Grants:PEG/WM US-DC/Events 2012

This submission to the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2011-12. This is a grant to an organization.

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Legal name of chapter or nonchapter group
Wikimedia District of Columbia
Grant contact name
James Hare
Grant contact username or email
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
Katie Filbert and Nicholas Michael Bashour
Project lead username or email
User:Aude and User:AutoGyro
Project lead title (position), if any
President of Wikimedia DC, Vice President of Wikimedia DC
Full project name
Wikimedia District of Columbia events, 2012
Amount requested (USD assumed if no other currency stated)
Provisional target start date
March 15, 2012
Provisional completion date
December 31, 2012

Project scope




Since 2010, Wikimedia DC volunteers have established cultural outreach initiatives, including collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration (supported by Wikipedian-in-Residence), the Smithsonian Institution (also with Wikipedian-in-Residence), the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Heritage, and the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL). We have organized numerous events, including WikiXDC (our 10th Wikipedia anniversary event and symposium), GLAM Baltimore, hackathons, edit-a-thons, workshops, and scan-a-thons.

Planned events


Although the chapter is busy organizing the Wikimania 2012 conference, it is important to continue our partnerships, increase outreach, raise awareness of Wikimedia in our region, and support local volunteer-led Wikimedia outreach and related initiatives. Such outreach events are also important for re-building up our social capital, which we are expending quite a bit of in planning Wikimania. Following Wikimania 2012, we anticipate significantly increased interest in Wikimedia projects. We want to capitalize on and sustain the interest, by continuing to hold outreach events, workshops, and other related activities.

Planned events include:

  • GLAM Outreach—Wikimedia DC will conduct events in conjunction with various GLAMs, including the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, District of Columbia Public Library, Delaware Art Museum, and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
  • Wikipedia Workshops—Wikimedia DC will hold workshops to help local residents learn about contributing to Wikimedia projects.
  • Embassy Outreach—Wikimedia DC will work to engage the international community in D.C. through cultural, educational, and professional events to highlight the role of Wikimedia projects around the world.
  • Outreach Coordination Internship—Wikimedia DC will pay a stipend to an intern to help organize these activities and further establish our connections to local organizations in the D.C. area.

GLAM Outreach


GLAM outreach events planned include edit-a-thon events, geared towards more experienced editors. In the past year, we have held several edit-a-thons at the DC Public Library and elsewhere. These often take place 11am - 5pm on a Saturday, and it's important to offer lunch and refreshments to help retain people for much of the day. In some cases, we may be able to get outside sponsorship for lunch and refreshments, but oftentimes we will need to purchase lunch and refreshments ourselves for these events. We will also be investing in flatbed scanners for our scan-a-thon events to supplement scanners provided by the various partner institutions, as well as hard drives to store the scanned media.

Given the varied geographic locations of the events, we expect to attract Wikipedians who have not attended a Wikimedia event before, and quite possibly new editors. As well, there will be various people involved as organizers, so to spread the workload around, and not necessarily the same people involved with Wikimania.

We aim to continue and strengthen our partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration, Walters Art Museum, and other organizations, along with historical societies and historic preservation organizations in the run-up to Wiki Loves Monuments in September.

Edit-a-thon events in upcoming months and through end of 2012 may include:

  • Washingtonian history / historical society Wikipedia workshop (date TBD, possibly June or after Wikimania) at the DC Public Library in the special collections division. This event aims to engage the type of audience that will be important when we participate in Wiki Loves Monuments in September. The Washingtonian special collections division previously hosted the 38th Washington Historical Studies Conference in November, bringing in historical society members and local historians. We have good connections with the historical society and the special collections staff, who are eager to host us for a workshop or event.
  • Walters Art Museum edit-a-thon (possibly June) in Baltimore, in conjunction with a donation of ~20,000 images to Wikimedia Commons.
  • Maryland Historical Society or Baltimore's Pratt Free Library edit-a-thon / workshop (date TBD), tied in with War of 1812 bicentennial. The Baltimore / Maryland region has a healthy and sizable community interested in digital humanities and local historic preservation, supported in part by Eli Pousson and Baltimore Heritage.
  • Delaware Art Museum edit-a-thon or meetups, in conjunction with outreach efforts by Smallbones, and opportunity to engage Wikipedia editors in Delaware and eastern Maryland (and the Philadelphia area).
  • Additional GLAM outreach events later in the year, details and dates TBD.

We may also support a few GLAM outreach, workshop or other such events beyond our geographic region, such as New England or the southeast US, as WALRUS (eventually US Chapters Council) outreach and in support of volunteers. The hope is that additional chapters can form in the United States, with better local support for Wikimedians in the U.S. beyond the DC region.

Wikipedia Workshops


Planned events include Wikipedia workshops at the beginner and intermediate levels at the DC Public Library and possibly other locations, such as the Takoma Park, Maryland public library and Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. These workshops provide an opportunity to reach out to under-represented demographics, diaspora communities with special language skills, etc.

In the past year, similar events we have helped with include a Women Who Wiki workshop in June 2011 and organized a beginners workshop in January 2012. These typically are scheduled on a Saturday, from 10am - 3pm, which has worked well for people's busy schedules. It is important to provide a lunch break, and preferable that we can provide lunch so people don't disperse and potentially lose people, who decide to take off for the afternoon. We have been fortunate to have lunch sponsored both times and will continue to pursue that option when possible, but there will be many times that sponsorship is not possible. It is important that we are in position to take care of workshop attendees, by providing lunch and refreshments, for a better learning environment.

