Grants:Project/Rapid/SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 in the United States

SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 in the United States
Funding for prize money, jury shirts, and printing costs for Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 in the United States, the annual photography contest for historical sites.
targetWikimedia Commons, all Wikipedia projects
start dateOctober 1
end dateApril 30
budget (local currency)$1905
budget (USD)$1905
grant typeIndividual
contact(s)• kevinpayravi(_AT_)

Review your report



Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo competition for monuments and historical sites, taking place every year in more than 40 countries around the world.

The United States has participated in Wiki Loves Monuments in 2012-2013 and 2016-2020. Despite challenges from the 2020 pandemic, last year's competition in the United States resulted in over 5,900+ image uploads from 1,000+ uploaders, an increase over the previous year. 14% of those images (800+) are currently being used to illustrate pages on Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia articles. This year, the U.S. contest is organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi), who has organized since 2016.

Like last year, we plan to host the US contest in October instead of September (an option provided to us by the international team). This is primarily due to the ongoing pandemic; we expect turbulence for both our organizers and participants as the academic year starts in the United States through August and September. As always, participants are welcome to upload photos of historical sites that they have taken at any time, so there is no expectation or requirement for participants to go out and travel during this time to take photos. If they do so, we encourage them to take proper precautions to ensure their safety.

Project Goal


This project has three main goals:

  1. Add or improve content: Each year, Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States results in thousands of quality uploads of historic and cultural sites from throughout the country.
  2. Recruit new editors: The majority of participants in Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States are first-time contributors. In 2020, 84% of uploaders joined after the content's start. Wiki Loves Monuments serves as a gateway to contributing for hundreds of people each year.
  3. Engage existing editors: In addition to our new contributors, we also have repeat contributors each year. The promotion of our event includes mass-messaging participants from previous years and encouraging them to contribute once again. We also reach out to relevant groups who may be interested, such as US geographic affiliates and history-related WikiProjects on Wikipedia.

Project Plan



WLM-US 2020's winner, a photo of the Lower Fox Creek School by Steve Ferro

1. What content will the contest focus on, and why is it important to your community?

Wiki Loves Monuments focuses on gathering photos of registered historical sites from all around the world. From the official "about us" page, "Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge Wikipedia collects and disseminates...An image is worth a thousand words, in every language at once and local enthusiasts can (re)discover the cultural, historical, or scientific significance of their neighborhood." With Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States, we hope to be able to gather images of cultural and historical sites from every corner of the nation. Not only do photos help illustrate our history on Wikipedia and its sister sites, but these photos also preserve the visual history of these sites even after they are gone.

2. How have you let relevant Wikimedia communities know about this proposal? You are required to provide links to on-wiki pages to inform these communities about your proposed work. Examples of places where this can be done include community discussion pages, affiliate discussion pages, or relevant project talk pages.

At the time of this grant application communities have not been informed, but will be through the remainder of August as we unveil more details about the event. These communities include our social media following, the WALRUS community, WikiProject NRHP on the English Wikipedia, and Commons communities. This page will be updated accordingly.

3. How will you let participants know about the contest? In what ways will you be communicating with them?

  • Geonotices on Wikimedia projects, the primary driver of participants
  • Social media (see Twitter account), with both organic and paid posts
  • Outreach with external organizations and groups, such as state historical societies and photography clubs
  • Outreach with Wikimedia groups, such as interested WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates in the United States
  • Mass-message all of last year's participants to encourage them to participate again

4. How will you judge the contest and award prizes?
Note: Grantees, judges, and other contest leaders are ineligible to receive prizes. Grantees who are serving as judges may not receive gifts through grant funding.

See Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 in the United States/Judging for last year's 2020 competition; while the judging format for 2021 has yet to be announced, it will be in a similar format to 2020.
Judging for our contest is a multi-stage contest, where multiple judges are recruited from various communities (such as Wikimedians, professional photographers, and artists) to judge the contest's photos. Each stage narrows the photo pool until the top-ten are determined. The volunteer-developed Montage judging tool is used by the judges to help streamline the process.

5. For photo contests, what is the strategy to get images used on projects?

Contributors to the contest are encouraged to upload photos of sites that haven't been photographed yet, and to add their images to articles where appropriate.
In addition, on the English Wikipedia, the NRHP WikiProject does an effective job of finding and using images uploaded during Wiki Loves Monuments. We will reach out to this WikiProject to inform editors about the contest, and will also see if we can find similar groups on other language versions of Wikipedia. Likewise, WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates for each state will also be informed about the contest. Last year ~14% of our images were used on Wikimedia projects, which indicates that editors are actively searching for utilizing images from our contest.

6. Are you running any in-person events or activities? If so, you will need to complete the steps outlined on the Risk Assessment protocol related to COVID-19. When you have completed these steps, please provide a link to your completed copy of the risk assessment tool below:

No in-person events or activities.

7. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

We are on a streak of organizing Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States since 2016, and are thrilled to continue to see incredible results and contributions each year. We are excited to see the competition results sustain and be enjoyable for participants in 2021.


  1. Number of participants: 800+
  2. Number of photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons: 6,000+
  3. Number of photos used on Wikimedia projects: 12%



What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

This event is primarily organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi). Kevin has been organizing the event since 2016.
We have some limited swag items from previous years, such as stickers and pins, which may be used for promotion and/or prizes.
As always, we have the support of Wiki Loves Monument's international team, and will also leverage US affiliates for promoting the event in their region and with their partners.
We also plan on receiving outreach and promotional support from various historical societies and related institutions.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

Our fund requests includes prize money and certificates for the content's top-10 winners; t-shirts for both winners and our jury, as a thank-you and encouragement for participating; postage; and targeted social media advertisements towards photography and history fans. After several years of running the event, we've found the provided prize values to be enough to encourage participation from professional photographers, while lower amounts have resulted in complaints from participants.
Item Cost Notes
1st Prize $500 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
2nd Prize $350 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
3rd Prize $200 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
4th-10th Prizes $350 $50 each
Facebook advertising $40
Twitter advertising $25
Certificate printing $15 10 certificates on high-quality paper sent to top-ten placers.
Custom shirts for judges and winners $300 30 custom shirts (~$10/each), which will go to our jury (estimated up to 20) and top-ten winners after the end of the contest. T-shirts provide a nice incentive and thank-you for our jury and winners. T-shirts will be made to order, so we won't be ordering any more than we need.
Poly mailers for shirts $25 Poly mailers to send shirts to jury and winners
Postage $100 Estimated $3 per shirt + $1 per certificate
Total: $1,905

We have $203.18 left over from 2020's event; we would like to apply that to this grant.



Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!