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Wikimedia Midwest

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Wikimedia Midwest is being developed by WALRUS

Keep in touch! Former events
Email Wikimedia-US-MW(_AT_)lists.wikimedia.org
IRC #wikimedia-midwestconnect

Wikimedia Midwest is the current working name for a proposal to create a local Wikimedia chapter for Midwestern United States - including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This chapter is not yet in existence. This page serves as a place for discussion and documenting potential interest. Over time it will document the chapter's development.

Following in the pattern of Wikimedia DC, Wikimedia NYC and the New England Wikimedians - a Midwest chapter seems like a logical future action. A previously discussed Great Lakes chapter may exclude some states which would be unlikely to sustain chapters on their own, especially considering fundraising and current economic realities. A chapter encompassing the entire Midwest will help develop the region. The legal location can either be determined by cost, location of lead organizer(s) or preferred nonprofit laws (Minnesota and Indiana are known to have laws favorable to nonprofits). The chapter could divide and rename years down the road if growth justifies. This chapter would likely interact with other US chapters through a Wikimedia United States Chapters Council.

Current status

  • Documenting interest participants, organizers and supporters
  • Outreach to Wikimedia Ohio organizers, since the plan is no longer active
  • Outreach to Meetup organizers
  • Outreach to WikiProject organizers

Interested participants


Wikimedia Midwest is not going to have any membership restrictions based on geographical location. However, it will be difficult for people who live far away to participate in the Chapter. If you are interested in joining, post your name here:

Interested organizers


For the Wikimedia Midwest chapter to become a reality, some Wikimedians will need to lead the effort to develop and obtain recognition for the chapter. If you are interested in undertaking this task, post your name here:



If you support this chapter's development, but are not able or interested in being a participant, or would just like to be kept up-to-date about the process, post your name here:

Development discussion


Share your thoughts on the concept and development of a Wikimedia Midwest Chapter.

Potential for multiple chapters within the Midwest


A couple folks have mentioned in conversations that the geographic size of the US Midwest should or could allow for multiple chapters rather than one. I tend to agree in principle. However, realistically I think the major Midwest cities creating chapters would inevitably come at the cost of less populated and funded areas of the Midwest. Going with states rather than cities presents a similar problem. Chapters for Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota will inevitably leave the other midwest states without enough resources to start a chapter in a similar timespan. Starting with a Midwest chapter, with the potential to split into smaller chapters as resources and interest is generated - strikes me as a more strategic approach that takes into consideration the nuances of the Midwest. I would cite the inability of previous chapter creation efforts in the Midwest as evidence that even populated areas, such as Ohio, would benefit from a larger regional effort to build momentum and support. --Varnent (talk) 19:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That's a great suggestion, but I'd like to add that the general social isolation of communities would make it difficult to start the Midwest chapter. A chapter covering the entire Midwest would be ill-informed of its clients. Rather, it seems more feasible to me to divide the region into its naturally isolated communities (speaking from my perspective, southern Indiana and northwestern Kentucky have designated Evansville as a central hub of life, being the nearest big city in any direction, and this community has a radius extending a good distance into three states). Communities within this radius tend to be fairly well in-touch with Evansville. The federal government has identified metropolitan areas, and these are probably great indicators of how isolation occurs throughout the Midwest. From there, subdivisions could be established as needed (Wikimedia Evansville would probably eventually break down further into WM Evansville, WM Jasper, WM Henderson, and WM Vincennes). Bob the Wikipedian (talk) 18:22, 19 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Given the cost and labor involved in starting a legally recognized and tax-deductible nonprofit - that sounds like an expensive and lengthy process. I'm still not convinced smaller chapters in the Midwest would survive in the current economic climate. Wikimedia is online based - I think it's limiting to say that we will only bond with people in my surrounding zip codes. The federal government recognizes all kinds of jurisdictions - including the Midwest (which they define) - I'm not sure how that's applicable to a viable Wikimedia nonprofit development strategy.. I agree that in a ten-year plan - what you're suggesting makes a lot of sense. However, looking over the next 2-3 years, I have my doubts. --Varnent (talk) 21:10, 20 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
There should be activities going on at multiple levels, both hyperlocal like Evansville and panregional like the Midwest, and also intermediate like the Ohio River Valley. Different aspects of Wikimedia activity will be best expressed at different geographical scales, with meetups tending toward the smaller, and legal entities toward the larger scales.--Pharos (talk) 20:11, 21 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Richard --Guerillero 22:45, 21 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think that's a good approach. Activities on a local level and the legal entities to "house" and fund them are greater on a regional level. --Varnent (talk) 20:44, 26 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Starting a nonprofit and having regular activities are two different things. Indiana has plenty of colleges and universities, and every single one of them could be a hub for a Wikipedia meetup. Towns that have local historical societies might host related editing events. Public libraries would be great places to hold meetings. In fact, almost every organization could do a Wikipedia event as long as they have the interest and resources (available space, internet access). They might not be big events, and there would have to be some thinking done about how best to organize and promote them, but they're at least theoretically possible. The energy they generate, in turn, could build support for (a) larger organization(s), and help clarify the needs those organizations might have. Frenezulo (talk) 15:42, 25 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Apologies to the people who live in states other than Indiana. The above should read, "For instance, Indiana ..." Frenezulo (talk) 15:48, 25 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]