Art+Feminism User Group/Planning/StrategicPlan2018-2019
This plan documents the strategic priorities and objectives for the 2019 cycle of the Art + Feminism initiative, as a part of our Simple APG application. The main grant page is here.
Our mission is representation. Since its inception in 2014, Art + Feminism has organized people of all gender expressions and identities to increase coverage of cis and trans women on Wikipedia; contributing and amending meaningful content to the encyclopedia every year for the past five years. Art+Feminism is about making Wikipedia better, as a tool for open access to reliable information, but it doesn’t end there. It’s about dismantling systems of thought that ignore the presence and input of cis and trans women in the room the world over and erase their place in history entirely. In 2018, over 4,000 people at more than 285 events around the world participated in Art+Feminism’s fifth annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, which took place across the months of March and April, creating or improving nearly 22,000 articles on Wikipedia, almost four times the output of the 2017 events.
Burnout and workload
- Continued risk of burnout for lead organizers. This past cycle was perhaps the most exhausting experienced to date for co-founders.
- Program Coordinator/Director hours are not sufficient to cover the amount of work required. Program Coordinator/Director used 2/3 of their hours by the midpoint report, and by 9 months into the cycle had used all of their hours allocated for a 12 month cycle.
Continued harassment and pushback from the Wikimedia Community
- The toll of harassment from community members, the time required to document this harassment, and the lack of adequate support from the Foundation is deeply disheartening and distracting from our mission.
- We are concerned that our costs will outstrip our budget, despite our efforts to cut back most of our programming in order to build the human and legal infrastructure. (See below in "Growth forecast and future budget considerations" for details and future strategy)
- In 2018, we directed many of our organizers to apply for Rapid Grants, per the suggestion of the Foundation, but it proved to be a fraught endeavor for both the Foundation and recipients
- We are at the limits of our capacity with our budget framework as it stands
Process for building the nonprofit
We are working with pro-bono lawyers through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. We have had our initial meetings, and are preparing for a financial review meeting in September, which will lead to the creation and submission of bylaws and a IRS 1023 form. This organization building will lead to other grant funding opportunities, further ensuring long-term stability.
- We have contracted Creative Business in New York City to develop accounting infrastructure for our future non-profit
- We're expanding the leadership collective to account for the growth of the project. Specifically, we're promoting McKensie Mack to Director, and Melissa Tamani to Lead Co-organizer role. We are also expanding the regional organizers by ten (for a total of 16), who will help facilitate events, but also manage the Dashboard, our Slack channel, instructional design, etc.
- We are requesting 30k expansion funds will be spent in Asia, Africa and Latin America
- We are introducing several Fellows, which will allow us to bring in younger/newer organizers into a focused apprentice role. This will also take some of the workload off of the Director, so their hours will last the full year.
Training the leadership collective
- For all members of the leadership collective, we will provide additional training on our CRM, as well as anti-oppression training
De-centering co-founders role
- Part of expanding the leadership collective and elevating members is part of a strategic process of the co-founders stepping back
Social Media, Public Activism + Education
- Continue to serve our community online by creating dialog around the larger issues at play in the project. We have seen incredible growth in size and participation in our online communities over the past year, as detailed in our Midpoint Report.
Training + Education
- Continue to offer a variety of forms of training to organizers and participants
- continue to offer online workshops, providing training in English and Spanish, to introduce potential partners to Art+Feminism, event hosting, and editing on the platform
- leveraging additional opportunities to answer the question 'how does it work?' presenting a simple linear visual on our our various online platforms that outlines essential steps to hosting an edit-a-thon
Focusing our editing on specific articles
- AF Wikidata project
- As summarized in our Midpoint Report, and detailed in our 2018 Wikidata Workplan, A+F is using Wikidata to better identify the work that needs to be done. We will make high priority lists and encourage our Regional Organizers to create and maintain lists that are relevant to their area. The most significant outcome as of now is we have created software that allowed us to create an On Focus List of all A+F over 3000 articles through 2017; these are the articles created/edited at our events that are related to our core themes of Art+Feminism. This fall we will process the 2018 dashboard data, and begin building worklists (e.g. "all A+F articles that are Orphaned" etc)
Growth and stability
- Grow in Asia, Africa, Latin America
- Art+Feminism’s regional organizers continue to expand the project’s resonance and reach. This year we focused on Latin America, where Melissa Tamani has done concentrated outreach, doubling the number of events. These nearly 30 events stretched from Laboratorio Cultural del Norte, Chihuahua, Mexico, to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago. We sustained last year’s focus on West Africa, where Mohammed Sadat Abdulai has facilitated events at a variety of cultural and educational institutions. Stacey Allan and Amber Berson continue our growth in California and Canada respectively, bringing on partners like SFMOMA and Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. Addie Wagenknecht continued to expand our reach with cultural institutions in Europe.
- Stabilize in North America and Europe
- Our growth in North America and Europe has stabilized, and our strategy of soliciting pledges to participate from established nodes in September 2017 proved successful. We will continue our pledge process.
Growth forecast and future budget considerations
This year our primary focus is on building infrastructure for the project's future stability. That infrastructure is both the administrative/legal non profit structure, as well as the many new organizers we are bringing into the leadership so as to empower them to step forward and lead the project onward. In order to fund this absolutely necessary increase in organizer capacity, we have had to cut back almost all of our pedagogy, and community programming.
We cannot cut these core pedagogical and programming costs for more than one year, as these costs are used to do things like improve our web tools, revise our training materials to keep up with changes to the wiki and dashboard interfaces, and translate our materials into languages other than English. Our community programming and pedagogical materials represent one of the most significant vectors of our impact and our growth. As such, we forecast that next year we will need a substantial increase in our budget to restore the missing pedagogical and programming costs. Additionally we forecast the need to expand the Director to a .75FTE at an increased wage.