Grants:Project/Performing Arts Aotearoa - Wiki Project/Final

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final report

Report under review
This Project Grant report has been submitted by the grantee, and is currently being reviewed by WMF staff. If you would like to add comments, responses, or questions about this grant report, you can create a discussion page at this redlink.

Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The Project[edit]


The Performing Arts Aotearoa Wikiproject created 107 new articles greatly expanding content on Wikipedia which was the main goal, and the targets for Wikidata were greatly exceeded. Initially utilising existing editors the project pivoted part way through to attract new editors once the lack of information was more fully scoped especially in dance. Four edit-a-thons were run and many conversations about Wikipedia were had with potential partners, organisations, and individuals within the industry.

The project had a focus to address bias against women and people of colour within Wikipedia, these goals were all met. The first edit-a-thon was a takeover of an existing Wellington Wikipedia meetup and 'wikified' the Kia Mau Festival, a festival in Wellington of Māori, Pasifika and indigenous performing arts, including comedy, music, dance and theatre. The second edit-a-thon was in Dunedin, a smaller city in the South Island of New Zealand that often gets overlooked in national media, and celebrated existing theatre companies and the legacy of the University of Otago theatre Allen Hall. There was a good turn out of new editors some who now meet regularly to expand Wikipedia. Auckland Women in performing arts was the focus of the next edit-a-thon held at the Auckland Theatre Company studio's. It had the smallest turn out (in the biggest city) but created several new articles including one on a costume designer which doubled New Zealand costumes designers in Wikipedia. The final edit-a-thon was to be at the Nola Millar Library hosted by Toi Whakaari:The New Zealand Drama School and the New Zealand School of Dance, but Covid restrictions moved it on-line. This proved to be a really great thing for the project, and a successful on-line edit-a-thon was run attracting participants from throughout New Zealand as well as Australia and the US. At this event an editor based in the South Island was able to share recent image uploads from a New Zealand Opera residency and get subjects identified straight away that could then be used to illustrate new articles. It was a lovely example of the power of connection an edit-a-thon creates. The attention online edit-a-than caused created a Women-in-Red collaboration between the UK, Australia and New Zealand to run a 24 hour global edit-a-thon on women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day.

There were curated lists of suggested content available right from the start of the project which included lots of women and people of colour, and many existing editors used these as a trigger for their work. It was thought in the project proposal to focus content to directors, arts managers and designers but this dissipated quickly to enable editors to choose subjects more freely, and more easily researched. Directors, arts managers and designers with references available were included in the curated lists.

Overall the conversations face-to-face, online and in social media raised the profile of Wikipedia within the industry, and people are very supportive of the project. A lot of energy went into educating people about copyright of images, and a few new uploads to Wikimedia Commons occurred. More work is required in this area if more images are to be made available for Wikipedia. There were new editors creating content, although not really in the dance area - this is a work in progress. Opportunities for more advocacy, workshops and training have come out of the project including a residency programme with Pacific Arts at the national arts funding body Creative New Zealand.

Project Goals[edit]

* establish a project with identified priorities and areas This was the beginning of the project and was complied from examples of other Wikipedia projects. The goal was to have a central place for people to get information so they could start editing, not to be too content heavy, and be easy to understand for existing editors with varying levels of experience as well as new people who were considering trying editing Wikipedia. The early version is this: The current version is this: Early in the project a spreadsheet was linked for results to be recorded. This was discarded at a certain point as encouraging uptake by editors and checking was labour intensive and had room for error. Achievements ended up being recorded in the project page.

* improve editing knowledge in this subject area with existing editors This certainly occurred with the small group that participated. Comments were made about how hard it was to edit when there were so many gaps to link to, or to look at for precedent. Knowledge about where to get references from was greatly expanded for existing editors and there are now a great many more articles for people to link to and look at. There is also an ongoing project with suggested subjects to edit some with references already sourced. There was a good collegial atmosphere amongst existing editors that enabled conversation and questions, so the learning didn't all come just from me as project coordinators.

* gather and collate available resources including data within organisations and institutions A google word doc for each edit-a-thon became the place for specific references and the edit-a-thon pages and project page also listed commonly used references such as the Theatre Aotearoa data base. Some data was extracted from institutions in usable form but not as much as was anticipated. I think this was partly that information is not well collated and partly not asking the right question without knowing what information they hold. More collaboration with the Performing Arts Wikidata project might help this in the future.

