The Velocity Fund

FAQ – COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief Grants

This FAQ page is for Philadelphia-based visual artists seeking to apply for COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief Fund who are currently facing financial need due to the pandemic.  
If you are looking for the FAQ for The Velocity Fund 2020 grant cycle, please visit this page.

Who is eligible for this COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief grant?

You must answer ‘yes’ to all of the following statements:

  • I currently live within the city limits of Philadelphia
  • I am a practicing visual artist* capable of providing examples of creative work made within the last year.
  • I am 18 years of age or older.
  • I am not currently enrolled in a degree program (Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s; if pursuing a Ph.D., coursework must be completed).
  • I am currently experiencing financial loss and/or hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.**
  • I am legally eligible for employment in the U.S. (e.g. citizen, green card holder, and/or permanent resident who can provide a W9 and Social Security number.)

* How does The Velocity Fund’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund define a visual artist?

In the most expansive ways possible, The Velocity Fund considers the visual arts to include photography, performance, film/video, ceramics, sand art, drawing, architecture, bookmaking, weaving, crafts, installations, fiber arts, painting, mail art, jewelry, printmaking, basketry, sculpture, calligraphy, social-engagement/participatory, glass, and design. If you are making something that we haven’t listed and you think of it as a form of visual art, please reach out to us via email velocity@temple.edu.

** How would you define financial loss that creates hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Financial losses could be due to cancelled events or exhibition opportunities—or they could reflect a loss of income for teaching artists, or others within the creative field who have lost work due to COVID-19 closures. It also includes artists working (full- or part-time) in the service industry who have lost supplemental income used to support their creative practices. This Emergency Relief Fund has been specifically created to help stabilize visual artists dealing with extreme financial hardships due to the ongoing pandemic; please be mindful of the needs of others in our community when considering whether or not to apply.

How do I prove my eligibility?

For residency: you must apply using your permanent home address within the Philadelphia city limits.

For evidence of a current artistic practice (work made within the last year):
You must provide any one of the following:
– A link to your artist website that includes recent samples of work (within the last year)
-OR- Upload up to three (3) images, audio, and/or video files of recent work
-OR- Link(s) to online audio or video documentation of recent work
-OR- A current art CV detailing recent exhibitions/engagements

For confirmation of COVID-19 impact:
You must provide EITHER:
– A document that demonstrates financial impact: email, official letter or scanned receipts showing cancellation of events or loss of income.
-OR- A brief written statement describing the financial impact (under 100 words)

How can I apply?

Use this link to access the application via Submittable. If you’ve used Submittable before and have an existing account, simply enter your login credentials to begin. If it’s your first time using Submittable, you will need to create an account. This is a simple and speedy process, which you can learn about here. If you have any technical issues with Submittable please visit this help center.

Can I apply more than once?

No. Once you submit an application, you will not be able to re-submit another application. However, if the application you submit is not picked in the first lottery, it will automatically be entered into the next lottery, and any further subsequent rounds. 

How will the grants be selected?

Applications will be reviewed for eligibility only (see above criteria). Selections will be based on a blind-drawing (lottery) process. Each application will be assigned a distinct number, those numbers will be selected randomly, and grants will then be distributed according to the funds available for that cycle. Each grant will be for $1,000. Grants will be distributed in phases to allow time for internal processing and increased outreach. This staggered approach will allow artists not currently impacted by COVID-19 the opportunity to apply if their situation changes as the pandemic continues. 

When can I apply?

Applications are now open. The first deadline will be April 27, 2020. This website will be updated when we announce a new application deadline for the next phase of granting. If your application is chosen, we anticipate distributing funds within one month of when an application cycle closes.

What can I use the funding for?

This is unrestricted funding that you may use for any kind of relief. We will not be asking you how you spent the money. This fund is intended to help artists experiencing financial losses or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can use it to help with any expenses you may have incurred, such as (but not limited to) food, rent, medical costs, or child care.

If my gallery, arts group or collective was impacted by COVID-19 can I apply?

No. This fund is for individual artist relief only. Commonfield has put together this list of resources for artists organizations.

If I have received a Velocity Fund Grant am I still eligible?

Yes. All current and past Velocity Fund grantees are eligible.  

What is The Velocity Fund?  

The Velocity Fund, administered by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, directly supports visual artists living in the city of Philadelphia. 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. 

If I apply for a COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief can I also apply for a Velocity Fund Grant in 2020?

Yes

Will you require a W9?

We will not ask for that information unless you are a recipient of the COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief Fund. At that point, a W9 is required by the IRS in order to distribute these grants to artists.

If I’m awarded a grant, will my name be made public?

No. Personal information (including your name) will not be disclosed or publicized unless you later agree to reflect on the process.

Am I able to get a COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief grant more than once?

No. Due to the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate many more requests for funding than there are funds to distribute. Our intention is to provide one-time relief to as many artists as possible given these limitations.

If I don’t receive a COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief, but the application process re-opens at a later date, do I have to submit another application?

No. Your submitted application will automatically be re-entered into subsequent rounds.

Are there other places I can look for financial relief during this crisis?

Yes. There is also the COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL Fund.  Here are some additional local and national lists for artists in need of support during this challenging time.

More questions?

Email us at velocity@temple.edu

Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art, Velocity Fund

Temple Contemporary creatively re-imagines the social function of art. This mission is guided by an advisory council representing a broad spectrum of Philadelphia residents, including high-school students of color in our North Philadelphia neighborhood, faculty and students at Temple University and civic leaders such as nurses, public historians and block captains. Collaborating with these advisors has centered our position of creative public service and has necessitated a fundamental philosophical shift for the organization to recognize social engagement as the determining factor of our 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, our values. Our recent work has included Funeral for a Home, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra and The Ongoing Revolution. Temple Contemporary is an initiative of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University.

The Velocity Fund, administered by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, directly supports visual artists living in the city of Philadelphia. 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. 

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to reach the sizable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other projects. Temple Contemporary in Philadelphia is one of numerous regranting partners. Other regranting cities include Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Saint Louis, San Francisco, and Washington DC.