Velocity Fund wants YOU! June 1 application deadline for money to Philadelphia’s artists for new projects

June 1 is the deadline to apply for funding from the new Velocity Fund. The fund awards grants up to $5,000 to artists living in Philadelphia for new projects, especially those that are collaborative and/or experimental. If you have questions about applying, Read This Post! There are answers!

Philadelphia Artists! As you may know, the brand new Velocity Fund is actively seeking your applications so they can Give You Money to make art!  Didn’t know?

Here’s the important information

WHAT: Grants for NEW PROJECTS for working visual artists. Experimental forms and collaboration across disciplines encouraged
AMOUNT: Up to $5,000 for work done within 12 months after receipt of the award
WHO: Artists living in the City of Philadelphia
APPLY: Application online – breezy and easy. Here’s the link
HOW HARD IS THE APPLICATION?: If you’re prepped (have your images ready to upload) it’ll take you an hour. If you’re searching for images, 90 minutes tops.


Information Sessions and more online next week

Audience at Temple Contemporary. Photo courtesy of Temple Contemporary
Audience at Temple Contemporary. Photo courtesy of Temple Contemporary

The Temple Contemporary team in charge of the fund, Rob Blackson, Sarah Biemiller and Lindsey Tingle, has been meeting artists at arts centers and galleries throughout the city over the last two months to answer questions you may have about the application process and the mission of the fund. If you missed the public sessions you can still get in touch with them at or fill out the form on their contact page on the website.  Or, participate in a “live” Gchat session with Lindsey next week. ** (see bottom for more on the Gchat).

Burning Questions People Are Asking

I asked Blackson what kind of questions people have about the fund so far. The two questions below keep coming up. Blackson provided some answers and examples.

Question #1: Can an artist who runs or is a member of an independent non-profit gallery or space apply?
A: That’s completely fine as long as they apply themselves and not on behalf of the non-profit organization.

Example: Judy is a member of Gallery V, and wants money to curate a multi-media show that she will also be in, at the space. Judy should not apply on behalf of Gallery V. She should apply as herself, the artist. The award will go to Judy and not to Gallery V.

Example: Tom is the Program Director of a Project Space. He pays rent to the space. He wants a grant to pay the rent to the space so he can program the space next year. SORRY, Velocity Fund will not cover this because Tom represents the Project Space and Velocity Fund awards go to artists not to to organizations.

Example: Isaac is an artist who wants to build an interactive piano-like sculpture at Project Space and invite the public and some professional musicians to come play on it. He needs money to pay himself to build the sculpture, hire the musicians and pay the Project Space. Isaac’s project is perfect for the Velocity Fund! He should apply in his own name.

Question #2: You want up to 15 images but I don’t have images of the work because it’s not made yet. What do I do?
A: Show us previous work; show us an image of the space you want to do the project in; show us an image of something similar to what you’re proposing.

Example: Joan proposes a new animation she hasn’t made yet. Joan should send examples of previous animations she has made.

Example: Sam wants to project words and images at night in an empty parking lot and collaborate with a noise band for accompaniment. He doesn’t have the projection ready or the band picked out. Sam should send an image of the parking lot; and a clip of music from the noise band he hopes to work with. Sam should send an image of previous projections, if any, he’s done. He should send samples of the images and words he wants to show.

How hard is the application, really?

When we talked, I asked Blackson to expand on the application and say more about it being easy. Here’s what he said.

“The application is really loose, compared to others,” said Blackson. “It’s meant to respect the impulsive and passionate ethos of artists and not be an onerous application. We’re not trying to make it hard here… The longest answer required is 500 characters, which is like 3 Tweets. Just tell us your idea. Don’t over-complicate it.”

** Gchat

Lindsey Tingle, Senior Program Specialist for the Velocity Fund is doing more informations sessions next week online on Gchat so that people can participate from anywhere. (More on Gchat here.)

More from Lindsey:

I am going to make time to be available to answer any questions ‘live” (not on video but through Gchat). To Gchat, the person looking to chat needs to add to their gmail hangouts. Only those that have gmail will be able to chat.

Gchat with Lindsey Tingle, Senior Program Specialist, The Velocity Fund
Tuesday 5/22 1:30 – 3:30pm
Tuesday 5/29 7:30-9:30pm
Thursday 5/31 9-11am

Background of Velocity

Read Artblog’s original post on the new Velocity Fund for background information and to see a picture of the team!