Grants:TPS/mlynch345/ARLiS/NA + VRA Joint Conference 2016

This Wikimedia Participation Support request was funded in the fiscal year 2014-15. A report is available.

NA + VRA Joint Conference 2016
summaryGive a 15 minute presentation on the Guggenheim Wikipedia Initiative and then lead a 4-hour workshop.
event locationSeattle, Washington
event date(s)March 8-12, 2016
amount requested$1,400
home countryNew York, NY, USA
submitted on15:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Proposed participation


As an associate manager at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, I created the Guggenheim Wikipedia Initiative, an institution-wide effort to advance content related to art and architecture on Wikipedia. At the outset of the project, we did not have budget to hire a Wikipedian in Residence, so I devised a working model that trained eight staff members across several departments as editors essentially building an internal team of Wikipedians. In the past year, we have scaled this model to also include seasonal interns. Now, staff members and interns have the opportunity to participate in results-driven team project that facilitates a deeper understanding of the Guggenheim's collection and architecture. As trained Wikipedia editors, staff and interns develop a more dynamic set of skills related to research, writing, HTML coding, and copyright law.

During the panel, Why Wikipedia Matters: Connecting Libraries and Museums to People, I will be discussing the achievements and challenges of the Guggenheim Wikipedia Initiative, how we measure success, and how it has advanced our institution internally and in a public facing way. I will also highlight our approach to Wikipedia edit-a-thons at the museum -- or, guggathons, as we like to call them. Following the panel, I will participate in an edit-a-thon workshop titled, Wikipedia Edit-a-thons From Start to Edit.

For information on the Guggenheim Wikipedia Initiative, please visit our GLAM page.

Goal and expected impact


My talk will offer a new approach for how museums can engage with Wikipedia. Audience members will know exactly how I was able to convince internal stakeholders to buy into the initiative and assign budget for our efforts. I believe it will catalyze new dialogue about how Wikipedia can be an elegant solution for advancing the mission of their institution while also doing the most public good.

Budget breakdown

  • Travel (round trip airfare from x to y): USD 500
  • Accommodation: USD 150 per night x 4 nights = USD 600
  • Per diem: USD 75 per day x 4 days = USD 300

Other instructions



  • Mikayla has offered an inspiring model to follow for museum's who want to engage with Wikipedia. Her passion and drive have helped make this project the wild success it has been, and I can think of no one more deserving of this grant than her. Learning from her has been a true pleasure, and I sincerely hope to see, work with, and learn more from her at the ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference in Seattle. WilliamDigiCol (talk) 16:56, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Mikayla's efforts in leading the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's Wikipedia initiative have enhanced our ability to share our resources with the public. In addition to benefiting the public, this initiative has inspired positive collaborations between different departments (Global Communications, Marketing, Education, Curatorial, Library & Archives), and given us all a valuable opportunity to think about what it means to be generous while authoritative (but not authoritarian). Mikayla's ability to build a strong working group and navigate interdepartmentally with such great results would no-doubt provide an invaluable learning experience for all who would be able to attend the ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference. Rebecca Mir, Associate Manager, Digital Media and Online Learning, Education, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • As the foreperson of the Wikipedia project, Mikayla continues to cultivate enthusiasm both within Guggenheim and with our external partners, offering new ways for colleagues who don't typically collaborate to work together. Her creativity has brought new facets to the project, growing it beyond a traditional edit-a-thon into a forum for industry luminaries to discuss ideas and for the public to gain first-hand knowledge of the topics and people about which they're editing. She is able to succinctly and fervently speak about the project while remaining open to new ideas about the future, both of which will contribute positively to the upcoming ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference. Jessica Burke, Senior Manager, Global Communications, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 26 August 2015
  • It would be no exaggeration to say that Mikayla has single-handedly led the Guggenheim's Wikipedia efforts. Prior to her leadership, staff efforts to contribute meaningfully to Wikipedia were well-intentioned but sporadic. With her enthusiasm, she has galvanized members of the museum from many departments to create a unified and streamlined initiative. Her depth of experience in navigating a complex organization like the Guggenheim to create a focused (and fun!) project will be of immense value to the conference attendees. Alisha Levin, Associate Manager, Global Communications, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 26 August 2015
  • I echo the words of my colleagues in enthusiastically endorsing Mikayla for this grant. In just over a year, Mikayla has single-handedly built a robust and successful program around Wikipedia at the Guggenheim, educating fellow staff, seasonal interns, and the museum’s public. She has provided a space for colleagues across the museum to collaborate and innovate, and forged new channels for sharing information and resources with our public. As someone relatively new to the Wikipedia landscape, I have been inspired by Mikayla’s passion for this project and her ability to galvanize others—she will undoubtedly make a wonderful addition to the conference. Lauren Motzkin, Associate, Global Communications, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 27 August 2015
  • I echo this endorsement. I solicited Mikayla's participation in a panel at ARLIS/VRA's annual conference, entitled "Why Wikipedia Matters: Connecting Libraries and Museums to People through Wikipedia." Although Mikayla is working on Wikipedia projects within the Guggenheim, she is attending the conference without their support, so as a volunteer, and her expertise and interest will be integral to this panel, which will hopefully inspire more GLAM Wiki projects and general Wikipedia editing within the art libraries community.--Siankevans (talk) 17:03, 15 September 2015 (UTC)