COTA Awards

The Tri County Arts Council is currently accepting nominations for Arts and Cultural Awards, with winners to be announced at the Celebration Of The Arts (COTA) event this summer! COTA is held annually to honor artists, arts organizations, or arts supporters from Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties.

As we continue to advocate for our region, we are taking COTA to Chautauqua Country this year! The event will be held August 13th, at the Pearl City Clay House, at 220 East 2nd Street in Jamestown, NY 14701. 


– Thomas Barnes Lifetime Achievement, named after longtime Arts Council board president: This award celebrates the career of an individual artist, organization, individual at an organization, or individual artist who, among other distinctions, has demonstrated particular commitment to his or her work throughout a long career and has made important contributions regionally, nationally or internationally in his/her field, especially at a milestone marker, such as retirement, job change, posthumous recognition, etc.   
– Distinguished Artist of the Year: This award honors individual artists in any discipline for their creative excellence and superior accomplishments in 2022.   
– Outstanding High School Senior: This award recognizes an outstanding 2023 high school senior graduate who will be continuing their education at any college or university, and pursuing studies in dance, fine arts, graphic design, music, or theater. This award comes with a $250 scholarship proudly sponsored by Hedley Brook Insurance and Christie’s Boutique.   
– Excellence in Arts Education: This award honors an arts educator for their work in providing art instruction that helps to guide the next generation of artists in our region and cultivating lifelong supporters of the arts.  
– Volunteer of the Year Award: Many of the region’s arts and cultural organizations rely on volunteers to put on the show! This award recognizes the outstanding volunteer efforts of an unpaid individual or group that has had a major impact on the arts and culture sector.  
– Program of the Year: This award will honor the achievement, dedication, and creativity of an individual or organization from each county of the three counties.  

Any individuals in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties can be nominated through July 1st.  

Nominations are due by July 1 and can be sent to TCAC Executive Director Paula Bernstein at  Please email your name, the name of the person you are nominating, and why you are nominating them.  Only individuals from Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties are eligible for nomination.