Added Velocity Year Two, More money for five Velocity Fund awardees

'Added Velocity' (from ‘The Velocity Fund’) supports VF awardees with even more funding so that they can expand their projects and serve more people in the Philadelphia community!

Artblog Added Velocity Primary logo

We are always saddened to see beloved arts spaces close; community projects end, due to lack of funding. As many of us are aware, one-time grants only go so far. Though this problem was exacerbated this year by Covid-19 budget cuts, it is not a new issue. The Velocity Fund clearly understood this when they created Added Velocity in 2019, a program which awards additional funding for select Velocity Fund awardees.

Added Velocity’s grants of $15,000 each are a great show of support for the 5 artists or artist groups chosen and will help ensure the long-term success of these 5 projects. Amongst awardees, we are particularly thrilled to see Arielle Julia Brown of Black Spatial Relics and Heidi Ratanavanich of FORTUNE (both of which Artblog has covered in the past two years). We can’t wait to see all of the projects continue to root and expand in the Philly arts community. We aren’t ever surprised at the strength and humor Philly artists exhibit even in the most difficult situations… but we are always in awe of our community and what they accomplish.

All that said, if you’re an artist who has yet to apply for Velocity Funding, let Added Velocity be your extra incentive to do so- we’d love to see your name on the next Velocity list.

Without further ado, here is the full list of Added Velocity grantees and descriptions of their projects!

Added Velocity—in its Second Year—Announces Grants to Support Five Philadelphia-based Art Projects

Added Velocity will fund five ambitious projects led by Philadelphia-based artists with grants of $15,000 (each) to build on the successes of their initial Velocity Fund initiatives in the coming year. Added Velocity—which is administered by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, with generous support from the William Penn Foundation—builds on the momentum of The Velocity Fund by directly supporting five previously funded Velocity Fund grantees who demonstrate a commitment to expanding their initial projects in meaningful and far-reaching ways in Philadelphia.

The 2020 Added Velocity grantees are:

Black Spatial Relics 2021 Convening (Arielle Julia Brown*)
A PHONEBOOK/ Philadelphia Packaging Company (Érica Mukai Faria*)
Sound Music Collective/ Virtual Sound Museum (Elissa Flute*)
Migrations and Movements (Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela*)
FORTUNE/Many Folds Press (Heidi Ratanavanich*)
(*denotes lead organizer of the project)

This year’s grantees proposed a wide range of projects, from masked dance parties to digital convenings, alternative phonebooks to curated electronic music tutorials—each with the goal of deepening impact within Philadelphia communities through creative intervention, connecting in new ways during this time of social distancing.

The 2020 Added Velocity grantee projects were selected from the 2019 Velocity Fund supported projects. The Velocity Fund is one of the numerous Regional Regranting programs established with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts 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.

Added Velocity applications were reviewed by a distinguished panel of arts administrators and curators: Roya Amirsoleymani, Artistic Director and Curator of Public Engagement at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Meg Onli, Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania; and Laura Phipps, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This same panel met in 2019 to decide the initial grants, so this process presents a unique opportunity to revisit the outcome of prior funding.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the Added Velocity proposals and to revisit some of the incredible projects of the 2019 grantees. It was particularly impressive to see the ways that these proposals reflected on the impact of the existing projects and reconsidered the way that collaborative and community-based work can function in the midst of a pandemic. The expansive and adaptive thinking in these proposals is amazing and a testament to the creativity and tenacity of all of the collaborators.”
Laura Phipps, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art

“Having had the honor of serving on last year’s Velocity Fund jury panel, and now this first round of Added Velocity funding, I have been afforded a glimpse into the compelling creative practices and deep community engagement of some of Philadelphia’s most committed contemporary artists and cultural workers. In these extraordinarily challenging times, the thoughtfulness and perseverance of the city’s artists is evident and inspiring. I commend all of the applicants and look forward to seeing the grant recipients’ projects evolve. Many thanks to the Velocity Fund team for their robust support of Philadelphia’s local arts landscape, and for inviting me to participate in their selection process.”
Roya Amirsoleymani, Artistic Director and Curator of Public Engagement at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

2020 Added Velocity Project Descriptions

A group of people sitting in a circle on fold out chairs in a big room
Arielle Julia Brown, Black Spacial Relics, 2019 Mutual Aid in Black Performance Think-tank. Photo credit: Shanel Edwards.

