Jump to content

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

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Project Grants This project is funded by a Project Grant


midpoint report

Report accepted
This midpoint report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2020-21 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Performing Arts Aotearoa - Wiki Project.
  • You may still review or add to the discussion about this report on its talk page.
  • You are welcome to email projectgrants(_AT_)wikimedia.org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the first half of the grant period.


The words Performing Arts Aotearoa, the NZ user group logos and images of performing artists
Performing Arts Aotearoa logo created by coordinator Lisa Maule

This is a project to increase content and improve the quality of performing arts information from Aotearoa New Zealand on Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons and is a four month project from 17 May - 10 September 2021. The Wikiproject has goals to ensure good representation of women, Māori and people of colour artists, producers, productions and organisations to address existing bias in Wikipedia.

At this midpoint since the beginning of the project as coordinator I have setup the project, communicated with editors and the performing arts industry in Aotearoa, created lists and resources for editors and run two successful edit-a-thons.

  • The focus of content has opened up beyond director, arts managers and designers, the metrics for women and people of colour is the same.
  • More effort is being put into recruiting new editors than initially proposed.

Methods and activities[edit]

Screenshot of a Wikipedia project page
Performing Arts Aotearoa Wikiproject page at midpoint

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.

  • set up the project page (consulted on the location for this in user space for ease of editing) - User:Pakoire/Performing Arts Aotearoa - Wiki Project
  • developed resources and ways of tracking and communicating about the project
  • run a short edit-a-thon and progressed the organisation of the three main edit-a-thons in Auckland, Dunedin and wellington with partners and sponsored venues
  • met with and corresponded with the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts about their performing arts Wikidata project
  • met with Creative New Zealand the government funding body of the arts, Circa Theatre, and partners of the edit-a-thons
  • travelled to Dunedin and run an edit-a-thon there
  • consulted a little bit about Māori data in relation to Wikidata (considering who to approach and what the questions are)
  • promoted the project and the principles of Wikipedia within the New Zealand Wikipedia editing community and the New Zealand performing arts community
  • learnt how to induct brand new people to Wikipedia and helped approx 10 people create accounts
  • received permissions to create accounts for people at Edit-a-thons

There is more work to do to create opportunities to upload images to Wikimedia Commons under appropriate licences, as predicted this involves a lot of education with individuals and organisations as well as motivating people to follow through.

It was really great to run a small short time-frame edit-a-thon as a 'Meet-up takeover'. This meant I became aware of challenges for people not subject experts and considered how I framed tasks to them.

The upcoming scheduled edit-a-thons are:

  • Auckland on Saturday 14 August 10.30am - 4pm at the Auckland Theatre Company studio. The focus is influential Auckland women in performing arts.
  • Wellington on Saturday 21 Augusts 10.30am - 4pm at the Nola Millar Library, Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre. The focus is staff and graduates of Toi Whakaari and the New Zealand School of Dance.

Midpoint outcomes[edit]


  • At this midpoint of the four month project there have been 31 new Wikipedia articles created that includes 14 biographies of women, six biographies of people of colour and 12 articles about organisations, productions and awards.

Some examples are: Nisha Madhan, Honor McKellar, Tanya Muagututi'a, That Bloody Woman, New Zealand School of Dance and Carla Van Zon who featured in a Wikpedia main page 'Did You Know' on 26 June 2021.


The Wikidata entries have far exceeded the project goals of 300 new or expanded entries with approximately 750 items created or added to. The item Performing Arts Aotearoa New Zealand was created and when editors know and remember they add it under P5008. [[1]] This is the way we are tracking entries as well as the tracked edit-a-thons which show on these days which items are expanded and created by enlisted editors. It is intended to measure this near the end for the demographic targets and then encourage more editing if it falls short on the measures (at least 50% of new people are women, 30% are Māori, Pacific Islander or people of colour).

Wikify the Kia Mau Festival[edit]

A mini edit-a-thon on Saturday 5 June. This was a 'take-over' of a regular editor meetup, the concept was to make a difference early in the project with content. To give participants a project to work on I structured it around a festival of Māori and Indigenous theatre and art that was on in Wellington.


Results over 12 hours tracked with a dashboard:

Articles Created 25 Articles Edited 89 Total Edits 575 Article Views 234
Editors 7 Words Added 57.1K References Added 239 Commons Uploads 8


  • Articles include Wikidata
  • It was acknowledged by the participants that improvements were time consuming as base information (such as venues or production companies) is also missing

Some things I thought would be easy were not and it was a good lesson for me in the difference that subject expertise makes (as none of the other editors had subject expertise). The lesson is that it takes longer to research and write when it is all coming from sources rather than an existing sense of the potential of the article due to industry knowledge. The collective lesson is also that with sparse content in existence it also takes longer and is harder. It was sad and amusing at the workshop for a few women editors to support a middle aged white man in grappling with getting a delete notice of an article he had created a few days prior in my project on a biography of a notable women.

