Organizer  Workflow + Timeline

February 2, 2017

Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative InquiryBelow is our organizing workflow with a four month timeline. Four months is just a suggestion; you certainly can organize an event with less advance notice. As well, not every item in the workflow will be relevant for your particular event. Disregard and supplement to meet the needs of your community! 


Organizer communications
Create an email and document sharing account (e.g. Gmail or Piratepad) to keep all incoming and outgoing communications, text, and organizer contact information in one place. This is especially important if there is more than one person organizing.

Reach out to a Wikipedia ambassador
There might be someone in your area that has previously organized an Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon. Click here to the Ambassador’s page and reach out to an editor in your area!

New to Wikipedia? Pop over to our website to view our training videos. They will lead you through on Wiki best practices and the basics of editing. The majority of your attendees will be new to editing, so it is unlikely that you will get passed entering citations on the day of your event. You will find that most of the technical questions you get are around the interface (e.g. “How do I get back to my sandbox?”).


Confirm a site and date
We encourage you to partner up with a University/College, local library, or non-profit cultural space because:
● More hands on deck to help the effort
● Many of these spaces already have the resources you need, like computers and Internet access
● They already have a public they are in dialogue with – all potential participants – and established communication channels (newsletters, social media, etc.)
We strongly encourage you not to pay for space rental

We encourage you to try to become a part of a space’s public program; more likely than not, they will have some kind of budget for public programs, which will defray the costs of organizing. Some things to consider before approaching potential partners:
● Is the space wheelchair accessible?
● Is the space in a central location?
● What is the space’s mandate? Does it relate to education, technology, gender, art, online culture, etc?
● Has the space held similar events in the past?
● What is their current programming? Is there a way to work the edit-a-thon into this program?

Once you have confirmed a location, date and time, please add it to our website via the permalink below:

Additional Programs
In addition to training, some organizers schedule panel talks, thematic discussion break out groups, art performances, and more during their edit-a-thon. We suggest you encourage dialogue wherever possible during your event, on scale that makes sense in your venue, even if it is just informal conversation at the end of an event. Some potential topics of discussion could include: digital labor; inequality in the art world; identifying as female online; representation of women’s work in history; information activism; and more. Think about what has been happening in your specific context (geographic and institutional). Is there a particular issue/topic that would be beneficial to try to unpack in the context of an edit-a-thon?

For example, at MoMA in 2016, we begun the edit-a-thon with an expansive conversation on contemporary feminisms and digital culture with writer Orit Gat, artist and activist Reina Gossett, and New York Times technology columnist Jenna Wortham, moderated by Fiona Romeo, MoMA’s Director of Digital Content and Strategy. In the afternoon, breakout groups engaged in focused conversations about related issues, including intellectual property, notability, and LGBTQ visibility on Wikipedia. Participants really appreciated the opportunity to deep dive into some of the issues surrounding the Art+Feminism project.


Build interest and gain attendees
Send details of your event out to your personal and professional networks, for example, via professional list servs, email, boards, etc. and encourage them to forward it on. A Facebook event (see Appendix 1) is very useful for creating excitement and answering questions in advance of the event.

Here are links to sample event pages:
MAWA Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art

Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry

In your messaging, make sure everyone knows the hashtags for the event, and encourage your participants to use them in advance and during the event. #ArtAndFeminism is the general tag and #NowEditingAF can be used to share what you’re working on, e.g. “Working on the entry for Lorraine O’Grady #NowEditingAF”. After your event, you can use the hashtags to make a to share with your participants. This is obviously not required, but it’s a great way to remember the day!


Reach out to local media by email or via social media. Twitter is great for this – just tweet at the person you are trying to get the attention of! Getting your event written about by a local news source is a great way to get attendees. Collect email addresses of local press outlets and send them a press release (scroll down for sample press release) when you have all the details of your event set (remember to use the bcc field, not the to field when you send the email.)

If there are outlets/writers you think are particularly relevant, reach out to them directly by email. Keep your pitch short. For example:

Dear X,

I hope this email finds you well!

My name is X and I am organizing an Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon at [where] on [when]. Art+Feminism is an international campaign to improve content on women and the arts on Wikipedia, and to encourage women to participate on the online encyclopedia. A response to the well-known gender gap on Wikipedia, events have taken place at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; Yale University, New Haven; McGill University, Montreal; Archives Nationales, Paris; and many more.

I’d really like the writing you’ve done about [give specific example] and I think this project is a good fit for your publication. I’d be delighted to talk more about it at your convenience.

Thanks for your time and all best wishes,
[name and contact info]

Also, submit your event to your local weekly event calendars – something like Time Out, Artcards, Platform for Pedagogy, your school calendar, etc.

Some important tips for talking to the media:
● Have your talking points ready and stick to them. (We learned the dangers of ad-libbing the hard way!)
● Be consistent with your texts and images. This makes it easier on you and creates a horizon of expectation for your participants.
● Have a few promotional images ready in advance (scroll down for examples). A good place to look is on Wikimedia Commons, in the ArtAndFeminism category.
● Be cogent and compelling. What is your event, why does it matter, who is it for, when and where does it happen. Have ten second sound bites at the ready!
● Turn their questions into opportunities to give the answer you want to give. If you think something they’ve asked doesn’t make sense, take one element of it and use it as an opportunity to give one of your talking points.
● You can always say no: If the outlet seems unfriendly or aggressive, don’t engage. Or if you don’t have the bandwidth to do the interview, turn it down. Self-care is a feminist strategy!  

