How does The Velocity Fund define the visual arts?

In the most expansive ways possible. The Velocity Fund considers the visual arts to include photography, performance, video, cosmetology, fashion, ceramics, sand art, drawing, bookmaking, tattoo and body art, weaving, publications and bookmaking, culinary arts, crafts, installations, painting, mail art, printmaking, curatorial concepts, basketry, sculpture, calligraphy, social-engagement, woodworking, comics, murals, participatory events, glass, animation, neon, design, and more. If you are doing something that we haven’t listed and you think of it as a form of visual art, reach out and we’ll talk it through.

Do I need to propose a collaborative project?

No. Collaborative projects are encouraged but not necessary.

How many grants are awarded each year?

The Velocity Fund awards approximately 10-15 grants.

What is The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts?

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 manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $218 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.

So, if I get a Velocity Fund grant, does that mean I can say I got a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation?

No. You will have received a Velocity Fund Grant through Philadelphia Contemporary.

How did The Velocity Fund begin?

The Velocity Fund was established in Philadelphia in 2018 by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University with generous funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as a part of the Regional Regranting Program. This regranting program was established in 2007 to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country.  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.

Who is on the panel that decides who gets a grant and who doesn’t?

The Velocity Fund applications will be assessed by an independent panel of jurors. This jury will change every year and consist of artists and curators from within Philadelphia and across the country. Once the jury has reached their decisions and the grants have been awarded, we will announce who the jurors were.

What does the panel look for in an application?

The panel reviews each application and rates it 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 meets in person to discuss these finalists in detail.

If I live outside of Philadelphia, can I be considered for a Velocity Fund grant?

No. The lead applicant must live within the city limits of Philadelphia. Applications submitted from surrounding counties (Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, etc.) will not be considered.

How should we decide who the lead organizer is?

If your project involves a group of artists, please choose one person to act as the lead organizer. This person must live within the city limits of Philadelphia and will be the contact person. Lead organizers do not need to be U.S. citizens but must have a social security or ITIN number in order to receive payment.

How much funding can I request for my project?

Applicants can request funding in the amounts of $2500 or $5000. If you receive any additional grants, please be sure to include this on The Velocity Fund Budget Form.

Can I apply for multiple projects?

No. Applicants can submit one proposal during a funding year.

How long do I have to complete the project?

Grantees have one year to complete their project and cannot begin the project before September 2022.

If awarded a grant, how will funding be awarded?

Grantees will receive 80% of the grant by October 1st. The remainder of the grant will be issued after a review midway through the project. Checks will be written to the lead applicant. Lead applicants will need to have a valid social security number or ITIN number and complete a w-9 form.

I do not have work or image samples for the proposed project. What should I submit?

Please submit relevant images, outlines and/or documentation of similar work that relates to your project. Use these tools to build a story that will assist your proposal.

Does it cost anything to apply for The Velocity Fund?

No, there is not an application fee to apply.

How do I use Submittable?

It’s easy! For an introduction to Submittable – here’s a short video.
Want a more thorough walk-through?  Here’s a helpful guide.

What media files and sizes are accepted?

For the Submittable review process, we recommend uploading images and linking to video and audio.   You’ll be prompted to keep the images under 400mb – so best to avoid really large files.

For best viewing, we recommend submitting video samples via vimeo or youtube – simply put the link in the on-line field (include any password protection you may have set up.)  Short clips work best for panel review.

I do not have a location secured for my proposed project, what should I do?

If you do not have a venue secured for proposed project, please provide as much information about what type of location would be the ideal space for you to put the work in.

If I’m a student, can I apply to The Velocity Fund?

No. Students are not allowed to apply to The Velocity Fund.

My organization is registered as an LLC but we do not make a profit, can we apply?

Yes, LLC’s whose primary purpose is not commercial and is not a for profit enterprise are eligible.

If I received a Velocity Fund grant last year, can I apply again?

No. You can’t apply for a Velocity Fund grant again this year if you are a current grantee.  

Can I apply for a project that is already in the works?

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 collaborators for the proposed project live outside of Philadelphia?

Yes, as long as the lead applicant lives in Philadelphia and the project occurs here, it is eligible.

My project may generate money –through ticket or publication sales, for example– does that mean I can’t apply for a grant?

You can still apply for a Velocity Fund grant if your project will make money. We understand that some projects –like films, publications and performances– are costly and grant funding may not cover all of the artist fees and production costs.

My project involves working with students (K-12 or college) can I still apply?

Yes, but the project’s lead organizers and/or listed collaborators can not be students – and the school itself can not apply.

In the project budget, can I pay myself?

Yes.  We encourage artists to pay themselves and others for their contributions.  A portion of the project’s budget can go toward fees for your time and your collaborators. Some applicants use W.A.G.E. guidelines to calculate these fees, others budget in different ways. Let us know if you have any questions.

Do I need to attend an Information Session to apply?

No. Attending an Information Session is a great way to learn more about eligibility and the application process, but it is not required.


Founded in 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary presents visual art, performance art, and spoken word across the city of Philadelphia. A nomadic contemporary art organization with ambitions to establish a freestanding, globally oriented and locally aware non-collecting arts institution, Philadelphia Contemporary has pioneered a vibrant and sustainable model based on partnerships and collaborations. Having commenced pop-up programming in October 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary continues to develop an ambitious roster of projects that will be mounted in the coming years.

Can I receive feedback about my application?

Yes.  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 comments (unattributed) after the process is complete.

More questions?

Please consider attending an information session or contact us at