Performing Arts Aotearoa on Wikipedia

Lisa started editing Wikipdia during a workshop run by the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt focusing in Māori women artists in 2019. Since then these are some of the articles Lisa has started.

Dianna FuemanaRona BaileyMichael ParmenterTe Ohu WhakaariPacific UndergroundJulie Paama-PengallyMata Aho CollectiveRaymond Boyce (theatre designer)Bruce Mason Playwriting AwardAhi KarunaharanCirca TheatreUnity Theatre, WellingtonSunny AmeyShona McCullagh


Anybody can become an editor and improve content.

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I discovered a surprising lack of articles about the arts in Aotearoa. I write on Wikipedia as a volunteer mostly content about women & performing arts in Aotearoa. ~ Lisa  

The Wikimedia Foundation funded Lisa to coordinate a four month Performing Arts Aotearoa project. The goals were to create quality content on dance, theatre and other forms of performing arts in Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, and ran from May to September 2021.

More information:


Wikipedia  is the 5th-most-visited website in the world, and comes near the top in search results.  Editing is by volunteers, it is open source and not for any commercial gain; currently, there are about 250,000 editors (Wikipedians) around the world. Lisa has targets for increasing information about women, Indigenous peoples and people of colour that are currently under-represented in Wikipedia. She is also seeking out alternative and activist arts as this also tends to get overlooked in mainstream reporting.

Get in touch with any questions:

There were opportunities to learn or participate at a workshop or on-line:

DUNEDIN 10 July 2021. Hocken Collections Library.

AUCKLAND 14 August 2021. Auckland Theatre Company, 487 Dominion Road, Mt Eden



The Performing Arts Aotearoa Wikiproject created 107 new articles greatly expanding content on Wikipedia which was the main goal. The project had a focus to address bias against women and people of colour within Wikipedia, these goals were all met. 

Articles that were created included celebrating the legacy of the University of Otago theatre with Allen Hall,  and doubling the number of New Zealand costumes designers in Wikipedia with an article about Elizabeth Whiting

The final edit-a-thon was to be at the Nola Millar Library hosted by Toi Whakaari:The New Zealand Drama School and the New Zealand School of Dance, but Covid restrictions moved it on-line. This proved to be a really great thing for the project, as the on-line edit-a-thon attracted participants from throughout New Zealand as well as Australia and the US. At this event an editor based in the South Island was able to share recent image uploads from a New Zealand Opera residency and get subjects identified straight away that could then be used to illustrate new articles. It was a lovely example of the power of connection an edit-a-thon creates. Eight new women biographies were created decreasing the bias on Wikipedia. 

  1. Turid Revfeim

  2. Sarah Foster-Sproull

  3. Mere Boynton

  4. Susan Wilson

  5. Jan Bolwell

  6. Justine Simei-Barton

  7. Madison Nonoa

  8. Tanea Heke

The attention the edit-a-than caused created a Women-in-Red international collaboration initially between the UK, Australia and New Zealand to run a 24 hour global edit-a-thon on women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day, October 2021.

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