If you have the time, we encourage you to click here to review a video about media training created by Occupy Eugene. Not everything will apply, but it’s a solid overview of what the media is looking for and how to engage with them. 

Account creation 

Wikipedia has a limit on the number of accounts that can be created in a day at one IP address. Encourage attendees of your event to create a Wikipedia account prior to coming. Of course, not everyone will, so ask your local ambassador to help you get Account Creator permissions prior to your event.

To create an account for a participant, go to the home page of you language Wikipedia and enter “Special:CreateAccount” in the Wikipedia search bar. An account creation form will appear. Have your participant enter their username, password, and email. In the reason field, enter “Art+Feminism editathon” or something similar, which is the reason you are using your special permission. Check the two boxes and click create account.

Event Planning/Space Use
In the lead up the event, do a walk through of the space where the event will be held and work out the best uses of the space. Some tips below.
● The first sight line is important. What do people see when they walk in? Will it make them feel welcome? Will they know they are in the right place? If not, think about how to address this; perhaps you need to make more signage or have someone near the entry to the building to guide them to the right place.
● If you can swing it, create clearly defined spaces, e.g. spaces for eating, child care, for quiet study, for training, and for collective editing. People learn in different ways; think about how you can support that!
● Signage and informed volunteers are key – it should be clear to everyone one what the wifi info is, where the bathrooms are, what the plan for the day is, etc. Think about where it makes to most sense to post this information and station your volunteers to help.
● Basically, you want to use the space you have in a thoughtful way, that is accessible, makes people feel welcome, and is conducive to collective learning.

What to edit?
An edit-a-thon will be salient to your community if the content edited/added is about your community. We encourage you to look at your institutional holdings and see what’s missing or could be improved on Wikipedia. If you’re at a school, is there a way you could integrate current curricula? If you are at an art space, could you use the current exhibitions as a point of departure? Some folks will come with what they want to edit in mind, but many won’t so it helps to have some suggestions and research materials at the ready.  

Add your event to the Programs & Campaigns Dashboard

1. Start at

If you get lost, you have to click “Find Programs” scroll down and click on “Art+Feminism 2017” then click on Home at the top navigation bar.

2 Click “Create Program” Button, then click “Create a New Program” button on the dialog box

3 Fill out the Create a New Program form.

The Event and Institution names will show up in your URL like so:


Please Note: You can’t use special characters like the “+” in Art+Feminism, so put “AF” or “ArtAndFeminism.” For simplicity’s sake we would like to encourage everyone to use the following structure: “Place Venue ArtAndFeminism 2017.” So, for MoMA it will be “NYC MoMA ArtAndFeminism 2017.” The Venue is optional, especially for cities with only one event, eg: “Portland ArtAndFeminism 2017.”

Use the shortest abbreviation for your institution: less characters will mean less typos when your participants type it in.

If most of your participants will be editing the English Wikipedia, leave the next two boxes alone. If you are editing a different language version please put the two letter prefix for your language in the third box (e.g. “es” for Spanish or “jp” for Japanese).

Now you can edit the descriptive text in the box. Please replace or remove all of the text inside of {curly brackets}. You are welcome to augment or reduce this text as you see fit. The text is formatted in Markdown ( but will also accept HTML; it will not accept Wiki Markup.

Select the start and end date/time for your event.

NOTE: I don’t know how it is handling time zone. It says it will ‘use your time zone’ but unclear if that is by IP address, or something in your profile. So it might mess up the moma timing b/c I created it in LA? How will that affect things if we are creating events for locations around the world?

4. Change your Passcode to “AF” (simple and easy to remember). You can also add the number of expected editors if you like (this is not required).


To get your participants signed in to this page you need to have them go to that kinda long URL at the top of your page. For MoMA it will be We think the best way to accomplish this is to link to this page from your Facebook, eventbrite, google form, etc. If you are hellbent on using a meetup page, please still link to this page and use it for attendance. We *NEED* to keep all that info in here, as it necessary to figure out who did what and how much and stuff. And this is necessary in order to report to the WMF so we can get our grant renewed so we can come back here next year and kick some more butt with you! 😉

When you arrive at that page your participants will be invited to “Log in with Wikipedia” or “Sign up with Wikipedia.” If they have accounts they can log in with the first button; they will be giving permission for the Dashboard to access their Wiki credentials via OAuth. If they don’t have an account yet, they can use the second button.

If one of your participants browses to the page they will get a URL like this: and will see a page that allows them to “Join Program.” They will have to type in the passcode (“AF”) and then will be able to join the program.

Safer Space

It’s been suggested that one of the reasons that women are less likely to participate in Wikipedia is due to the confrontational nature of the talk pages. Thus, as an organizer, creating a welcoming, inclusive space is crucial to a successful edit-a-thon. If you are unfamiliar with the concept and history of safe® spaces, we encourage you to read, “What’s a ‘safe space’? A look at the phrase’s 50-year history” (scroll down). In the lead up to your event, we encourage you:
● To take a moment with your co-organizers to review the sample safer space policy about what safer space means to you (scroll down to see sample policy)
● To brainstorm with your co-organizers the ways in which you can make your participants feel heard and included – a good place to start is to think about instances where you did and did not feel welcomed at an event and what characterized these respective instances
● To brainstorm ways to communicate these values to your participants and their role in creating an space of inclusion