How much does it cost to apply for The Velocity Fund?
It’s free! There is no application fee to apply.
What types of “visual arts” does The Velocity Fund support?
We are excited to support an expansive range of visual arts, including performance, photography, video, fashion, ceramics, calligraphy, woodworking, comics, murals, glass, neon, mail art, fiber arts, culinary arts, graphic design and animation, drawing and painting, printmaking and bookmaking, sculpture and installation, cosmetology and body art, participatory events and social practice writ broadly — and the intersections between these arts.
We are a Regional Regranting program supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. If you are working on something not listed above, that you consider to be visual art, you can write to us at email@example.com to confirm eligibility.
How many grants are awarded each year?
Per yearly cycle, The Velocity Fund awards approximately 10–15 grants of $2,500 and $5,000.
How are grant-funded projects decided?
The Velocity Fund applications will be assessed by an independent panel of four jurors. This jury changes every year, and consists of artists and curators from within Philadelphia and across the country, including one former Velocity Fund grantee, and one curator/administrator from another Regional Regranting Program. Once the jury has reached their decisions and grants have been awarded, we will announce who the jurors were.
The panel assesses each application in four categories: Artistic and Creative Strength, Capacity to Realize the Project, Consideration of Public Impact, and Contemporary and Local Relevance. Using this initial review, the pool is narrowed down to the top thirty project proposals. The panel convenes to discuss these finalists in detail.
How is The Velocity Fund related to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts?
The Velocity Fund is one of 32 Regional Regranting programs of AWFVA. Each Regional Regranting program is hosted by a local arts organization — for us, that’s Philadelphia Contemporary. We receive a grant from AWFVA, and designate the majority of the funds towards regranting — directly supporting artists with funds for their new projects.
In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation’s 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.
If you receive a grant, you will have received a Velocity Fund grant, not a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
How did The Velocity Fund begin?
The Velocity Fund was established in Philadelphia in 2018 by Robert Blackson, when he was the director of Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. The Velocity Fund receives generous funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as a part of the Regional Regranting program. Under the stewardship of Temple Contemporary (2018–2020), The Velocity Fund supported over 30 art projects conceived by Philadelphia artists with grants totaling $150,000. The Velocity Fund is now administered by Philadelphia Contemporary under Blackson’s direction.
What is Philadelphia Contemporary?
Founded in 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary’s mission is to connect the people and places of Philadelphia through art and partnership — co-creating art, anywhere. Re-imagining the 21st century arts organization, PC presents forward-thinking, world-class contemporary visual and performance art all over the city, harnessing the energy of local and international artists to bring a diverse cross section of Philadelphians together. Working in partnership with other community organizations, PC presents spoken word and musical mash-ups, immersive painting installations, festivals and block parties, billboard poetry, and sculptural installations in different spaces across Philadelphia.
Who can apply to The Velocity Fund?
The lead applicant must be 18+ and live within the city limits of Philadelphia. Applications submitted from surrounding counties (Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, etc.) will not be considered.
Lead applicants may not be current students (undergraduate or graduate). We cannot fund 501(c)3s, state nonprofits, or LLCs whose primary function is commercial, and we cannot support projects that will be part of the primary programming of an established arts organization. Unless you’ve received a Velocity Fund grant last year, former grantees are eligible to apply again!
Do I need to propose a collaborative project?
No! Collaborative projects are encouraged, but not necessary. Please note that applications are considered for public impact: individual artists seeking support to produce their own work without public outcome; or for the express purpose of covering travel expenses, renting studio space, or purchasing equipment are not encouraged to apply.
If I’m collaborating, how do we decide who the lead applicant will be?
The lead applicant will be our main point of contact, and will receive communications regarding grant status. If awarded, the lead organizer will also be responsible for receiving and distributing the funds: they do not need to be a U.S. citizen, but must have a social security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to receive payment.
Can I apply for multiple projects?
No. Lead applicants can submit one proposal during a funding year.
Can I apply for a project that is already underway?
No, The Velocity Fund does not provide grants to resolve projects that have already begun. Your proposed project should be a new idea or distinctive phase that begins after September of the granting year.
Can I use last year’s application, this year?
Yes. Each year’s applications are reviewed by a new panel, so your application will be newly considered each time!
ON APPLICATION LOGISTICS
How do I use Submittable?
You will need to create an account, in order to submit. You may invite collaborators to fill out the form with you, but they will need accounts as well. For an introduction to Submittable, here’s a short video. Want a more thorough walk-through? Here’s a helpful guide.
What if I don’t have location or event details ready for my proposed project?
That’s OK! If you don’t have venues secured for your proposed project, just provide as much information about type of location and ideal space, and why. This will help our panelists understand your vision and reasoning for your project’s public outcomes.
What kinds of work samples are acceptable?
For the Submittable review process, we recommend uploading images and documents, and linking to web-hosted video and audio (through Vimeo or YouTube, for instance). You’ll be prompted to keep the images under 400MB — so no need to include large files. For video and audio, please submit videos or video clips no longer than 8 minutes in total.
How much funding can I request for my project?
Applicants can request funding in the amounts of $2500 or $5000. If you anticipate receiving any additional grants or in-kind support, please be sure to include this on The Velocity Fund Budget Form.
Can I pay myself?
Yes, we encourage artists to pay themselves and others for their contributions! In addition to project costs such as materials and supplies, a project’s budget can go toward fees for your time, and that of your collaborators. Some applicants use W.A.G.E. guidelines to calculate these fees, others distribute fees according to external factors such as income limits.
How much time do I have to complete the project?
Grantees have one year to complete their project (September 1, 2023 – 2024). The proposed project cannot begin before September 2023.
If awarded a Velocity Fund grant, when will I receive funding?
Grantees will receive their funding in two stages: first, upon notification and return of paperwork (including a W9 form) — by October 1st; and second, after returning their Midterm Check-In in March 2024. Starting in 2023, grantees will be able to choose between receiving 20% or 80% in the first stage, and receiving the remaining 80% or 20% in the second stage. Funds will be directed to the lead applicant.
When will I find out whether I’ve received a grant?
After the application closes in June, the panel will review submissions. Award notifications will be sent early August. Artists are encouraged to request feedback whether they receive funding or not. The panel takes great care in selecting Velocity Fund projects, and we are happy to share their unattributed comments after the process is complete.