Velocity Fund inaugural awards announced!

The new Velocity Fund, organized by Temple Contemporary and funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, announces its first round of annual awards today. The Fund brings money to makers in Philadelphia, especially to those who work without the umbrella of a larger organization to support them. Congratulations to those who receive this year's grants! We look forward to many more years of this new financial support to Philadelphia artists!

Yvonne Lung, "Dish, The Mealkit"
Yvonne Lung, “Dish, The Mealkit”

Great good news is afoot today as we announce the 14 artists and artist groups who have been chosen as recipients of the inaugural Velocity Fund awards.  Many congratulations to all! (Details in the list below.)

All the projects sound great – be sure to click over and look at them. A special shout out to Artblog favorites, Yvonne Lung (2011 post, 2009 post) and Dave Kyu (posts), Mark Strandquist and Courtney Bowles (2015 post), and Tim Belknap (2012 podcast ) and Taji Ra’oof Nahl (2017 podcast ).  We’re excited to see the 14 projects come to life this year (each project has a 12-month completion period).

Tim Belknap/Taji Nahl - Drape and Cladding
Tim Belknap/Taji Nahl – Drape and Cladding

On a personal note, the new Velocity Fund open call to artists in Philadelphia is a wonder and a blessing upon the community, funneling dollars to makers at a time when little to no public funding exists for them. But, any competition begets those who get the prize and those whose turn has not yet come.  To the rest of the 120 applicants who got the pink slip telling them their project would not be funded, we say, don’t give up. Try again. Raise your idea up again next year. Raise it elsewhere. Artblog was founded by two women artists who know the disappointment of rejection. We say, keep on making, caring, and trying.  It’s the only way.

Below is the release from Temple Contemporary

Velocity Fund awards inaugural grants to 14 Philadelphia-based art projects

The Velocity Fund, a new program created by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art to directly support visual artists living in the city of Philadelphia, has announced its inaugural grant winners. Fourteen new art projects conceived by Philadelphia artists—most of them proposing to work collaboratively—were selected from more than 120 applicants to receive awards of up to $5,000.

The 2018 Velocity Fund grantees

* Lead organizer of the project


Established with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Velocity Fund is one of 12 Regional Regranting programs launched by the foundation to fund “under-the-radar artistic activity” by partnering with leading cultural institutions in cities across the nation where the level of self-organized artistic activity is the highest. The Velocity Fund is the first Warhol Foundation-supported regional re-granting program in Pennsylvania, and only the second on the East Coast between Maine and Florida.

Project Reviewers and Hard Decisions about Excellent Projects

Applications were reviewed by a distinguished panel of arts administrators and curators: Courtney Fink, co-founder and executive director of Common Field; Margot Norton, curator at the New Museum in New York City; and Philadelphia-based independent curator Blake Bradford.

“The decision-making process was a difficult one for our panelists, with so many fantastic and and diverse projects vying for a limited number of grants,” said Robert Blackson, director of Temple Contemporary. “The quantity of applications and the quality of the artists seeking funding proved that Philadelphia has an extraordinarily rich and vibrant artistic community. It also demonstrated the urgent need for direct funding for artists—especially at a time when federal funding for artists has declined sharply. I can’t wait to see what these artists create.”

Blackson noted that the grantees represent the types of artists that the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting programs most seek to reach: professional visual artists working in informal, non-incorporated collectives on projects with the broadest possible range of public outcomes, including websites, books, performances, screenings and more.

Meet the awardees

The public is invited to celebrate the inaugural class of Velocity Fund grantees at a ceremony on September 11 at 6 p.m. at Temple Contemporary in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University’s Main Campus (2001 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19118).