Potential audiences for the workshops include the GLAM sector (archivists, librarians, museum professionals), local historical societies and members, DC Preservation League and Baltimore Heritage members, and other professional and non-profit societies in the region.

We are working on developing training materials for workshops at:

Embassy outreach


We are working with the Washington European Society to have an event on the theme of openness and transparency in government as a part of our Embassy Outreach Initiative at the Embassy of Estonia. The date of the event is currently set for April 26 at 6:00 PM. Details of the event are currently being worked out, including potential speakers. We will be sharing costs with the Washington European Society. Ongoing talks are taking place with the Embassy of the Netherlands.

Outreach coordination internship


To assist with these events, to help build and sustain our network of contacts, and help coordinate our involvement in Wiki Loves Monuments, we will be hiring an intern over the summer. This intern will be paid a stipend and will be working in a virtual office which we will be retaining for other purposes, including Wikimania planning, other Wikimedia DC business meetings, and continued outreach work and planning.

Project goals


Goals are to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of Wikimedia projects both nationally and internationally.
  • Increase and retain existing local Wikimedia contributors, including reducing the gender gap and increasing diversity, increase volunteer engagement in chapter and outreach activities, and build capacity of the chapter. To help support partnership and outreach activities, involvement of existing Wikimedia contributors is essential. We need to support existing and engage Wikimedia contributors with continued activities including Wikipedia edit-a-thons, backstage pass tours, and social meetups.
  • Strengthen partnerships with cultural and other institutions in the greater Washington, D.C. region. Wikimedia DC already has strong partnerships with various institutions in the region, including the National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, District of Columbia Public Library, Walters Art Museum, and Baltimore Heritage. Our goal is to build on our existing partnership and reach out to a variety of new institutions, including the Library of Congress and the Delaware Art Museum, to name a few.
  • Develop and improve training materials, building upon outreach wiki / bookshelf materials, test effectiveness and refine our training materials and curricula.

Budget breakdown

  • GLAM Outreach: $4,930
    • Project leads: Kristin Anderson, Tiffany Smith, Katie Filbert, Dylan Kinnett and Eli Pousson (Baltimore), w:User:Smallbones (Delaware), Dominic McDevitt-Parks (NARA)
    • Lunch and refreshments (~25 attendees): $350 per event
    • Printing materials and incidentals: $50 per event
    • Total number of events: 11
    • Two flatbed scanner - $160 ($80 x 2)
    • Two 3 TB hard drives - $370 ($185 x 2)
  • Wikipedia Workshop: $2,340
    • Project leads: Carol Moore, Kristin Anderson.
    • Lunch and refreshments (~15-20 attendees): $250
    • Printing materials and incidentals: $50
    • Total number of events: 6
    • Mini projector - $190
    • Video camera + SD card + tripod - so we can record some events: $350
  • Embassy Outreach: $4,500
    • Project lead: Nicholas Michael Bashour
    • Shared costs with local partner organizations: $1,500
    • Total number of events: 3
  • Outreach coordination internship: $6,400
    • Project lead: Nicholas Michael Bashour
    • Stipend: $1,400/month for 4 months. (May-August)
    • Miscellaneous office and travel expenses: $200/month for 4 months.
  • Coworking space: $1,800
    • $200/month for 9 months. (April-December), in support of the internship, to provide us a meeting / workshop place when the library is not available, and place for us to work on our initiatives and build capacity.
  • Microgrant requests and/or discretionary funds: $2,500
    • We would like some discretionary funds to be able to support small microgrant requests, such as volunteer travel to workshops or conferences, related to Wikimedia outreach, or other such opportunities that arise.

Total: $22,070

Note: After 2012, we hope to have more capacity and experience in obtaining additional outside funding, such as from sponsors and non-WMF grants, to support our initiatives. Because we are expending significant effort and social capital on Wikimania 2012 sponsorships, asking for additional sponsorships and non-WMF grants is not the best strategy at this time.

Non-financial requirements


Wikipedia-related media and giveaways, if the Wikimedia Foundation has any to spare.

Fit to strategy

  • Stabilizing infrastructure—Wikimedia DC will aid the Wikimedia Foundation in building its internal capacity by serving as the voice for Wikimedia projects in the Washington, DC area. As the local chapter we have the best capacity for forging strong relationships between Washington-area cultural and educational institutions and the Wikimedia movement.
  • Increase participation—Wikipedia Workshops will give assistance to those needing help contributing to Wikipedia through regularly held lessons. Over time we will compile our best practices for the benefit of future Wikipedia Workshops in DC and around the world.
  • Improve quality—Our partnering institutions have agreed to contribute their works to Wikimedia projects. Our relationship with the National Archives, for instances, has proven very fruitful to Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource, and we wish to continue this relationship.
  • Encourage innovation—Each outreach event we hold is a learning opportunity. Wikimedia DC will document the successes and failures of each event it holds for the benefit of future events.

Measures of success


Measurable outcomes include increased social media engagement through the efforts of our outreach coordination intern, number of events held, number of contributions to Wikimedia projects, number of recruited editors, and the number of new institutional partnerships.

Team members (optional)


See above.

For grantees

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