* educate about commons license within the sector As part of this goal myself as project coordinator had meetings and correspondence with the following organisations, Creative New Zealand, Circa Theatre, Auckland Festival, Auckland Theatre company, Te Pou Theatre, Prospect Park Productions, Kia Mau Festival, New Zealand School of Dance, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Tawata Productions. Usually this was part of a general conversation about Wikipedia. Commons license education also formed part of every Wikipedia Edit-a-thon and individual conversation with potential Wikipedia editors and the sector. This was face to face, video call and occasionally in social media on Facebook comments, Twitter and direct messaging. The efforts are considered seeding for the future as mostly the starting point of understanding is very low, and the effort required for people to actually upload images seems an enormous barrier. In many cases the ownership photographs is difficult to track with photographers unknown or photographer contact details unknown. When copyright is already understood then a tactic of reminding people to upload an image or two could perhaps have worked, in the future I will try to get an agreement for people to upload two images for example, and then set reminders to check and remind them. It is very time consuming. Broader education in channels that receive more viewers is required for the sector, and can build upon the efforts made during this project. People in general do want images of their companies and themselves to be in Wikipedia, but usually just want to send me an image to upload, which I was avoiding as chasing people for the legal email to Commons is time consuming from experience.

* generate content across Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia through galvanising and activiating the existing editing community A small number of existing editors that were personally known to me did most of the generating content by existing editors over the project. The Facebook groups was used to spread the message as well as the New Zealand project page. I feel most editors who edit New Zealand subjects have their own areas they stick to. Editors from other countries who edit performing arts did not much join in that I noticed.

Having a specific content focus for editors helped, for example graduates of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School became a good Wikidata project and was helped with information from the institution.

The lack of content especially in dance changed this goal to try and get new editors.

* improve existing Wikipedia articles and Wikidata items Many Wikipedia articles and Wikidata items were improved over the project. The weaving of Wikidata and Wikipedia was particularity successful, and in the months after the project end there are new links being made across articles and items improved and newly created. Suggesting ways to improve exisitng artciles was useful, and finding draft that had been rejected or articles with problems was a challenge taken up by some editors.

Project Impact[edit]

Important: The Wikimedia Foundation is no longer collecting Global Metrics for Project Grants. We are currently updating our pages to remove legacy references, but please ignore any that you encounter until we finish.


