The Velocity Fund, a leader in Philadelphia’s arts funding ecosystem, announces 12 new awardees
Since 2018, The Velocity Fund has jump-started the funding for 64 Philadelphia art projects, spreading $300,000 to artists for cutting-edge projects with many communities. Artblog has championed The Velocity Fund since its inception, working to broadcast and contextualize this important work. Congratulations to all the awardees! Read on about the 2022 awardees, and artists, be sure to apply next year for your projects.

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With a no-nonsense application and a desire to provide funding directly to artists, the Velocity Fund was conceived of to foster artists working with and in communities in Philadelphia. Now anchored at Philadelphia Contemporary after early years at Temple Contemporary, the Velocity Fund has supported a wide range of diverse projects, with artists working in many different media. Previous awardees include Apiary, a poetry magazine; “Wheelz of Life,” Sanchel Brown’s play of redemption through roller skating and the skating community — performed on roller skates; and “A Phonebook,” Quinha Faria, Tyler Burdenski and partners’ oral history project with Philadelphia mom and pop businesses.

Two photos of a theater troupe mid-performance.
Li Sumpter, Art of Survival Agents of Escape 2017. 2022 Velocity Fund awardee

The 2022 Velocity Fund grantees* are in alphabetical order:
Shannon Brooks, UNDUE BURDEN
Amelia Carter, Spirit on 52nd St
Maia Chao, Waste Scenes
Logan Cryer, Invited: Take Care of the Square Footage
Stephen Foster, The Eyes Beneath the Oak
Nicolo Gentile, Tough Love
Noah Jacobson-Carroll, Cathode Ray Tapestries: Memory, Nostalgia & Analog Video Synthesis
Melissa Langer, Untitled Illegal Dumping Project
Gilletta McGraw, Black In The Days: A Community Building, Multidisciplinary, Interactive Memoir
Li Sumpter, Blade Runner: Illadelph 2025
Mat Tomezsko, Revolutionary Philadelphia
Feini Yin, Our Fishing Log

In its fifth year, the awardees continue to push the boundaries of art with unexpected and urgent projects. In fact, Blackson said that this year’s applications were up 30% over 2021 – with 156 artists applying for the 12 awards of up to $5,000 each. As in other years, the awardees are a diverse group of artists with passion for art and love of community. The projects are as diverse as the artist awardees, but Blackson sees one commonality:

“What these projects share is a deep connection to communities throughout Philadelphia, fore-fronting visual art as a means to address complex histories and critical realities with an emphasis on collaboration and feedback.”

We at Artblog are especially thrilled to see funding for Li Sumpter’s Blade Runner: Illadelph 2025, a theatrical staging based on the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, as seen through an afrofuturistic, BIPOC perspective. The piece will be staged in collaboration with Theatre in the X. We can’t wait to get our tickets for this! And we are equally thrilled to see Logan Cryer‘s participatory project,”Invited: Take Care of the Square Footage” which will provide curatorial experience and advice to ten local arts organizers — and turn the Icebox Project Space temporarily into ten unique art spaces.

A photo of a blue gallery wall, covered with art and textiles.
Logan Cryer, Documentation of “Now, One With Everyone!” exhibition, 2022. 2022 Velocity Fund awardee

Below is information about the projects and this unique funder. From The Velocity Fund release (Complete complete details of the projects are here.)

The Velocity Fund awards a total of $60,000 in grants to 12 Philadelphia-based art projects in its fifth year of re-granting!

For 2022, The Velocity Fund is proud to announce the results of its fifth year of re-granting. Twelve new Philadelphia-based art projects will be awarded $5,000 each.

Chosen from a diverse field of over 155 applicants, this year’s grantees proposed a wide range of projects – a digital community archive by Disabled people, public sculptures exploring Philadelphia’s radical Queer past, a performance art work at a recycling facility, a video synthesis workshop, an immersive theater production, a collaboration with high school students, a storytelling project about Philadelphia’s local fish, an experimental short documentary on the historic Black business corridor in West Philadelphia.

What these projects share is a deep connection to communities throughout Philadelphia, forefronting visual art as a means to address complex histories and critical realities with an emphasis on collaboration and feedback.

The 2022 Velocity Fund grantees* are in alphabetical order:

Shannon Brooks, UNDUE BURDEN
Amelia Carter, Spirit on 52nd St
Maia Chao, Waste Scenes
Logan Cryer, Invited: Take Care of the Square Footage
Stephen Foster, The Eyes Beneath the Oak
Nicolo Gentile, Tough Love
Noah Jacobson-Carroll, Cathode Ray Tapestries: Memory, Nostalgia & Analog Video Synthesis
Melissa Langer, Untitled Illegal Dumping Project
Gilletta McGraw, Black In The Days: A Community Building, Multidisciplinary, Interactive Memoir
Li Sumpter, Blade Runner: Illadelph 2025
Mat Tomezsko, Revolutionary Philadelphia
Feini Yin, Our Fishing Log

A photo of a the end of a small strip mall, with two lighted signs visible and fancy yellow car parked out front.
Stephen Foster, 10 Percent, 2019. 2022 Velocity Fund awardee
A photo of someone standing in front of a waste bin. GLowed hands reach towards them from the top.
Melissa Langer, still from Untitled Illegal Dumping Project” 2022 Velocity Fund awardee

About The Velocity Fund

Established with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Velocity Fund is one of numerous 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. It is administered by Philadelphia Contemporary.

Applications were reviewed by a distinguished panel of arts administrators, curators and artists:
Brittany Webb,Curator of Twentieth-Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at PAFA, Sarah Bloom, Senior Officer for Exhibitions, Education & Interpretation for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pablo Guardiola, Co-director of Beta-Local, a Warhol Regional Regranting partner based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Connie Yu, Artist and 2019 Velocity Fund Grantee and 2020 Added Velocity Grantee.

About this year’s applicants, Dr. Brittany Webb, Curator of Twentieth Century Art at PAFA, and 2022 panelist said: “The applicants applying to the Velocity Fund this year had ambitious and creative approaches to connecting their work to their audiences. I’m impressed by these artists’ willingness to experiment and by the care they have for their communities.”

Khadija N. Adell, Regional Regranting Program Manager at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts said, “The Warhol Foundation’s Regional Regranting Program supports ambitious public-facing projects in communities across the country and could not be done without our partners like Philadelphia Contemporary. We are excited to see the dynamic range of artist-led projects in the Philadelphia area come to fruition with support from the Velocity Fund.”

Harry Philbrick, Founding Director and CEO of Philadelphia Contemporary, shares this enthusiasm, “Philadelphia Contemporary is honored to administer the Velocity Fund in support of the amazing creative communities of our City. We are grateful to the Warhol Foundation for their continued support and commitment, and to this year’s panelists, who selected from amongst the largest pool of applicants to date.”

Tags

andy warhol foundation for the visual arts, Li Sumpter, Logan Cryer, melissa langer, Philadelphia Contemporary, rob blackson, stephen foster, Velocity Fund

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