Wiki Loves Art/invitation

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Call for action | Join WIKI LOVES ART

“Museums need to have the ambition to create impact on society and create public value.”
Volop inzetten op musea; First Vision Statement of Flemish Museums

What is Wiki Loves Art?
‘Wiki Loves Art’ is an invitation to the general public to take photographs of (a selection of) artworks in museums in Brussels, Wallonia, and Flanders. These images are then uploaded under a open license to the image and media archive of Wikipedia.

Wiki Loves Art was first launched in the United States, with now successful spin-offs in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Wiki Loves Art encourages museums to invite (amateur) photographers into their work environment. The photographers work pro-bono, but do have a chance to win an award for their efforts. A jury selects a number of outstanding images from all entries. All images are created to be used on Wikipedia, and are not offered for sale by the Wiki Loves Art organization.

So how does it work?
Wiki Loves Art presents museum and cultural institutions a range of possible activities. Participating museums can make a selection of objects that are allowed be photographed, or organise visits and presentations tailored to the photographers. Or they can organise a Wikipedia writing workshop about remarkable objects in the collection. Photography courses can also be offered in cooperation with professional photographers. Each museum determines what is possible to the best of their intentions. For each formula or activity, agreements are made between the museum, the photographer and Wiki Loves Art program, which are stipulated in an agreement. Although that sounds like a lot of additional administrative effort, this is practically limited to a minimum.

“While museums have the necessary knowledge and the documentation, Wikipedia has the global reach and a circulation far beyond what any museum could achieve on its own.”
Josep Serra, director of Museu Picasso, Barcelona

What’s in it for the museums?
Thanks to Wiki Loves Art, museums in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders get the opportunity to present their collection to a broad and new audience, surfing on the reach and impact of one of the best known and most used knowledge-based websites in the world. This newly created photographic material will continue to be used and distributed via Wikimedia (images) and Wikipedia (text).

Each uploaded image on Wikimedia attributes the participating institution and links back to their website. Wikimedia Commons is one of the largest online multimedia libraries and contains more than 30 million media files that can be used on Wikipedia and beyond. The images on Wikimedia Commons are available under an open license. Enabling the museums themselves to easily reuse the images.

Your participation embodies greater involvement within the heritage community. Art and museum lovers, photographers and Wikipedia enthusiasts can thereby take an active supporting role in the daily operation and challenges of the museum.

What’s in it for the photographer?
The photographer's name is listed on the meta page of the photo. Wikimedia Belgium organises a contest scoring all entries. Multiple prizes can be won. Read more later on about the criteria.

“All research nowadays starts with Wikipedia. The repository for the pictures, the image archive for all Wikipedia editions, is Wikimedia Commons. As a public educational institution we can only gain by opening up our imagery on Wikimedia and Wikipedia. Even people uninterested in art will come across these images. Via Wikipedia people will very quickly stumble upon our collection – through a so-called backlink.”
Merete Sanderhoff, curator, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

What about communication and promotion?
A banner above all articles on Wikipedia will give the contest visibility. It calls for photographers to participate in the events organised as part of the Wiki Loves Art project. Additionally, both Wikimedia Belgium - the initiator of this campaign - and the participating museums will contact photographer clubs, image collectives, schools for art education, and so on. Moreover, the project will capture the attention of the global Wikipedia community and empower that community to write in several languages about the participating museums and their collections.

1 July 2016 > 31 August 2016: in this period images can be uploaded as part of the contest. The participating institutions determine the dates they open their doors for the volunteers and determine what events will be organised.

September 2016: We will judge all entries based on parameters such as quality, originality and usefulness for Wikipedia by a (still to determined) jury. This jury consists of representatives from the participating institutions, professional photographers, art lovers and heritage specialists.

November 2016: A festive prize ceremony.

Who is this project for?
Wiki Loves Art is open to anyone interested in heritage, museums and history. Whether you are an art lover, art student, professional or amateur photographer, or one of the many Wikipedia enthusiasts and contributors.

More information?


Wikipedia Belgium
Romaine (NL) and Loraine (FR)

FARO. Flemish centre for cultural heritage vzw
Roel Daenen
T. 02 213 10 73

Packed vzw
Alina Saenko
T. +32 (0)2 217 14 05