Velocity Fund awards inaugural grants to 14 Philadelphia-based art projects

The Velocity Fund, a new program created by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art to directly support visual artists living in the city of Philadelphia, has announced its inaugural grant winners. Fourteen new art projects conceived by Philadelphia artists—most of them proposing to work collaboratively—were selected from more than 120 applicants to receive awards of up to $5,000.

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The 2018 Velocity Fund grantees:

* Lead organizer of the project

Established with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Velocity Fund is one of 12 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 Velocity Fund is the first Warhol Foundation-supported regional re-granting program in Pennsylvania, and only the second on the East Coast between Maine and Florida.

Applications were reviewed by a distinguished panel of arts administrators and curators: Courtney Fink, co-founder and executive director of Common Field; Margot Norton, curator at the New Museum in New York City; and Philadelphia-based independent curator Blake Bradford.

“The decision-making process was a difficult one for our panelists, with so many fantastic and and diverse projects vying for a limited number of grants,” said Robert Blackson, director of Temple Contemporary. “The quantity of applications and the quality of the artists seeking funding proved that Philadelphia has an extraordinarily rich and vibrant artistic community. It also demonstrated the urgent need for direct funding for artists—especially at a time when federal funding for artists has declined sharply. I can’t wait to see what these artists create.”

Blackson noted that the grantees represent the types of artists that the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting programs most seek to reach: professional visual artists working in informal, non-incorporated collectives on projects with the broadest possible range of public outcomes, including websites, books, performances, screenings and more.

The public is invited to celebrate the inaugural class of Velocity Fund grantees at a ceremony on September 11 at 6 p.m. at Temple Contemporary in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University’s Main Campus (2001 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19118).

More about Temple Contemporary

Temple Contemporary creatively re-imagines the social function of art. This mission is guided by a 35-member 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 coming this fall, 1000 Ways to Listen.