Grants:Rapid/Black Lunch Table/Summer 2017

This particular proposal requests the use of our remaining Spring 2017 funds to support Black Lunch Table Wikipedia editathons in North America for Summer 2017 through hardware, rewards and production costs.
targetBlack Lunch Table is primarily English-language project. We have had Haitian Creole and Spanish editors join us.
start dateJune 1
end dateSeptember 1
budget (USD)$1,234.73 USD
contact(s)• heather(_AT_)•
organization (if applicable)• Black Lunch Table
created on23:49, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Project ideaEdit

What is the problem you're trying to solve?Edit

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

We are requesting funding to cover the cost of project-dedicated hardware. Specifically, we would use these funds to purchase a laptop for use during edit-a-thons and for use by our project assistant. The requested hardware will be used primarily by our project assistants who assist us in organizing edit-a-thon events. Specifically, they will use this laptop to conduct research for our suggested articles to edit lists for each event; to assist with updating other information on the meet up pages; and to assist with reconciliation of data following each event. When not in use by our assistants, the laptop will be available to edit-a-thon attendees who are without a device. Ideally we would have many such laptops and tablets available for community members lacking their own. At every event we organize, we do ask institutions to make their extra hardware available to those editors that don’t have their own. We would like to look into partnering with community organizations that rent or donate computers for public events such as these.

Additional funds included in this request will cover the production of Wikipedia / BLT swag (a button-maker, limited amount of t-shirts, stickers, BLT bags, and informational booklets) and other materials to offer participants prizes for during editathons.

Remaining funds will assist with the production of edit-a-thons, and will cover the cost differential between monies provided by host institutions and the actual cost of production. These additional items (covered in our previous Rapid Grant) include snacks, office supplies, general material preparation. We expect that this will cover costs accrued during this next season’s productions.

What is your solution to this problem?Edit

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

We would love to see a day when our host institutions and partnering tech institutions can provide a number of laptops and tablets for the public. Providing a laptop for potential participants enables would-be editors to contribute to the project and participate in the Wikipedia community’s growth. This would make our events more accessible to lower-income participants.

Additionally, between events we are always working on edit-a-thons, editing and adding articles, and improving the content available on our BLT page. While much of this work is done by us, we rely on our assistants to do some of the research required (to add artists, institutions, movements to our list of articles to edit), create PR, and as well to assist with post-event recon. It would greatly benefit our project (both during and between events) to provide consistently dependable technology, dedicated specifically to this work.

Please note that this application specifies the proposed use of funds remaining from our prior Rapid Grant and is not an entirely new request for additional funds.

Project goalsEdit

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

- to provide potential participants with a computer so they can engage as editors

- to provide our assistants with consistently reliable technology so that they may contribute to the project more effectively

- to provide an encouraging social environment to learn the correct ways to edit Wikipedia. Offering prizes/swag will entice editors to contribute in more profound and lasting ways to Wikipedia

Project impactEdit

How will you know if you have met your goals?Edit

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • to provide potential participants with a computer so they can engage as new editors
  1. Set up a workstation at each editathon that can be used by new editors who don’t have their own computer. We will also continue with our metrics and include statistics about how many participants use the computer during our editathons.
  2. The project is ongoing. This will have long-term impact, as long as the computer is functional by building a Wikipedia community space that is more accessible and inclusive.
  • to provide our assistants with consistently reliable technology so that they may contribute to the project more effectively
  1. Purchase a laptop that may be housed in our studio or handed off from assistant to assistant. They will use it for PR, research, wiki editing and recon.
  2. Since the project is ongoing, for the life of the computer, it will continue to have the same impact and we will be able to advance our project further through better preparation, more assistance to participants and more consistent recon. When available, community members will be able to borrow the laptop from the custodian (@heathart) for Wiki use using this form.
  • to provide an encouraging social environment to learn the correct ways to edit Wikipedia. Offering prizes/swag will entice editors to contribute in more profound and lasting ways to Wikipedia
  1. Create buttons, t-shirts, stickers, BLT bags, and informational booklets to award to best article created best photo uploaded and most edits made during editathons. Continue to provide snacks and office support for our editathons.
  2. This will contribute to a more positive, exciting and encouraging experience with Wikipedia editing. It will create incentive to learn and follow the Wiki rules and to stay and work for the entire editathon. The prizes will also bring attention to Wikipedia and the Black Lunch Table project.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?Edit

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

This grant will have longer-term impact for as long as the computer survives. The grant will help make our events more accessible and empower a different demographic than might normally attend editathons.

