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New York City — Over 2,500 participants at more than 200 events around the world participated in Art+Feminism’s fourth annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, which took place across the month of March around Women’s History Month. This global effort created or improved nearly 6,500 articles on Wikipedia, almost twice the output of the 2016 events. The month-long series of Edit-a-thon events was designed to generate coverage of feminism and the arts on Wikipedia — a response to the well-known gender gap on Wikipedia.

Highlights of the 2017 Edit-a-thon include content added to Wikipedia pages for niv Acosta, Hilma af Klint, Morehshin Allahyari, Xenobia Bailey, Rebecca Belmore, Hannah Black, Octavia E. Butler, Lygia Clark, Andrea Crespo, Leslie Hewitt, Christine Sun Kim, Deana Lawson, New media art, Sondra Perry, Paul B. Preciado, and Martine Syms.

“We were heartened by the response to our call to arms to fight against disinformation and fake news with facts,” said Art+Feminism organizers Siân Evans, Jacqueline Mabey, McKensie Mack, and Michael Mandiberg. “The efforts of Art+Feminism participants in 42 countries across the world nearly doubled last year’s results. We continue to be inspired by all the dedicated folks who make room in their busy schedules to share skills and improve a collectively held resource like Wikipedia.”

On the eve of the March edit-a-thons, Art+Feminism announced the debut of the Call to Action Art Commission program. Each year, an artist will be commissioned to create a Creative Commons licensed artwork. Divya Mehra was selected for the inaugural commission. Her work Dangerous Women (Blaze of Glory), 2017 depicts a jerrycan with the word “edit” emblazoned on the face of the container. With a dry, disruptive sense of humor, the work suggests a source of untapped energy and the need for reinvigorating change. Mehra’s research-fuelled practice explores diasporic identities, racialization, otherness, and the construct of diversity. Her work has been exhibited and screened at Creative Time, MoMA PS1, MTV, The Queens Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, amongst others. Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.

In New York, the edit-a-thon at The Museum of Modern Art featured a panel discussion between writer Joanne McNeil and Data & Society Research Institute Fellow Zara Rahman, moderated by Kimberly Drew (aka @museummammy), social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The lively discussion covered a range of topics, from the panelists first encounters with the Internet to concrete steps for breaking out of information echo chambers. There was a series of informal conversations during the afternoon, led by Interference Archive, AfroCROWD and The Black Lunch Table, and Maryland Institute College of Art Digital Initiatives Librarian Jenny Ferretti and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Reference Librarian and Archivist Alexsandra Mitchell, and a collectively run working group on power structures in notability guidelines on Wikipedia.

The 2017 Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon grew in complexity and geographic scope. First time organizing institutions included Open Foundation West Africa in collaboration with African Women Development Fund, Accra; Spelman College, Atlanta; Transgender Europe in collaboration with Artists Without a Cause and Room 4 Resistance, Berlin; Griffith University, Brisbane; Bryn Mawr College; Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; National University of Ireland, Galway; Women’s Library and Information Centre Foundation, Istanbul; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Oslo National Academy of the Arts; Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montréal; PLATFORM, Munich; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Parsons Paris; Maus Hábitos, Porto; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, San Juan; The Royal Armoury, Stockholm; Gardiner Museum, Toronto; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Organizers in Geneva, Switzerland coordinated city-wide edit-a-thons at Centre de la photographie, Lestime, Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève, Pavillon bleu and l’Université de Genève. For the first time edit-a-thons were held across Italy at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; BASE Milano; Museo Archeologico Provinciale, Potenza; Rome MAXXI; Artè Caffè Culturale, Salerno; and Ca’ Foscari University, Venice.

Art+Feminism is a do-it-yourself campaign to improve coverage of feminism and the arts on Wikipedia, and to encourage female editorship. Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented; in a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that fewer than 10% of its contributors identify as female. This lack of female participation has led to significant gaps in content on world’s most popular online research tool. Since 2014, over 7,100 people at more than 480 events around the world have participated in Art+Feminism’s Edit-a-thons, resulting in the creation and improvement of more than 11,100 articles on Wikipedia. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2014, the co-founders were named to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of 2014 Leading Global Thinkers.

The 2017 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was organized by Art+Feminism, led by Siân Evans/Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group, Jacqueline Mabey/failed projects, McKensie Mack and Michael Mandiberg, in collaboration with AfroCROWD, Women in Red, the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts (POWarts) and The Museum of Modern Art and with support from Wikimedia DC, and Wikimedia NYC. Major support for the event at The Museum of Modern Art was provided by The Modern Women’s Fund. Major support for Art+Feminism is provided by the Wikimedia Foundation.

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