  1. In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
  2. In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
  3. In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
100 new Wikidata entries of people that are part of performing arts in Aotearoa [at least 50% of new people are women, 30% are Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour] Instance of - Human, new or expanded with statement P5008 Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand: total 1634. Female 875 (54%). Ethnic group Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Fijian, Tokelauan 61 (4%). Sample includes expanded and new articles. Ethnic group not always added. Personal statement reference was recommended in our guidelines.
100 new Wikidata entries of organisations that are part of performing arts in Aotearoa [at least 30% are principally Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour focused] Instance of - Organization, new or expanded with statement P5008 Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand: total 68. No ethnic orientation in data.
50 new Wikidata entries of awards and events etc that are part of performing arts in Aotearoa [spread across the spectrum of classical, established and avant-guard, grass roots forms] Instance of - Organization, new or expanded with statement P5008 Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand: total 70. 'Form' or genre data not available.
50 new Wikidata entries of venues which hold performing arts [representing a spread related to population] Instance of - Building, venue or facility, new or expanded with statement P5008 Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand: total 6 The focus for participants became people and things that connected to them.
Improvements made to 100 existing Wikidata entries related to performing arts in Aotearoa Many more with a total of 1886 edits to items listed in the p5008 Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand Two editors working in Wikidata have made most of the edits.
Wikimedia Commons: 100 new images of venues which hold performing arts Approx 50 new images of venues added, mostly by two editors. Many captured by project coordinators whilst running the edit-a-thons. Tracking on dashboard against category not functioning hence approximation.
Wikimedia Commons: 25 new images of people involved in performing arts in Aotearoa [at least 50% of new people are women, 30% are Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour] Not well tracked in this project. However a co-running Wikimedia in Residence at NZ Opera created uploads at the Wellington edit-a-thon and the subjects were able to be identified by people attending. The summary of the Wikimedian of this effort is: In August 2021, for example, Category:New Zealand Opera photos were seen by 109,107 people (including 27,390 for photos in the article The Turn of the Screw and 18,723 in The Magic Flute). A total of 76 pages used NZ Opera photos, including Wikipedia articles in English, Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, and French. More education about copyright and Wikipedia needed
Wikimedia Commons: 25 new images of performing arts occasions or organisations [at least 30% are principally Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour focused] Not easily trackable. Not a good uptake by people or organisations in commons. More education about copyright and Wikipedia needed
Wikimedia Commons: 25 newly uploaded already licensed available images related to performing arts Not easily trackable. More education about copyright and Wikipedia needed
Wikipedia: 20 new articles of performing arts people from arts management, design and/or directing [at least 50% of new people are women, 30% are Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour] 73 new articles listed on the project page. 77% are women. 33% BIPOC. 31 new articles of directors or choreographers. 5 of designers. 13 are arts managers. (not exclusive categories eg: [Cat Ruka] is an arts manager and choreographer / director) Curated lists supported peoples choice of new articles. The project was framed to increase articles of women and BIPOC, but not focused on arts managers, designers or directors, as it was felt it is better to let people edit and create what they were motivated to. The general aim was to create more content.
Wikipedia: 20 new articles about performing arts organisations, productions or occasions in Aotearoa [at least 30% are principally Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour focused, 10% in the disabilities area] 36 new articles listed on the project page. 36% Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour focused. 3% in the disabilities area. Only achieved the PIBOC focus because of the number of productions created. Room for improvement especially in the disabilities area (one article about national annual awards [Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards])
Wikipedia: Improvements to 100 articles related to performing arts in Aotearoa 20 articles are listed as being improved on the project. Four events tracked with the dashboard show edits / improvements of more than 1 words added: The Kia Mau Festival takeover - 16 articles. Dunedin edit-a-thon - 15 articles. Auckland - 29 articles. Wellington - 76 articles. These total 141 articles. A more time-consuming view at performing arts related articles in Aotearoa would likely show many more edits.
Wikipedia: Improving reference and/or links to performing arts design, designers, directing and/or arts managers on 25 articles [Scenic design], [Costume design] and [Costume designer] have had quality New Zealand images added. Creating and expanding award, organisation, production and festival articles has created links or potential links to arts managers, designers, directors and choreographers. EG: [Annual Auckland Theatre Awards], [Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards], [Wellington Theatre Awards], [Dunedin Theatre Awards], [Arts Pasifika Awards], [Tempo Dance Festival], [Auckland Arts Festival], [Wednesday to Come], [Nga Tangata Toa]. Tracking the activity hasn't occurred in a systematic way. The volume of improvements and new articles has strengthened the network of references and links, and also the possibility of links. There were previously two New Zealand theatre designers with articles. There are now six.
Participation: 15 people attending in-person at each of the three editathons including 4 new editors (12 new editors in total) Three scheduled edit-a-thons: Dunedin, total editors: 10 in person and one online, new editors: 6. Auckland, total editors: 4 in person and two online, new editors: 2. Wellington (online only) total editors: 16, new editors: 2. Auckland perhaps needed more advanced promotions to get editors. More outreach to connect to performing arts schools with potential students and graduates, and supporters of the arts. The project overall raised the profile, I expect similar events would attract more people. Wellington was successful because being online experienced editors were able to join and enjoy the collegiality as well as edit. Dunedin had a good turnout. The targets were ambitious for Aotearoa, the trend is small numbers for edit-a-thons.
Participation: 30 existing editors working on the project over four months from within and without of New Zealand There were about 18 existing editors with most of the edits coming from a smaller group. I thought there would be more interest from other performing arts editing communities to participate. How to motivate and attract the interest is an area of further exploration.


This project started with a burning desire for the complex and rich history and contemporary practices of performing arts of Aotearoa to be more accessible to people within New Zealand and beyond. As a reasonably recent editor of Wikipedia it felt like I was singlehandedly doing this, but wanted to expand the content faster than one person can. The efforts I had been making were extremely well received within the performing arts community, of which I am part of. There are many, many notable people and organisations missing, and when I mentioned some of the articles I had started people in the industry are very surprised they didn't exist before hand. Examples are Michael Parmenter (a leading choreographer), and Pacific Underground (the longest running Pacific contemporary performing arts organisation in New Zealand). I had an influential theatre and film person personally ask for advice to upload images into Wikipedia, which is a really great outcome. They are now able to pass on that advice to others, and I am happy to keep being a conduit.

