Art+Feminism User Group/Reporting/MidpointReport2019-2020
As we pointed out in our grant proposal, the 2019-2020 grant cycle is one we have dedicated to institution building. Art+Feminism's growth, in terms of both editing output and community-building, has been astronomical since our inception in 2014. Prior to this year's campaign, over 14,000 people at more than 1,100 events around the world had participated in our edit-a-thons, resulting in the creation and improvement of more than 58,000 articles on Wikipedia. In 2019 alone, 4,360 people attended 311 events around the world, creating or improving 28,787 articles on Wikipedia and adding 2,800 uploads to the Commons. We held events in 83 countries and in 23 languages. We are truly global: thanks to our Regional Ambassador Walaa Abdel Manaem we are now editing articles in Arabic and another Regional Ambassador, Jessie Mi, who is based in Taiwan, is also helping organize events in South Korea. Even our leadership team is truly global: Executive Director, Kira Wisniewski (Baltimore, MD, United States); Program Administrator, Nina Yeboah (Atlanta, GA, United States); and Lead Co-Organizers, Mohammed Sadat Abdulai (Accra, Ghana), Amber Berson (Montreal, QC, Canada), Sian Evans (Baltimore, MD, United States), Jacqueline Mabey (New York, New York, United States), and Melissa Tamani (Lima, Peru). For more information about our community, see our 2019-2020 Campaign Kickoff here.
In order to sustain this kind of growth, the Art+Feminism Leadership Collective decided that this year needed to be dedicated to making Art+Feminism a sustainable institution with a global presence. Below you will find an outline of the progress we've made to this goal so far.
Establishing nonprofit operations
- In May 2019, our application to become a not-for-profit entity was approved by the IRS. This year, our focus has been on establishing efficient, sustainable, forward looking operations appropriate to our new status. Below you will find documentation of the steps we've taken so far.
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. Michael Mandiberg stepped down as a Lead Co-Organizer to become President of the Board. Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey will serve one more year as Lead Co-Organizers. The leadership collective has been working to document all institutional knowledge held by the founders.
- One of the mandates of our non-profit status was to build out a Board of Directors. The leadership collective decided to start with a small board of three required members, so as to give the community and new Executive Director space to help grow the organization further. As of writing, our current Board of Directors includes:
- Michael Mandiberg, Acting Board President, Artist; Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center
- Sheetal Prajapati, Acting Secretary, Advisory Committee Chair, Faculty, School of Visual Arts; Principal, Lohar Projects
- Roderick Schrock, Acting Treasurer, Executive Director, Eyebeam
- Changes from Grant Proposal: In our Staffing Plan, we initially proposed that Michael Mandiberg join the Board of Directors as the Treasurer, but at the advice of the other board members, we appointed Michael Acting Board President, as he came in with the most institutional knowledge.
At the request of our Board of Directors, we also established an Advisory Board to help shepherd us through this crucial transitional year of institution-building. This committee of field experts, works with A+F’s board of directors and executive director over a 6-month period to provide guidance and insight through their expertise to support the organization’s initial development and growth over the next 12-18 months. The first meeting was held on February 4, 2020. Currently, our Advisory Board consists of:
- Salome Asega, Artist and Researcher, Technology Fellow at Ford Foundation
- Gonzalo Casals, Director, Leslie-Lohman Museum
- LaJuné McMillian, Media Maker, Creative Technologist, Artist
- Laura Raicovich, Writer and Curator
- Allison Freedman Weisberg, Executive Director & Founder, Recess Art
- Wendy Woon, The Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education, The Museum of Modern Art
Building the leadership collective
- Melissa Tamani, Siân Evans and Jacqueline Mabey all continue to serve on the Leadership Collective as Lead Co-organizers.
- We added Mohammed Sadat Abdulai and Amber Berson as halftime Lead Co-organizers. This is a change from our Staffing Plan, in which we proposed bringing on one additional Lead Co-organizer, but Mohmamed and Amber both brought different and specific skillsets to the team and have become invaluable members.
In this grant cycle, we expanded and codified our Regional Ambassador team to operate more smoothly and efficiently. Our team currently consists of:
- United States
- Stacey Allan, California
- Amanda Meeks, Southwest & Midwest
- Megan O’Hearn, New York
- Jaison Oliver, South
- Gabrielle Reed, New England
- Sophie Reverdy, Mid-Atlantic
- Taryn Tomasello, Northwest & Midwest
- Daniela Brugger, Europe/UK
- Medhavi Gandhi, South Asia
- Gisselle Giron, Latin America
- Walaa Abdel Manaem, Middle East
- Jessie Mi, Asia
- Juliana Monteiro, Portuguese Speaking Countries
- Athina Petsou, Europe/UK
- Sofia Stancioff, Canada
- Dominique Elaine Yao, Francophone Africa + France
- Zita Ursula Zage, Anglophone Africa
- Wiki Regional Ambassador
- Richard Knipel
New Roles: Executive Director and Project Administrator
- We conducted an extensive search for an Executive Director and hired Kira Wisniewski. So far, Kira has used her extensive nonprofit experience to help build out infrastructure to make Art+Feminism sustainable into the future.
- We also hired our 2018-2019 grant cycle's Community Fellow, Nina Yeboah, as a part-time Program Administrator. This position has been invaluable in terms of building out our Regional Organizer roles and supporting local events on the ground, including grant funding and communications.
