currently, less than 10% of Wikipedia editors are women! In 2018, as president of the Art and Museum Library and Information Student Society (AMLISS) I organized UNC’s Art+Feminism Edit-a-Thon. This year, I got to be an attendee and was empowered to edit articles and share in the communal editing atmosphere.

The event started with a presentation by the Head of the Sloane Art Library Alice Whiteside and Social Sciences Librarian Kristan Shawgo. They discussed the mission of Art+Feminism, and the tenants of Wikipedia. Having been updated on the rules of posting and the communal nature of Wikipedia editing, I was ready to get editing!

The 22 Editors at UNC’s Sloane Art Library Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon edited 34 articles, made 63 total edits, and contributed 4,760 new words.

For those who don’t know, Wikipedia’s mission is “to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” This mission is especially relevant to digital humanists because of its emphasis on distributing educational content in the public domain. Although Wikipedia articles are not original research, the information available helps others to start their own research. For this reason, the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon is inspirational – more cis and transgender women and non-binary artists will come to the attention of internet users everywhere and their stories will empower others, extending the information network further and further outward.

I updated a Wikipedia article on Sandra Brewster, a young artist from Toronto. It was exciting to work toward equitable coverage of female, transgender, and non-binary artists in a room full of people equally excited about the cause. Throughout the month, Art+Feminism events will be held across the globe – it is amazing to think about the improvements that will be made because of the efforts of this campaign. In the hour that I was able to attend, I improved openly accessible knowledge about one woman artist of color – the other 22 attendants at UNC who stayed even longer increased UNC’s contribution to 34 articles, 63 total edits, and 4,760 words added. Think of how many articles have been improved across the United States, North America, the Globe! Art+Feminism is truly an important campaign and global movement toward equality and equitable access on Wikipedia.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Art+Feminism, find an event here