I am most proud of the number of articles that were created in Wikipedia by a relatively small amount of people. I consider Wikipedia is a good platform for creating accessible information about performing arts. It is really easy to find information and is searchable, it is relatively quick to write because of the neutral encyclopedic voice and especially I like the iterative nature of the editing process means it can be undertaken in small ways but makes a tangible difference. Each contribution is building out a fuller picture. So getting funding for the project was a great endorsement in the value of performing arts and the value of Wikipedia. It was and is very heartening when links and mentions pop up on my watchlist that connects to a subject on a list I curated. The weaving across subjects is important and so easy in the networked performing arts world, and previously the ability to link was vey lacking. Before there was nothing to link to, this has changed in some areas and is much easier to demonstrate now. I am also very proud of the enormous amount of Wikidata content generated and know this will have a lasting effect.

I think an impact that matters is awareness of generating and preserving information about the history of performing arts. I am very grateful for people in the industry who have fought for the presence of performing arts information, such as Lisa Warrington and the Theatre Aotearoa Database (currently hosted by the University of Otago), and John Smythe and Theatreview. Without these resources, and authors of books, there would be even less ability to create Wikipedia articles. An awareness of Wikipedia has been raised, and ways for the performing arts sector to engage with it. I have been invited to present or run workshops at national events, and I know if I proposed events people would be happy to host and help. This is more now than before the project.

An unexpected outcome was the deepening of relationships within the New Zealand and Australian Wikipedia community, and how the projects created cohesion that can be built upon. This was evidenced in meetings with Jacqueline Chen from the Wikimedia Foundation, a Women in Red global edit-a-thon that I helped organise and the emerging user group of New Zealand.

By the end of the four month project it felt like it was gaining momentum, with potential pathways emerging. One question I remember addressing in the application was about the legacy or ongoing nature of the project. It feels like is has a legacy, and is ongoing. This is with existing editors but mostly the precedent and success of articles created means it is easier to demonstrate to organisations and institutions the effects.


No surveys were used.


Is there another way you would prefer to communicate the actual results of your project, as you understand them? You can do that here!

Methods and activities[edit]

Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.

  • Raised awareness of the project by:
-talking about it with Wikipedia editors, friends and people from performing arts, socially and through scheduled meetings
-mentioning it on social media posts and comments
-celebrating achievements such as new articles, DYK and edit-a-thons through channels of communication
  • Ran three official edit-a-thons, in three cities
  • Ran a 'takeover' edit-a-thon of a regular Meetup group
  • Followed up training and support with new editors
  • Followed up communications with people involved
  • Regularly reminded people who had expressed an interest to take up the offer for training and an introduction
  • Regularly updated the project page and my website
  • Curated the edit-a-thon focus areas to reflect the project goals to increase diversity of editors and content on Wikipedia platforms

Project resources[edit]

Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Even if you have linked to them elsewhere in this report, this section serves as a centralized archive for everything you created during your project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.

Project page showing outcomes, suggested things to do, and resources. This has been moved and is now linked as an ongoing project to be part of the New Zealand project page.

Wikimedia Commons - images from mostly edit-a-thons and some graphics

Communications with project participants through Wikipedia. Updates posted on individuals talk pages are also recorded on the project page talk page.

Facebook events:

Project guides: This is current and is updated from time to time. It has suggested content and links to references.

A document was also created for other edit-a-thon's:

Website with SEO for googlable searches:


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well[edit]

What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

What didn’t work[edit]

