Velocity Fund launches fifth year of funding for Philadelphia Artists with open call for innovative projects

Artblog is excited to let you know about The Velocity Fund’s 2022 open call for projects in and with communities in Philadelphia. We love this direct-to-artist funding source! We believe that art belongs in the community, and projects belong in the hands of artists, and The Velocity Fund helps make that happen. Read on and be sure to consider applying for your innovative project.

A red-lit stage with two sets of buckets-- a black set and a white set-- arranged in two semi-circles, in between which a figure is walking towards the center.
Arien Wilkerson, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee, “Tnmot Aztro EQUATORS,” photo by Adrian Martinez Chavez

Since 2018, The Velocity Fund (TVF) has supported 52 projects by Philadelphia-based artists, with grants of up to $5,000, paid to the artists directly, for projects including – a traveling cabaret, an alternative phone book, community ceramics, a speculative time portal, a documentary film project and environmental sculpture. That list alone shows the breadth and diversity of the artists and projects TVF has supported. More information on previous year’s award-winning projects: 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Here are comments from two past recipients of The Velocity Fund awards speaking to the importance of the awards for their projects:

“The Velocity Fund helped me take myself seriously as a producer and small business. With their support my company, Dusky Projects, was able to complete the second season of our podcast and continue to employ women in voice over, sound direction and design. The Velocity Fund helped me further my mission of creating opportunities for women of color in horror and sci-fi,”
Wi-Moto Nyoka, Horror/Sci-fi Writer and Arts Educator, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee

“Some times we artists feel isolated when building our practice and believe that no-one is paying attention, but some times, fortunately for us, there are foundations that work with honest, clever, passionate people who help them see clearly who is in the field, working hard, artistically motivated by this inner force needed to transform things around us for the greater good. Velocity Fund is giving that much needed support with a direct process where you only have to show who you truly are.”
Cesar Viveros, Public Artist/Community Activist, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee

Sculpture garden filled with Aztec-inspired public sculptures and installations, with offerings of food and flowers at the foot of a large abstract figure sculpture.
Cesar Viveros, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee, “Collaborative artwork at Iglesias Gardens”

Through free Information Sessions held at various community group locations and available online, The Velocity Fund promotes this funding to a diverse population of artists and makers. Being available in person (or online); answering questions and sharing examples of winning projects from past years, the Velocity Fund team makes the application process more readily accessible and helps broaden the pool of applicants in the city. The 2022 Information Sessions begin March 31 and run through June 2. The latest dates and times for the sessions are on the News/Events page at The Velocity Fund’s website.

Community partners for the 2022 Information Sessions are: The Leeway Foundation, CFEVA, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Vox Populi, Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image, Icebox Project Space, NextFab, and uCity Science Center’s Venture Cafe.

The applications open March 25, 2022 and application deadline is June 6, 2022.

About The Velocity Fund

The Velocity Fund was established with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, whose regional regranting supports vibrant under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with local cultural institutions. The Velocity Fund is administered by Philadelphia Contemporary, an art organization whose mission is to connect the people and places of Philadelphia through art and partnership.

“Philadelphia Contemporary is deeply grateful to the Andy Warhol Foundation for their decades-long commitment to supporting emerging artists. We are honored to be able to partner with them to help administer the Velocity Fund, which is amongst the most impactful programs serving the diverse and talented artists practicing in our City.”
Harry Philbrick, Founding Director, Philadelphia Contemporary

“To dovetail with Philadelphia Contemporary’s new addition of the Lived Culture curatorial program, which expands our definition of the arts to encompass non-traditional forms of making, we’re excited to now welcome a wider range of creative and artistic practices to apply for funding through The Velocity Fund”
Nicole Pollard, Curator of Lived Culture, Philadelphia Contemporary

How to Apply

More from the organization’s official release:

The on-line application will be available beginning Friday, March 25, 2022. Artists will have until Monday, June 6th to complete their proposal. Projects should be experimental in nature and explore collaborative processes between artistic genres. There is no fee to apply.

Applications Open: March 25, 2022 – via Submittable
Applications Due: June 6, 2022
Info Sessions are scheduled March 31 through June 2 – registration links on the News/Events page.
One-on-one applicant support is available by appointment and during scheduled drop-in hours.

Sanchel Brown, a Black woman with short braided hair wearing white and orange athletic clothing and roller skates, smiling and posing holding hands with four other Black people in roller skates, all standing in a line and smiling together.
Sanchel Brown, 2021 Velocity Fund Grantee, “Wheelz of Life Stage and Skate Reading,” November 2020

Velocity Fund 2022 Information Sessions

Register to attend one of our free information sessions at Walk-ins welcome!

Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 6pm
Join Us at Venture Cafe’s Thursday Gathering:
Featuring 2021 Grantee Wi-Moto Nyoka of the podcast Black Women are Scary
Hybrid event: in-person at 3675 Market Street and on-line

Friday, April 22, 2022 at 4pm
In Person Event: Hosted by TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image and Icebox Project Space
Crane Arts Building, 1400 N American Street

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 5:30pm
On-line Event: Joint Information Session with The Leeway Foundation

Friday, April 29th at noon
In Person Event: Hosted by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation
Arts Lounge at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street

Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 1pm
In-Person Event: Hosted by Vox Populi
Featuring 2021 Grantee Rami George
Vox Populi, 319 N 11th St #3

Monday, May 2, 2022 at noon
On-line Event: Joint Information Session with CFEVA Philadelphia Open Studio Tours

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 6pm
In-Person Event: Hosted by Philadelphia Folklore Project
Featuring 2021 Grantee Cesar Viveros
Philadelphia Folklore Project, 735 S 50th Street

Friday, May 20, 2022 at 1pm
In Person Event: Joint Information Session with Leeway Foundation
Cherry Street Pier, 121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd

Thursday, June 2 at 1pm
On-Line Event: Joint Information Session with NextFab
Featuring 2021 Grantee Maria Dumlao

About Philadelphia Contemporary and The Andy Warhol Foundation

About Philadelphia Contemporary
Founded in 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary is a contemporary art organization whose mission is to connect the people and places of Philadelphia through art and partnership. Currently nomadic, Philadelphia Contemporary presents visual art, performance art, and spoken word across the city, with ambitions to establish a freestanding, globally oriented, and locally aware non-collecting arts institution.

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program
The Regional Regranting Program was established in 2007 to recognize and support the movement of independently organized, public-facing, artist-centered activity that animates local and regional art scenes but that lies beyond the reach of traditional funding sources. The program is administered by non-profit visual art centers across the United States that work in partnership with the Foundation to fund artists’ experimental projects and collaborative undertakings.

Yellow banner with pink text that says "THE VELOCITY FUND Directly supports artists in the city of Philadelphia by awarding project grants u to $5,000. Deadline to apply: June 6"