SEARCH FOR "IMAGO THEATRE" on Wikipedia, and nothing comes up. CoHo Productions is a blank. Oni Press and Top Shelf Productions are well represented, but Future Tense and Perfect Day Publishing are not. Artists Repertory Theatre's page has detailed information about past productions, while Oregon Children's Theatre is just a stub. When it comes to most local arts organizations, Wikipedia has less to say than it does on the subject of, oh, say, guinea pigs as food, or the voice actors who gave us Teddy Ruxpin.
An event last weekend aimed to change that. On Sunday, October 13, the Portland Art Museum's Crumpacker Family Library hosted a Wikipedia "edit-a-thon" that invited the public to dive into the Wikipedia editing process, using the resources of the library to help create and improve the crowd-sourced encyclopedia's entries about notable figures and organizations in the Portland arts community.
Spearheaded by Jason Moore, a dedicated Wikipedian whose day job is with the Oregon Symphony, the event also marked the kickoff of the Oregon Arts Project, an ongoing Wiki-based initiative aimed at increasing statewide arts coverage by bringing together editors interested in the subject.
Moore estimates that the event drew about a dozen participants, many of whom were new to Wikipedia. At the event, contributors worked on articles about Northwest artists John Waddingham and Carl Morris, among other topics.
Because Wikipedia is entirely volunteer-run, anyone can contribute to the site, whether by starting new articles, improving existing ones, or even uploading photos of local monuments. Moore urges interested Wikipedia contributors to take a tutorial on the site, and say tuned to the Oregon Arts Project on Wikipedia for future events.
"For me, it's about encouraging local residents to learn about their own environment and share their findings with the rest of the world," Moore said. "Instead of sharing your thoughts on a personal blog, why not add your knowledge to this free-content encyclopedia? Let's show the world what Portland has to offer."