A 2011 survey looking at Wikipedia editors found that less than 13 percent of the online encyclopedia's contributors are women. One of the impacts of that gender gap, many argue, is an inherent sexism in which men add more entries about men than they do about women. Critics say one category where it's disturbingly apparent is the arts.
Last year, Art+Feminism launched a campaign to help end the disparity by inspiring more than 30 Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon events around the world. Essentially, people got together and, after a bit of training on how to write a proper entry, created Wikipedia pages for women artists.
"The visibility of the Edit-A-Thons from last year definitely made the bias and the lack of women editors more of an issue," says Angela Washko, an artist who's helping organize an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon event in San Diego this year. "There was so much interest in it that it's kind of exploded."
From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at UCSD's Geisel Library, Washko and others are inviting San Diegans to join them in their Edit-A-Thon (RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
Washko, who's also participating in this year's UCSD Open Studios event from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Visual Arts Facility (she's in studio No. 273), says they've already compiled a long list of artists whom they think deserve some digital ink on Wikipedia.
"Artist Kathy High, Boryana Rossa..." Washko says, listing off half a dozen other artists she plans to write about. "The list keeps on growing. I keep going back to the page where we're tracking who we want to add and being like, 'Oh wow, we have a lot of work to do.'"