Grants:PEG/WM US-NYC/WikiConference USA 2014

This submission to the Project and Event Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2013-14. This is a grant to an organization.

IMPORTANT: Please do not make changes to this page without the explicit approval of Project and Event Grants Program staff. They will be reverted.

Wikimedia NYC and Wikimedia DC are coordinating a national Wikipedia conference in the United States in New York City in summer 2014. For the past several years, Wikimedia NYC has organized a New York Wikipedia conference which has consistently hosted 150 attendees. The plan for this conference is to continue the New York outreach, but also to expand it to 300 attendees and invite Wikipedians from other places in the United States. Most of the funding requested in this grant would go to scholarships for Wikipedians to travel to this conference and stay in hostels.

This conference would act as a gathering for people in the United States participating in any Wikimedia community, including GLAM, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikipedia Loves Libraries, the United States Wikipedia Education Program, any Wikipedia chapters or proto chapters, MediaWiki developers in the United States, Wiki Project Med in the United States, any other Wikipedia community groups. Other aligned community groups which seek to advance access to free information are also invited as they have been to the New York conference.

Basic information edit

Grant details edit

Project details edit

Official project name
WikiConference USA 2014
Project start date (include month, day, and year)
7 October 2013
Project completion date (include month, day, and year)
1 June 2014
Please describe the project in 1–2 sentences
WikiConference USA 2014 is the first annual conference for Wikipedians and Wikimedians in the United States. This year's conference will take place at New York Law School on May 30–June 1, 2014. Over the course of the next several months, a team of organizers from the Wikimedia DC and NYC chapters, as well as other Wikimedians throughout the United States, will collaborate to curate keynotes, panels, and workshops with multiple substantive advocacy, educational, and community building tracks.

Financial details edit

Currency requested
US Dollars
Amount requested in currency requested
Equivalent amount in US$ on the date of this submission
List the exchange rate used to calculate the amount listed in US$

Grantee details edit

See the eligibility requirements for more information.

What is the official name of the organization requesting this grant?
Wikimedia District of Columbia & Wikimedia New York City (see below)
Are you an organization, an individual, or an individual submitting on behalf of a group?
Are you a for-profit entity?
Are you able to provide local proof of nonprofit status within your country?
Does your organization currently employ any fulltime or part-time staff or contractors?
If you answered YES, please indicate how many. You may use fractions or percentages for part-time staff if appropriate.
If yes, please provide a list of their job functions, or a link to your organization's staff page, if it lists all employees and contractors employed or engaged by your organization.

Contact information edit

Primary contact name
Jennifer J. Baek
Primary contact username or email
jihyunb (talk)
Primary contact title (position within the organization)
Conference Director for WikiConference USA 2014
Secretary of Wikimedia NYC

Goals and measures of success edit

Mission edit

The mission of the conference is to create a forum for US-based Wikipedians and non-Wikipedians, including academics, professionals, students, and activists, to participate in meaningful discussion about the Wikimedia movement in the United States. The conference will nurture burgeoning grassroots Wikimedia communities, address long-standing online and local community issues, spur creation of new content, and facilitate new participation.

Goals edit

Our goals for the conference:

  • To have 300 conference attendees
  • Fund approximately 30 attendees from throughout the United States through scholarships, with an emphasis on areas that do not have regular in-person Wikimedia activities
  • Enliven coordinated national outreach campaign programs, such as GLAM-wiki, Wiki Loves Monuments, and Wikipedia Loves Libraries.
  • Create stronger partnerships between local Wikimedia communities and outside interdisciplinary organizations and institutions.
  • Identify areas of improvement for future national conferences.
  • Maintain detailed accounts of keynotes, workshops, and panels for public viewing through film, media, and published conference presentations and logs.
  • Deepen local Education Program activities, GLAM / institutional ties.
  • Create 30-40 conference workshops and panels divided into five tracks: GLAM; Community Issues; Technical; Legal/Policy; and Education
  • Train interested attendees in community leadership skills
  • Curate a forum for sharing best practices, and encourage discussions about larger breadth of Wikimedia projects in the Open Access Movement.
  • Lay groundwork and encourage discussion about new tools, technologies, data platforms, and tecnological applications within Wikimedia.

Measures of success edit

Throughout the conference, we will be asking participants to fill out comment forms and surveys that will be available on paper and online. We hope to compile participant comments as a quantifiable measure of participant engagement, as well as a measure of effectiveness of each curated session.