What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • I thought more existing editors would contribute even in small ways to the project. I don't know if this is because they didn't get the messages and invitations or if they simply don't do 'helping' type things for and with other editors. I suspect it is the latter, and people conserve their Wikipedia energy for their own areas of interest.
  • I tried really hard to get people from the dance community to be or find some new editors. The enthusiasm for the concept is very high in the community, but translating this into actually editing has proved very difficult. I was spread over many areas obviously with the broad scope of my project and suspect a more focused project would be of value.
  • People who have the specialist subject knowledge and who also write and research (for example as reviewers or academics) anecdotally don't contribute to Wikipedia as it is already their underpaid job.
  • Partnerships with edit-a-thon locations didn't work to generate much publicity, numbers or participants. A lot more work is required to create partners that will invest staff time in performing arts on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia work in the GLAM sector in New Zealand is building and creating more awareness, as did this project, so if this continues then awareness will raise and this area will become easier. This is also the learning curve of me as coordinator figuring out what angles work, and what things to ask for.
  • The reporting was blocked to me initially which I thought was an administration choice - once I reached out I learnt this was just an error. This put the mid-way reporting behind schedule which flowed onto the final reporting (along with a health thing). The interface in Meta-Wiki is awkward - an easier way to make make links and add images would be good.

Other recommendations[edit]

If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

  • More project support in publicity and promotions would have aided this project. This wasn't initially realised as the initial goal was to use existing editors, not attract new ones. But even with this goal raising awareness within organisations and the performing arts community would have been a good outcome that could have been expanded with more promotion.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

There are opportunities for future growth of this project.

  • Getting more images available is ongoing advocacy that I have been following up with an offer of online training. This could be a funded project, perhaps with more participants spreading the messages, and targeting messages to people who want themselves or their organisation to be better represented with images, rather than potential Wikipedia editors. One idea was a travelling photo-booth set up at events with a Wikipedia photographer.

  • New editors in Otepoti / Dunedin suggested an annual editing event to increase content as they enjoyed the 'feel good' experience and the focus on them as a community the event brought. I agree this would be of value to increase content, attract new editors to Wikipedia, and to improve knowledge about Wikipedia within New Zealand. Since they suggested it, the effort to promote and organise it could be shared in the community.

  • Creative New Zealand, the government arts funding body has reached out to create a partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation. They have funded a Pacific Arts focused Wikipedian in Residence programme as a pilot running from December 2021 - March 2022.

  • Outreach information to parts of the sector about Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata is being followed up with, to examples are the national ETNZ (Entertainment Technology New Zealand) newsletter the Playmarket newsletter and an article published in their Annual.

  • Updates to the project participants on their talk pages to encourage more editing around subject areas (infrequently so it doesn't become overwhelming).

  • Future grants to run more Edit-a-thons and include Christchurch (a major city in Aotearoa).

  • Organising and participating in women focused edit-a-thons and creating performing arts related subjects for creation and improvement.

  • Following up with the invitation to run a workshop session at the next national Māori Theatre Hūi (meeting) to encourage Māori editors to learn and join the Wikipedia community.

  • Following up with the invitation to run a workshop session at an Asian New Zealander Music summit or event to address the lack of coverage of Asian New Zealander arts and music in Wikipedia.

  • Attracting funding to create more legitimate references for under-represented subjects that can be used in Wikipedia. For example an organisation 'Black Creatives Aotearoa' are notable in their work but have not attracted much media, reviews, academics or journalists to write about their work.

  • Creating a project with national organisation Arts Access Aotearoa.

Part 2: The Grant[edit]


Actual spending[edit]

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Promotion $70 $324.5 to attract media and new editors a publicist was employed and an advertisement was paid for
Travel $510.00 $511.74
Accommodation & expenses $620.00 $715 Auckland was more expensive that costed.
Edit-a-thon event expenses $1,275.00 $477.66 Food costs were less for the 1st edit-a-thon and the last one was on-line, which was enabled with a Zoom subscription. There were no venue costs.
Project manager $8,000.00 $8,000.00
Total $10,405.00 $10,029.00 $446.00

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?


  • The unspent funds were allocated to edit-a-thon expences. The main reason is that the venues did not attract any expenditure, as well as food costs being less, as numbers were less than budgeted and the final edit-a-thon was online due to Covid restrictions.

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:

  • Complete


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_), according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • Yes

Confirmation of project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

  • Yes

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the Project Grant experience? Please share it here!

I really enjoyed meeting different people and organisations and talking about the project. So often this was a beautiful conversation about the history of their area of arts. This didn't always lead onto writing in Wikipedia, but I felt added to the general conversation about capturing and sharing information about performing arts, and was also an education about Wikipedia for people. I would get a helper in the future to be collegial in the administration and reporting, this includes more support in promotions and communications.