Ōtepoti Dunedin Edit-a-thon[edit]

The red door of Allen Hall
after lunch participants at the Hocken Collections seminar room

An edit-a-thon took place in Ōtepoti Dunedin on Saturday 10 July at the Hocken Collections Library from 10.30am – 4pm, Wikipedia:Meetup/Dunedin 4. This was the first of three edit-a-thons that are part of the Performing Arts Aotearoa Wikiproject funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.
The coordinator Pakoire and co-host DrThneed were joined in person by seven others, which included six new editors from the performing arts community, and two people working remotely in Wellington and Christchurch.

There were two content focus areas for the workshop:

  • To improve content around the legacy of Allen Hall which is the theatre venue of the Otago University theatre department and has been operating for decades
  • To celebrate the current performing arts companies in the city by increasing content on people and organisations in Wikipedia

In addition the Theatre Aotearoa Database was put forward as a resource useful for expanding theatre articles.

Comments from new editors after they had learnt the basics and started editing related to how accessible they found doing it. There was motivation amongst many in the group to continue to meet as a way of progressing the articles they are interested in. Conflict of interest is an area of consideration for editing in performing arts, since most subject experts are also practicing arts and producers. This edit-a-thon / meetup format was useful and people worked on unrelated articles but in tandem with others who knew where to get information.

Both the Otago Theatre Department and the Hocken Collections Library were keen to host this event but the timing meant the Hocken was a better option. It was a very suitable venue and the event was very warmly supported by staff with special thanks to Lynn Benson. The university subject librarian for Art and Humanities Alexander Ritchie has also expressed a desire to support Wikipedia events in the future.

Results over 12 hours tracked with a dashboard:

Articles Created 19 Articles Edited 53 Total Edits 474 Article Views 11.2
Editors 11 Words Added 48.1K References Added 245 Commons Uploads 4

Notes: 4 new Wikipedia articles on the day and 15 new Wikidata items

The red door of Allen Hall is being used as a hook for a Did You Know feature on the Wikipedia homepage which links two new articles created for this event, Allen Hall and Lisa Warrington.

Community engagement[edit]

  • Existing wiki editors of Aotearoa New Zealand have received messages through the Facebook group 'Wikipedia New Zealand', to their talk pages if they joined the project or an edit-a-thon and through updates at regular Meetups.
  • July Wikipedia GLAM newsletter update (some of which I have used also for this report). GLAM/Newsletter/July 2021/Contents/New Zealand report
  • The performing arts community have received messages through my social media profile on Facebook [2] and Instagram lisamaule.info [3]
  • The performing arts and GLAM community have received messages through my twitter account @LisaMaule_Info [4]
  • I have worked to make the project searchable on google for my website www.lisamaule.info [5]


The project finance page is updated.

The funds have been spent according to the the plan so far.

Changes to budget for second half of the project:

The second half of the project anticipates a major change to the promotions budget due to a pivot to get more new editors. This budget line is currently $70.

Hiring a car looks necessary for the Auckland trip and the length of stay is longer to allow for industry meetings. This might not be much of an overall variation.

Edit-a-thon event expenses:
The food costs will likely be less as the venues all have a shared kitchen space so catering can be done with deli food from the supermarket. The venues are all at no charge so this is a change. It is proposed that some of this allocation ($600) gets moved to the promotions budget line.


What are the challenges[edit]

  • Lack of knowledge about copyright by others to get images available
  • The dearth of existing articles about dance in Aotearoa in particular has made me pivot to promotion and training to get more subject editors in an ongoing capacity
  • The lack of published citable information about arts managers and designers alongside working with non-subject editors has made this target difficult. Going forward I will continue providing a breadth of types of articles for editors to choose to expand or create with a high focus on the targets of women and people of colour as well including some arts managers and designers.
  • I have allocated more time in Auckland to follow up with people from performing arts to talk about the principles in the project
  • An obstacle has been how long it has taken some people to get back to me which is unsurprising when their work is production so a future challenge is to articulate my goals and the benefits and create timeframes for follow up

What is working well[edit]

I will develop thinking into learning patterns for the final report.

What have you found works best so far? 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.

  • Your learning pattern link goes here

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

  • Following up with interested parties
  • The two upcoming edit-a-thons
  • Expanding the resources and lists

Grantee reflection[edit]

I have particularly enjoyed the support from individuals from the performing arts industry for this project, it is heart warming.
I am surprised how difficult it is for people to understand copyright, and the lack of knowledge makes communicating about the requirements for Wikipedia a barrier.