Following the conference, we will have obtained the following important datasets. The results will be published in a formal conference report which will also include a comprehensive financial report:

  • Conference attendance
  • New editors, as analyzed through Wiki Metrics
  • Geographic representation
  • Organizational and institutional representation
  • New projects started by attendees over the year following the conference
  • Reports from scholarship recipients post-conference, and 6 months after

Project scope and activities edit

Planned outreach edit

Over the past four years, Wikimedia NYC and Wikimedia DC have developed an extensive network of partners and allies. So that the conference may have the largest impact on the Wikimedia movement possible, we plan on inviting support from our partners, which include:

  • Local colleges, universities, MLIS programs, and media studies, and other public history, technology, and media graduate programs.
  • Local museums, cultural heritage institutions, historical societies, and other public service institutions.
  • Local free culture, and open access groups and individuals involved in free information and free culture movement.
  • Potential new Wikipedia editors.

Travel scholarships edit

Wikimedia DC will be awarding travel scholarships to bring in attendees from throughout the United States. Most Americans live in a part of the country without a chapter or regular Wikimedia-oriented events. As this is the case, we are eager to provide these Wikimedians (and prospective Wikimedians) an opportunity to network with other Wikimedians, learn what they can do to reach out to people and institutions at home, and get inspired.

In April of 2013, Wikimedia DC hosted the GLAM Boot Camp, a three-day conference with attendees invited from throughout the United States and Canada to Washington, DC, to learn about cultural outreach from experienced Wikipedians in Residence. Invited attendees enjoyed the rare experience of bonding with fellow Wikimedians and left with heightened awareness of the Wikimedia movement and newly-acquired skills and connections. We are interested in expanding this opportunity to approximately thirty Wikimedians, with an emphasis on geographic diversity and addressing issues of systemic bias within the Wikimedia movement.

Scholarship applicants will be surveyed on their experience and attitudes on Wikimedia projects as part of the application process. Scholarship recipients will then be surveyed six months following the conference to determine the impact of the conference on their Wikimedia activities.

Wikimedia DC was selected by the organizing committee to administer the travel scholarship program due to its experience with travel scholarships. All travel will be booked in accordance with the Wikimedia DC Travel Policy.

Conference program edit

Keynotes: The Conference organizers will invite luminaries in the Wikimedia movement to inspire and inform attendees.

Lightning Talks: Attendees will be given opportunities to sign up to give 5-10 minute talks on a topic of their choice. The lightning talks session will last 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

Panels and Workshops: The Program Committee will work with the Conference Director and Deputy Conference Director to organize panels and workshops on the following tentative topics:

  • Outreach / Activism / Free Culture:
Wiki Loves Monuments
Wiki Loves Libraries
Session on Copyright
Government donations
Open Access (Wikipedia-focused, or broader concerns; could be panel and workshop)
Discussion: The future of Wikipedia and GLAM-Wiki US
  • GLAM / Institutions:
GLAM and Institutional Case study presentations
NYC Institutional engagement
Wikipedians In Residence
Wikipedia Tools for GLAMs
RAMP Editor
Authority Control
Issues and Concerns with GLAM and Paid Editing guidelines
  • Community / WikiProjects:
Women & Wikipedia
Multiculturalism in Wikipedia
Conflict Resolution
Article Feedback
Writing and Blogging about Wikipedia - The literature of/on Wikipedia
Editor Retention - recent research and solutions
  • Tech / Tools / Multimedia:
Visual Editor
Authority Control
Wiki Metrics
RAMP Editor
Wikipedia Data Extraction Tools: DBpedia, Wikidata
Audio, Visual projects, uploads
Session for Administrators
Media Dumps
Idea Lab
  • Education / Workshops:
Wikipedia Campus Ambassador Program and Wikipedia Education Program
Case study presentations
Workshops for newcomers
Workshops for Advanced Users (Wikimetrics)

Note: Topics for Panels and Workshops have not been finalized. Selected workshop participants and/or moderators will provide brief overviews of each workshop during the 2014 WikiConference Recap Session.

Edit-a-Thon and Hack-a-Thon: For the first two days of the conference, we will be holding unstructured workshop rooms where newcomers can learn from expert editors and anyone can hang out to edit articles. An edit-a-thon, themed on a topic to be decided, will be held on the third day. The conference will also host a hack-a-thon on the third day of the conference for Wikimedia-related technical projects. The edit-a-thon and hack-a-thon will culminate in presentations.