Contractors: Grant Writer and Webmxter/Data Integration
- Grant writer: We decided to hold off in hiring a grant writer to prioritize other financial needs.
- Webmxter/Data Integration: A CFP to built a new website with data integration features will be sent out in April 2020. As a stopgap measure, a simple, interim version of the website was built in an ADA-accessible format and Airtable was employed to collect data from our participants.
- To support our growing global community, this year we introduced online "Community Hours" on a variety of topics that might be useful for our community of organizers:
- 11/30/2019: Kick-off + Intro to Community Hours
- 1/11/2020: Funding and Dashboard, with A+F staff and guest Sage Ross from Wiki Edu
- 1/25/2020: Promoting Your Event with Regional Organizer, Megan O'Hearn
- 2/24/2020: Reglas básicas de edición en Wikipedia (Basic Wikipedia's editing rules) with Melissa Tamini, A+F Co-lead and Gisselle Giron, Latin America Regional Ambassador
- 2/25/2020: l'édition de Wikipedia with Amber Berson. A+F Co-lead and Dominique Yao, Francophone Africa + France Regional Ambassador (Initial session did not record correctly, Dominique Yao redid the session that is recorded on 3/6/20).
- 2/28/20: Anti-Harassment Working Group Toolkit
- 2/29/20: Intro to Editing with Sophie Reverdy, Mid-Atlantic Regional Ambassador and Zita Ursula Zage, Anglophone Africa Regional Ambassador
Anti Harassment Working Group
- In November 2019, the Art+Feminism leadership collective established an Anti Harassment Working Group to develop policies, procedures and tools to handle and prevent the on- and off-wiki harassment that have been experienced by editors and organizers involved in our campaigns over the years.
- In February 2020, this group released the Art+Feminism Toolkit for Security on Wikipedia and hosted a community hour session to introduce the new material to our community.
- The working group has drafted an internal protocol to handle harassment reports and has established a dedicated email, email@example.com, to receive reports.
- The Trust and Safety team has been informed about the establishment of the working group as well as of its first product.
- As of March 12, 2020 the Wikimedia Foundation issued the following statement to all grant recipients, including Art+Feminism:
A Message from Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation
Summary: All offline (in-person) public events funded by Wikimedia Foundation grants must be cancelled or postponed until further notice. Cancellation fees and other penalties can be covered through grant funds. Not complying with these instructions might affect future grant requests. Please contact your program officers for further guidance. We will not be approving grants for offline events happening before September 15, 2020 until further notice.
More information is available here.
- Art+Feminism had already decided to postpone the flagship MoMA event and sent a message to all our organizers on 3/11 letting them know we would support them in canceling, postponing or moving their events online. After the Wikimedia Foundation's announcement, an additional message was sent to all organizers letting them know that events would need to be cancelled or go online. We also updated our social media channels with the changes as soon as we were able.
- Currently, many events have moved to Virtual Events and you can find a list of those here. We have also been using the #onlineediting Slack Channel to support new editors involved in our campaign.
- We anticipate having overall smaller numbers than past campaigns due to this global pandemic.
- We are pulling back on our data collection methods, i.e., last year we followed up with organizers who were missing dashboards or whose dashboards tracked no edits. We started that process again this year but given COVID developments, we're aiming for less bureaucratic approach to our communications with organizers.
- We are hosting a Community Hour on Organizing Virtual Events on 3/24.
Reflecting on feedback from past campaigns, we changed our microfunding to be a stipend rather than a reimbursement. This change was approved by WMF Grants Administrator on January 10, 2020 via email. The microfunding provides limited stipends ($75-$125 USD) to defray the costs of childcare, refreshments, and/or internet. This has been received very positively from our organizers. One organizer in Ghana wrote, "This year's Art and Feminism has been well promoted. Communication with organizers is superb and micro funds got disbursed quickly. We had all this necessary tools and support to host successful events this year."
Even without COVID-19, at this point we would still be in the middle of our campaign.
- Here is a link to our budget as of March 19, 2020.
- As of March 19, 2020, we have spent $113,388.49 USD/Local currency.
We envision reformatting our budget in the coming months to reflect the budget lines in our record keeping, and will do so in dialogue with our WMF officer, Woubzena Jifar.
Grant Metrics Reporting
- Preliminary Outcomes
Some organizers have moved their events online upon the Wikimedia Foundation directive to cancel all offline events following the COVID-19 outbreak. We do not expect all planned offline events to actually move online as this may be uncharted territory for some organizers, in which case we know that those events will not happen. Additionally, we anticipate that attendance at online events will overall, be lower than attendance at public events. For example, when the MoMA event moved online, a week before the event there were already approximately 50 editors signed up and then only approximately 15 more editors sign up the day of the virtual event.
Despite this setback, we are not far away from our metrics predictions with at least 217 events, 2234 participants, over 66,000 content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects. As collected on our Dashboard campaign, as of 22 March 2020, we have:
- 217 Events on the Dashboard
- 2234 Editors
- 66,070 Articles Edited
- 1120 Articles Created
- 1170 Commons uploads
Similarly, we will calculate the newly registered users, and the percentage of repeat organizers at the time of the final report, so as to avoid duplicating labor.
- Global Distribution
We are currently working on statistics of our presence throughout the various regions around the world where Art+Feminism has taken place. However, given that events are still taking place, we hope to have an accurate balance for our final report.
Final metrics will be tracked in the shared google doc.