ASU Joins Global Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon — And You Can, Too

Maybe you’ve wondered how much of what you read on Wikipedia is actually true or wished there was a way to make Wikipedia content more accurate and comprehensive. If the topics near and dear to your heart include art or feminism — or both, then you can help to make it happen.

The ASU School of Art and ASU Libraries will host an Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 18, at the Hayden Library, located at 300 East Orange Mall, on the Tempe campus. It’s one of several sites participating in the third annual iteration of this event, which is designed to “create and improve Wikipedia articles related to women in the arts.”

More than 125 venues around the country and globe are holding such events during the month of March. Last year, participants collectively created “nearly 400 new pages and made significant improvements to 500 articles,” according to project organizers.

Anyone, including students and community members, can participate in all or part of the free event at Hayden Library. No Wikipedia editing experience is required, and tutors will be available throughout the day to help newcomers learn the Wikipedia editing ropes.

The lineup is looking pretty impressive at this point. Adriene Jenik, director for the School of Art at ASU, is taking part – and says a dozen or so faculty members will be there as well. Jenik notes that ASU’s School of Art has one of the nation’s highest percentages of female faculty members.

The ASU School of Art is co-hosting the event for two main reasons, Jenik says. One is the dearth of female artists represented on Wikipedia. The other is the fact that only about 10 percent of people involved in the Wikipedia project are women. Part of the idea, Jenik says, is for women to get their feet wet. Then, perhaps, they’ll get more involved in editing Wikipedia in other subject areas as well.

The Art + Feminism edit-a-thon at ASU coincides with an exhibition currently on view at Hayden Library. It’s titled “Print Wikipedia,” and continues through May 21 in a portion of the library that also houses reference materials including Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book.

“Print Wikipedia” is the work of New York artist Michael Mandiberg, who calls Wikipedia the “largest accumulation of human knowledge.” To help people visualize its vastness, Mandiberg wrote software that translated the English-language contents of the online database on one specific day into print.

The result was 7,473 printed volumes, each comprising 700 pages. The exhibition features the visual representation of spines for a portion of these volumes, installed like wallpaper at Hayden Library with assistance from ASU students.

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