Velocity Fund, money for Philadelphia artist projects, deadline June 7, 2019!

Folks, it's time to apply! The Velocity Fund gives money directly to Philadelphia Artists to Make Art, but the deadline is fast approaching so don't miss this opportunity. Submit your application before June 7 for a chance to receive up to $5,000 for your project. Have questions? The Velocity Fund team is available to chat with you in person at their information sessions and via G-Chat. Or send them an email. They will reply. Don't hesitate, because it's time to get some funding.

Artblog Velocity Fund Dark Green

Yo! Philadelphia Artists, if you read Artblog, you probably know about the Velocity Fund, a unique local funder that puts money directly in the hands of artists to create art in our great city. We’ve been singing the praises of Velocity Fund’s grants — up to $5,000 — because the awards promote art, promote collaboration, foster collegiality and are administered by a terrific team at Temple Contemporary, who are about providing this needed fuel to local artists to keep our community excellent and thriving. You should apply.

Velocity Fund gave out 14 grants in 2018, its first year of operation. Now, in 2019, they are actively seeking your applications so they can Give Another 10-15 Artists Money to Make Art!  The application is brief and to the point, and the team is eager to answer any questions you have.

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.


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 Nicole Pollard, 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. There are three more public sessions (see below) and you can always 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 Nicole May 24, June 1 and June 6.

Information Sessions

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at The Art Dept at 6:30pm RSVP
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Philadelphia Folklore Project at 3pm RSVP
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at Imperfect Gallery at 5:30pm RSVP


Like to chat online? The team will also be available through Gchat during the times below to answer your questions:

Friday, May 24, 2019 from 1-3pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10am-12pm
Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 9-11am

To chat, add to your Gmail hangouts. Only those that have Gmail will be able to chat.

Burning Questions People Are Asking

Last year, I asked Rob Blackson, Velocity’s team leader what kind of questions artists have about the Fund. Blackson provided some answers and examples. And I republish them here again as a guide to help you with your application.

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.”

Background of The Velocity Fund

In 2018, ​T​he Velocity Fund was established by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art ​with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the​ Visual Arts becoming the 12th Regional Regranting Program nationwide. Read Artblog’s original post on the new Velocity Fund for more background information.