The Velocity Fund

The 2021 Velocity Fund grantees:

Still from The Command Center to Bring Women Home, directed by Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, 2021.
Still from The Command Center to Bring Women Home, directed by Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, 2021.

Artist: Wren Rene and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
Title:The Command Center to Bring Women Home
Grant Amount:
$5,000
Proposal:Our film re-imagines what re-entry could look like if it were designed by formerly incarcerated women. “The Command Center to Bring Women Home” is an imagined space run by and for formerly incarcerated women, created collaboratively with three Philly women who survived juvenile life sentences. Upon its release, the filmmakers will partner with local artists and women in re-entry to design an impact and engagement strategy that models new ways to break cycles of harm and find new kinds of justice.

Marcellus Armstrong, still from Hard To Love, 2021
Still from collaborator Raishad M. Hardnett’s, Hard To Love, 2021

Artist: Marcellus Armstrong and Raishad M. Hardnett
Title: Talking Walls
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Talking Walls is an audio-visual oral history project centering the narratives of queer and Black elders. With recorded interviews and documentation of subjects who have resided in one location for 15 years or longer, the project will culminate into an experimental documentary film where queer elders discuss perspectives on home and personal sanctuaries. The project will include people located in the cities of Philadelphia, New York, and Detroit, with hopes of expanding with ongoing support. 

Tnmot photo abstraction 2019
Tnmot photo abstraction 2019

Artist: Arien Wilkerson
Title: LOVE8 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Love8 is a time based installation performance, with a series of small convening’s held at Vox Populi/Icebox Project Space. Derived conceptually from the 8 Greek types of love, Love8 takes its audience through the specific emotional/mental labor black HIV positive people utilize when building/strengthening personal, family and romantic relationships. Through performance exploration we uncover how black/brown LGBTQIA people evolve through partnerships we choose, and what roles we live in and dismantle.  

Rev. Chester Williams leads a monthly meeting of block captains in the Chew/Belfield neighborhood, 2015
Rev. Chester Williams leads a monthly meeting of block captains in the Chew/Belfield neighborhood, 2015

Artist: Lori Waselchuk
Title: Them That Do: Citizens All (working title) 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Them That Do: Citizens All is an idea-sharing publication and pop-up exhibition that will prioritize local knowledge and share resources for reclaiming our right to shared space and loving co-existence. Introducing new voices into the public conversation about community and communality, Citizens All will be illustrated, co-written, and produced in collaboration with Philadelphia community stewards and activists. The exhibition will be shown at a Philadelphia Free Library neighborhood branch, block parties and community events. 

Smile4Kime Project Still, Illustration by Alex Aldrich Barrett and Malachi Lily and design by Pace Fjord
Smile4Kime Project Still, Illustration by Alex Aldrich Barrett and Malachi Lily and design by Pace Fjord

Artist: Elena Guzman
Title: Smile4Kime 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal:  Smile4Kime is an experimental film that uses animation and live action footage to tell a story of how two friends transcend time, space, and even death to find hope and resilience through their struggles with mental illness. Rather than insisting that Black women should depend on failing systems rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy, the film uplifts Black women’s resilience through the radical care of friendship and ancestral spirituality.  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Sanchel Brown, Wheelz of Life Stage and Skate Reading, November 2020
Sanchel Brown, Wheelz of Life Stage and Skate Reading, November 2020

Artist: Sanchel Brown
Title: Wheelz of Life (C) 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: “Wheelz of Life” is a musical on rollerskates highlighting the esoteric parallel realities beyond the usual narrative of black death. This unique story offers new possibilities for theater to take place in roller rinks across America. 

Maria Dumlao, Lapu Lapu and The Death Of Magellan (RG), 2018
Maria Dumlao, Lapu Lapu and The Death Of Magellan (RG), 2018

Artist: Maria Dumlao
Title: Mas Masarap Magkasama (more delicious together) 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Maria Dumlao, in collaboration with FilipinX group, Bahay215, will create interactive, site-specific installations in the Schuylkill Center’s gallery and on its trails. It will include prints and engraved sculptures which frame spaces for in-person events and point to invasive and native plants that can be adapted in ancestral Filipino recipes. Exploring diasporic desire for belonging, food and familial recipe exchanges become vehicles for storytelling while balancing sustainability for our environment, and the preservation of culture. 

Cesar Viveros, Collaborative artwork at Iglesias Gardens
Cesar Viveros, Collaborative artwork at Iglesias Gardens

Artist: Cesar Viveros
Title: El Terreno: A Community Driven Garden to Table Initiative 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: I would like to lead a 3-part cultural workshop series around heritage foodways in collaboration with the Cesar Andreu Iglesias Community Garden. Workshops will focus on how to harvest, prepare, cook, & consume the culturally meaningful foods of indigenous Mexican communities. Key to these workshops is the idea that food, culture, and medicine are interdependent: when we consume nutritious foods steeped in the traditions of our ancestors, we better connect with our history and health. 

Rami George, Joel Midden, Mak Hepler-Gonzalez. Love and wisdom (video still). HD video, color, sound. 2021. 2:10 mins.
Rami George, Joel Midden, Mak Hepler-Gonzalez. Love and wisdom (video still). HD video, color, sound. 2021. 2:10 mins.

Artist: Rami George
Title: Virtues Vol. 1—Remixed and Reinterpreted
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: This project is a remix of a ten track EP, “Virtues Vol. 1”, created in collaboration with Joel Midden. The original EP consists of a series of sonic interpretations of esoteric line drawings produced by the Samaritan Foundation—a New Age religious cult my mother was involved with in the early 1990s. For the remix project, we will invite 10 experimental musicians to remix/re-interpret the tracks of this EP.

Andrea Walls, Whole World In His Hands, 2019.
Andrea Walls, Whole World In His Hands, 2019.

Artist: Andrea Walls
Title: The Museum of Black Joy (Phase 2) 
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: The Museum of Black joy is a multidisciplinary, multidimensional, and multi-platform experience reflecting/promoting non-traumatic Black Life in Philadelphia and beyond.

Artist: M. Asli Dukan
Title: Penntrification
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Penntrification tells the story of the University of Pennsylvania’s gentrification of West Philadelphia and how its aggressive property expansion and wealth hoarding has burdened its historic Black community. We follow Wanda, a fictional, third generation Black Philadelphian as she shares how her entire life has been affected by the powerful tax-exempt institution. We learn how her dreams for Philadelphia’s future could be realized if UPenn paid its taxes. 

Black Women Are Scary logo designed by @vickibewicked, 2020, Dusky Projects logo and background designed by @lyndezart, 2021
Black Women Are Scary logo designed by @vickibewicked, 2020, Dusky Projects logo and background designed by @lyndezart, 2021

Artist: Wi-Moto Nyoka
Title: Black Women Are Scary
Grant Amount: $5,000
Proposal: Black Women Are Scary (BWAS) is a radio-dramatic podcast that celebrates and produces short horror stories by BIPOC authors. Spear-headed by Dusky Projects, it is a hub for new horror writers and for the listeners that want to know them. The project includes monthly audio productions and interactive virtual showcases that feature BIPOC creators in genre work. Their second season will be directed by Kennedy Allen of Black Tribbles, with sound design by Gabe Castro of The Ghouls Next Door.Follow @duskyprojects and @blackwomenarescary for updates on episodes and events.

The Velocity Fund awards grants to 12 Philadelphia-based art projects in its fourth year of re-granting

For 2021, The Velocity Fund is proud to announce the results of its third year of re-granting. The following twelve new art projects –conceived by Philadelphia artists– will be awarded $5,000 each.