Our immediate goals this summer are :

  1. to engage at least 3 new users who don’t have access to a computer.
  2. increase our participation to at least 60 participants for three events this summer.
  3. increase content to at least 6 new quality articles this summer.

Project planEdit


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

We will set up the computer for use by our assistants and create consistent PR and procedures to organize research and recon our events. We will continue to host our editathons. By the end of this season we will have purchased and set up a computer, printed and distributed swag at editathons and set up a system for more efficient organizing. We always have maintained a mailing list and a list of user names who attend and wish to continue attending our events. We follow up with each of them via Wiki talk pages after events to make sure they have the tools they need. We send out newsletters seasonally to alert them to upcoming events and opportunities.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

$800 - dependable BLT laptop

$150 - food for 3 editathons this summer

$50 - copying and office supplies for editathons

$234.73 - button-making press, t-shirts, tote bags and booklets with Wiki and BLT pr

$1,234.73 = Total remaining budget from previous Rapid Grant

Community engagementEdit

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

-standard PR by host institutions. We are a travelling project so each audience is different.

-Social Media: Facebook events, eventbrite, Twitter, Instagram and email newsletter

-word of mouth: talking about what we are doing at opportunities we have within each of our careers, phone calls and drop by visits to potential participants in the local areas where we are focusing on for each event.

-asking participants to bring a friend

-We target people of color, specifically where art worlds intersect with the African Diaspora because that demographic is underrepresented on Wikipedia and we as the organizers fit into this demographic ourselves.

-Because we come from this same demographic, and from the art world, we have spent many years working on the problems of representation and authorship in our own respective work. We are able to bring Wikipedia to our own communities because we empathize.

-We do plan on offering a seasonal survey for our events.

Get involvedEdit


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

Heather Hart- artist, co-founder of BLT, organizing editathons for 2 years, editing Wikipedia for 7 years, admin and teaching background, focus on history, has been working on strategizing wikidata metrics

Jina Valentine- artist, co-founder of BLT, organizing editathons for 2 years, editing Wiki for 2 years, admin and teaching background, focus on the archive.

Community notificationEdit

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • One of the great things of the Black Lunch Table is that they have used Wikidata to prepare events and understand the relevance of its activities in multiple languages. Their approach is now one where they have one list including everyone and subsets of this list for each event. This is one reason why they deserve to be an even bigger success. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 14:04, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Representation matters, and Black Lunch Table works to bring greater visibility, opportunity, and support to black artists through their wiki editathons and community roundtable discussions. Their work is important, and I want it to thrive. 18:12, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Black Lunch Table is a unique Wikipedia initiative. The project comes from within the community it is wanting to impact -- visual artists of the African diaspora -- and is a project that is conducted across North America at various artist communities and schools, so is portable and expandable in scope. And while Wikipedia is a very important part of the Black Lunch Table project, but it is just one spoke in the wheel of the project that works on recording story and work by oral histories and lunch table events that include thoughtful, personal and political discourse about the experience of the visual artist within the African diaspora community. Beyond the fact that this is important, interesting work to address the diversity gap on Wikipedia, I am enthusiastic about supporting Heather with this project because I see high level, consistent outreach and contributions. Heather has been willing to be a de facto beta tester to create editathon task lists using Wikidata as the underlying backbone, and has embraced both Wikidata and Wikipedia in a muscular way that is unprecedented within the Wikimedia outreach communities. She is actually the one who said, hey, I need to be able to curate these task lists by geographic location. And now that's an integrated part of the BLT editathons. See the Black Lunch Table Project Wikidata task list. Heather has shown she is responsible in terms of grant funding and outreach efforts -- and she has a clear track record as a visual artist herself, who has received grant funding and residencies and awards. See Residencies, Grants, Fellowships. And because the outreach is going into communities where resources are tight, this expanded request for monies to cover an inexpensive laptop is a logical and reasonable request that will be responsibly utilized. I wholeheartedly support the efforts of Black Lunch Table. Not sure if it constitutes a conflict of interest, but I have been providing skillsharing especially as to administrative support and translating technical issues between Wikipedia and Wikidata with Heather and Gerard. Want to be upfront about that. Best -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 17:44, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
  •   Support Black Lunch Table has been a major part of NYC community efforts to broaden and strengthen connections and participation of artists, activists and Wikipedians. --Mozucat (talk) 19:44, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • This is an especially valuable project bringing together multiple communities, and I strongly support their proposal based on a long and positive record of achievement. I've been glad to work with them in NYC.--Pharos (talk) 20:11, 26 June 2017 (UTC)