Documentation and analysis edit


The conference will be extensively documented by reporters who will publish updates and recaps on the conference blog, as well as invited press and bloggers.

We will strongly utilize social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook to generate a following for the conference. We will also create a repository of conference materials, including flyers, media presentations, and recordings that will be compiled for online documentation during and after the conference.

Additionally, scholarship awardees will be required to submit reports on their conference experience, which will be analyzed and used to design future Wikimedia outreach programs.

Media Officer/Press Secretary

Media reporting and documentation will be overseen by a volunteer media point person

Data Assessment Officer

A point person will be responsible for aggregating data on conference participation.

Budget and resources edit

Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here.

Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.

Project budget table
Wikimedia NYC responsibilities
Item Projected Cost Notes and Comments
Venue $4,000 The actual New York Law School venue costs amount to over $48,000. The venue, as an official conference partner, has waived this cost for the conference. The total amount for requested for venue operation budget ($4,000) is greater than the current projected cost ($3,237.76) because we are accounting for potential contingencies of requiring additional services from the venue. Any grant money that is not spent will be returned to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Food $4,500 Lunch and refreshments served all three days of the conference: sandwiches on the first three days and pizza on the third day. Sandwiches and refreshments for the first two days to cost approximately $2000 per day, and pizza and refreshments for the third day to cost approximately $500.
T-Shirts $2,500 We will print 150-200 t-shirts sourced from EthixMerch, which supports union workers, sweatshop-free environments, and fair trade practices.
Post-Conference Reception $1,000 Beer sponsorship will offset the cost of reception. Light food and refreshments will be served.
Contingency $1,000 2.9% of entire conference budget.
subtotal $13,000
Wikimedia DC responsibilities
Item Projected Cost Notes and Comments
Scholarships $22,000 A full or partial scholarship to attend WikiConference USA for approximately 30 or more individuals. Currently working on securing group deals for affordable hostel accommodations and cheap travel fare. Wikimedia DC is responsible for processing scholarship applications.
Total Cost $35,000
Venue Cost Break Down
Space Rental Cost
Auditorium (3 days) $27,000
Events Center (3 days) $12,000
Medium Classrooms (3 days x 5 rooms) $9,000
Subtotal (Waived) $48,000
Total Room Rental Fee $0
Support Service Fees/Charges Cost
Security: (1 officers) @ $30/hr for 8 hrs x 2 days $480
AV: (1 dedicated tech) @ $55/hr for 8 hrs x 2 days $880
Facilities: (1 porter) @ 42.63/hr for 8 hrs $682.08
Event Administration: (5% room rental costs) $1,200
Total other fees $3,237.76

The Free Culture Foundation has assisted organizers of this conference in getting the usual rental fee for the conference space waived because this conference is aligned with the goals of that organization and our venue host, the New York Law School.

Total cost of project
Total amount requested from the WMF Grants Program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
As event co-sponsors, New York Law School will be waiving room rental fees, which would have amounted to $48,000 for three days. The school will be charging support and service fees, including security, audio/visual, event administration, and facilities costs. We are also actively seeking out sponsorship from air, bus and train lines, to help subsidize travel costs for our attendees and maximize the number of people for whom we will be able to provide a scholarship.
Financial Reporting
Budget Manager


  • Works with Wikimedia NYC and Wikimedia DC's treasurer to oversee the collection of receipts and statements.
  • Creates, manages and updates spending and expense accounting spreadsheets.
  • Creates short bi-weekly, or perhaps monthly spending reports.
  • Collects receipts during the conference.
  • Creates financial reports after the conference.

Non-financial requirements edit

Requests for non-financial assistance
We hope to be in touch about publicity for the conference and publishing a blog post on our project on WMF's blog.

Resources edit

List of Team Members edit
Position Name
Conference Director Jennifer Baek
Deputy Conference Director James Hare
Program Chair Richard Knipel
Deputy Program Chair Emily Temple-Wood
Program Officer, Budget Manager Dorothy Howard
Program Officer Lane Rasberry
Program Officer Bob Kosovsky
Program Officer Bob Cummings
Program Officer Adrianne Wadewitz
Program Officer David Goodman
Program Officer Lori Phillips
Program Officer Ann Matsuuchi
Scholarship Chair Kirill Lokshin
Deputy Scholarship Chair TBD
Volunteer Coordinator TBD
Deputy Volunteer Coordinator TBD
Technical Supervisor Jeremy Baron
Technical Advisor Peter Hess
Endorsements from community members or movement groups edit

Note: We are currently working on obtaining official endorsement of the conference from multiple organizations and institutions.