Arielle Julia Brown/ Black Spatial Relics
Black Spatial Relics 2021 Convening
Noting “now, as much as ever, radical gathering spaces for rumination on Black freedoms are crucial” Black Spatial Relics (Arielle Julia Brown*) will host a weeklong Black Spatial Relics 2021 digital convening featuring their artists-in-residence and several other Black performance makers and scholars from around Philadelphia and beyond. At the digital convening, they will engage workshops, artist talks, performances, salons, zine making, and short lectures from artists engaged in critical performance work about slavery, justice, and freedom. Concurrently, they will celebrate and learn from the centuries-long Black freedom dialectic between the Caribbean and Philadelphia, as they launch new spaces in their residency program for artists in the Caribbean.

Collage of many peoples faces all hued yellow and green with the title "A PHONEBOOK"
Philadelphia Packaging Company; care of Érica Mukai Faria and Tyler Burdenski.

Érica Mukai Faria/ Philadelphia Packaging Company
A PHONEBOOK, care of Philadelphia Packaging Company
Initiated in 2019, A PHONEBOOK is a free, multilingual, 144-page print publication and archive project featuring the stories of local shopkeepers and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. Intended to draw readers back into local brick-and-mortars with community conversations, this oral history project evolved in 2020 amidst a pandemic, a state-wide shutdown and the unrest brought by continued state violence. As they adapted strategies for A PHONEBOOK, its relevance and growth exceeded the pages for which they had budgeted. Added Velocity will allow Philadelphia Packaging Company to continue this work, print more copies for wider distribution, expand the video portrait series of featured individuals, and offer a unique exchange between offline and online materials.

A person standing up on a table behind multiple piano keyboards and adjusting a tripod. Another person sits on a chair In the background.
Elissa Flute, Sound Music Collective

Elissa Flute/ Sound Music Collective
Virtual Sound Museum
Virtual Sound Museum will be a curation of tutorials in tandem with performance pieces and artist talks that exhibit the technologies and techniques explained in the educational videos. SMC will use the website and YouTube channel they built from the previous Velocity Fund Grant, in addition to the Instagram account to reach audiences. They will also add a PA system to their Gear Library for collective members and the community at large to use.

Video still of an old fashioned convertible car driving out of a parking lot onto a deserted road.
Marissa Johnson Valenzuela, No Otro Lado Music Video Still

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela
Migrations and Movements
Migrations and Movements project consists of a series of public events coupled with a substantial online presence to engage a wide-ranging audience with the video artwork of the No Otro Lado series and other similarly themed film work. This project seeks to expand on No Otro Lado’s questioning of the legitimacy of the border by further exploring how migration transcends borders and false binaries. This project builds on No Otro Lado’s focus on Latinx migration and history with film screenings that align similar short film work about other communities who navigate issues of identity and status. This project puts all of the video work in conversation. At least one outdoor screening will culminate in a masked, socially-distant dance party.

Stack of zines in a wooden case with a red ratchet strap securing them into a bundle on the edge of a roof with Philadelphia visible in the back.
FORTUNE (Andrienne Palchick, Heidi Ratanavanich and Connie Yu), Completed Boxed Set

Heidi Ratanavanich* / FORTUNE
Many Folds Press
FORTUNE, a print collective that has produced monthly publications and regular programming by and for queer/trans Asian publics, will reprint out-of-print revolutionary queer Asian archival works, and produce new publications for three Philadelphia-based QTBIPOC artists, to distribute by mail as parcels of collected time. By engaging past FORTUNE contributors as annotators of archival documents, and operating a model of free distribution, we will extend our support for printworkers, and make moves toward a more functional, accessible, and responsive small press—Many Folds Press.

More about Temple Contemporary:
Temple Contemporary creatively re-imagines the social function of art. This mission is guided by an extensive advisory council representing a broad spectrum of Philadelphia residents, including high-school students of color in our North Philadelphia neighborhood, faculty and students at Tyler School of Art and Architecture and Temple University and civic leaders such as nurses, public historians and block captains. Collaborating with these advisors has centered Temple Contemporary’s position of creative public service and has necessitated a fundamental philosophical shift for the organization to recognize social engagement as the determining factor of its programming. This shift necessitates a foregrounding of curatorial accountability, reciprocity and exchange that forms the basis of Temple Contemporary’s social life and, by extension, its values. Recent initiatives include: Funeral for a Home, reForm, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 100 People Listening, The Ongoing Revolution and Double Rainbows. Temple Contemporary is an initiative of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University.

More about the William Penn Foundation:

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In 2020, the Foundation will grant more than $117 million to support vital efforts in the region.