Now called the Tri-County Arts Council, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council has undergone a makeover this year, and this transformation means exciting changes for both artists and art-lovers in the area! The Arts Council is also looking forward to moving into a new building to bring even more classes and programming to the region.
According to executive director Tina Hastings, the name change has been several years in the making, and was made official in April. “For several years, the Arts Council staff and board of directors have engaged in discussions about the name and the desire to have a name that better represents the communities that we serve,” explained Hastings.
Due to the fact that many of the Arts Council's programs serve libraries, art organizations and artists in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties, a name that was more reflective of this greater region was in order. Hastings said, “We used a community survey, as well as direct requests from individuals in the final decision to change the name. We had many suggestions, but finally selected 'Tri-County Arts Council’.”
Although an official move-in date has not been set, the Arts Council is looking forward to occupying a new space after spending eight years in their current location on Main Street in Allegany. According to Hastings, “We have the good problem of having outgrown our space. Our planned new home will be at the corner of W. State Street and Union Street in Olean, and we will be able to have a separate space for the art gallery and retail store.”
Despite the changes in progress, the Arts Council will continue to be busy the rest of this summer and into the fall with their regular programming. Hastings said that there are about 20 different classes being offered in the next few months, as well as continued grant funding. Kara Frisina, grant and development coordinator, is currently promoting the Regrant Program for 2019. The Arts Council administers New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) funding in Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua counties. This past year, they regranted over $70,000 to regional artists and arts organizations!
Those interested in applying for grant funds can choose from three categories: Community Arts, Arts Education, or Individual Artist. Interested applicants can attend one of several arts grants information sessions throughout the region. For a list of dates and locations, visit www.myartscouncil.net/grants. All grants must be submitted by Oct. 5, 2018 at 4pm.
Hastings is looking forward to hosting Gabriella Calandro from the New York Foundation for the Arts on August 20 at Olean Business Development Center from 7-8:30pm. She will provide information about applying for the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, which awards a cash grant of $7,000 for artists to use as they need to continue their work.
On Friday, Sept. 21 from 6-8pm, the Arts Council is pleased to host the opening of the Southern Tier Biennial Solo Exhibition by Schuyler Dawson at the Center Gallery at JCC's Cattaraugus County campus. Dawson was the recipient of the Best of Show award at last year's Biennial, and is looking forward to displaying his work this fall.
The Arts Council will continue to raise awareness for their activities and services throughout the year, especially with their membership drive this fall. Over the summer, the Arts Council raised money by allowing individuals to purchase flocks of flamingos to be planted in friends' and neighbors' yards to brighten their day!
Hastings is enthusiastic about the Arts Council's new chapter. “We are excited to have been supporting the arts in the region for 18 years,” she said, “and we hope that our expansion, name change and relocation will help to increase the visibility of not only the Arts Council, but the impact that the arts have on our lives by providing economic development as well as opportunities for individuals to appreciate art in their daily lives.”