Groups we will be contacting for endorsement:

  • New York Public Library
  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Columbia Libraries and Media Studies Program
  • Wikimedia thematic groups, other regional groups
  • Right to Research Coalition
  • New York Legal Hackers
  • WikiWomens Collaborative
  • LGBT Groups
  • Medical Groups
  • CUNY
Evidence of past success in executing similar projects edit
Sue Gardner and SJ Klein at the NYC Wiki-Conference in 2010
Jimmy Wales delivering the keynote address at the NYC Wiki-Conference
  • James Hare, President of Wikimedia DC, successfully organized Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC, and other outreach events in the Washington area.
  • Jennifer Baek, Secretary of Wikimedia NYC, successfully organized the 2013 Free Culture Conference at New York Law School and has a working relationship with the administrative staff of the venue.
  • Richard Knipel has organized WikiConference NY 2009 and 2010, as well as smaller community events as President of Wikimedia NYC.
  • There is precedent that indicates that smaller conferences organized by Wikimedia NYC have had success in increasing reach and participation in local Wikipedia community. WikiConference New York 2009 and 2010 and Wikipedia Day 2011, 2012 and 2013 served to engage existing Wikipedians, while also recruiting new participants. Each of these conferences worked towards advancing Wiki
  • Wikimedia NYC has demonstrated an ability to execute a variety of organization activities within the Wikimedia community, GLAM, the Education Program, and outreach projects.
    • Institutional Partnerships: Wikimedia NYC has facilitated Edit-a-Thon and institutional partnerships with the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Consumer Reports, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New York Public Library, and the Queens Library.
    • Education Program: CUNY, and CUNY Graduate Center, Brooklyn College, NYU, Princeton University
    • Outreach Projects: Organizational head of Wikipedia Takes Manhattan / Takes The City (2008), Wikipedia Loves Art (2009), Wikipedia Loves Libraries (2011), the Great American Wiknic (2007).
  • Wikimedia DC, which is operating the scholarships program, successfully managed the travel scholarship program for GLAM Boot Camp in April 2013.

Impact edit

In the sections below, please describe how the project is related to the Wikimedia mission and Wikimedia's strategic priorities.

Fit to strategy edit

The conference will support increased reach and participation through engaging a broad and diverse audience. The conference will make an extra effort to reach out to Wikimedians outside the Northeast who do not have regular access to Wikimedia chapter activities. This project will primarily benefit English Wikipedia by bringing together editors from all across the United States and engaging with various institutions that incorporate Wikipedia into their work.

The conference will be an environment where:

  • Newcomers will have the opportunity to learn from expert editors and expert editors will be able to direct new users to relevant projects, resources and learning tools which they are developing.
  • Wikipedians can share and create best practices in areas including editing, article credibility, community and educational outreach in localities, technological innovations, and local chapters.
  • Stimulate excitement about being part of the Wikimedia movement!

Benefits edit

If the project will benefit a specific online community, please tell us.
This project will most directly affect English Wikipedia, a large proportion of whose global contributors (~40%) reside in the United States. However, the intention is to provide a forum for all Wikimedia online projects, and to support other language projects as well, particularly those for the minority languages of the United States.
Please provide a brief statement about how the project is related to other work in the Wikimedia movement. For example, does the project fit into a work area such as GLAM, education, organizational development, editor retention, or outreach?
This event deliberately braids together many strands of the Wikimedia movement, intertwining tracks and workshops curated by our GLAM, education and local outreach communities.
If successful, will the project have the potential to be replicated successfully by other individuals, groups, or organizations? Please explain how in 1–2 sentences.
The intention is for WikiConference USA to become an annual event, held in a different part of the country each year, and supported by local organizers who can use the opportunity to jumpstart Wikimedia outreach and institutional development in their respective regions. There is already some friendly competition for which regions will host WikiConference USA 2015 and beyond.
Please list other benefits to the movement here.
The primary "emergent" benefits would come from simply bringing Wikimedia people together, many of whom could not participate in international conferences, and facilitating a cross-fertilization of thematic and local interests from across the country.
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