COTY Criteria

For more information contact:
Teresa “Blondi” Gretton
3411 Lisa Circle
Waldorf, MD 20601
(301) 843-8212

The Clown of the Year Award

Each year COAI chooses to bestow the title and honor of “Clown of the Year” on one of its members. This member is recognized for his/her outstanding qualities as a clown. The Clown of the Year exemplifies the true meaning of what it is to be a clown through his/her caring, sharing and performance ability.

To be eligible for this award, a candidate must be a current, active COAI member and clown, who is maintaining a continuous membership in COAI for at least 5 years. The emphasis of the Clown of the Year Award (COTY) will key in on the last 1-3 years of clowning. During the last 1-3 years he/she has been serving the COAI organization and the COAI clown community in exceptional ways, aiding in the growth and development of fellow clowns both in actions and deeds but continues to be an active spokesperson for COAI and the art of clowning.

(Some suggested examples of consideration over the last three years could be; but are not limited to):

An active clown showing dedication to the craft; What the nominee has done to further the art of clowning; Respected by peers; Showing talent in the craft of entertaining; Awards received; Impact on clowning in the community at large; Teaching the art of clowning; attending COAI sponsored events and conventions; outstanding actions to improve COAI, organizing membership drives, being a key player in the organizing of a COAI clown school in your area, writing a series of articles in the New Calliope, etc.

This award will be presented to an individual COAI member only.

Nominations must be sent to the COAI Director of Membership and must be received no later than September 1st of each year. It is strongly recommended that all nomination materials be submitted electronically (by E-mail) with the highest resolution photos possible to the Director of Membership. Non-electronic nomination materials are discouraged, however, written and mailed nomination packets are admissible but will not be returned.

  1. NOMINATION LETTER – A short (one page) nomination letter serving as an introduction of the nominee. You may discuss the nominee’s total years of clowning in this letter but concentrate on the last three years for COTY. (Nominator must include his/her contact information – address, phone number, email)
  2. A HISTORY PAGE(s) – A chronologically listing of just the last three (3) years of outstanding, sustained and noteworthy contributions of the nominee to COAI and the clown arts community. (Include nominee contact information – address, phone number, email, etc.) Examples could be but are not limited to: COAI membership development, clown arts education, the preservation and propagation of COAI as an organization, and the art of clowning as it relates to COAI. COAI Alley offices held, COAI alleys created, Awards/Recognitions, classes taught, Clown or entertainment articles written etc.
  3. THREE SUPPORT LETTERS – Three Letters of support (Please limit these letters to just three). Letters of support must come from persons, other than the nominator, who are familiar with the nominee’s qualifications and accomplishments. Each should be no more than one page long. Each must me signed, dated and include authors contact information (address, phone, E-mail). No more than one of the four total letters (nominator plus 3 supporters) may be from the nominee’s home alley membership. Nominations or letters of support will not be accepted from Spousal, family, COAI Boards or nominee. Please Note: Current members of COAI’s Board of Directors are not eligible for nomination.
  4. THREE CURRENT PHOTOS – (at the highest resolution possible) – Two photos should be of the candidate in full make-up and costume. The other photo should be a head shot (head and shoulders pose) without make-up. (Other photos may be required once a final selection is made.)

The recipient of the Clown of the Year Award will receive:

  1. Photo cover on January/February issue of The New Calliope
  2. A featured article of the nominee in the same issue
  3. A COTY commemorative plaque at the COAI’s Annual International Convention
  4. Recognition by The Toby the Clown Foundation, Lake Placid, FL on its “Wall of Fame”
  5. A press release to the hometown media of the recipient.
  6. A congratulatory letter signed by the COAI President and presented at convention.
  7. A COAI Clown of the Year name tag.
  8. A complimentary COAI convention registration for the COTY paid by COAI.

Each term the President, with the approval of the board, will appoint a five-person Awards Advisory Council (AAC) chosen from past LTA recipients, COTY recipients or past Presidents with the current President serving as the fifth member. The AAC will be overseen and coordinated by the current Director of Membership who will remain impartial and have no voting power in the decision-making process of the Council. The AAC will be charged with considering nominations submitted by COAI’s membership at large, although it is not obliged to select an award recipient from among those recommendations. The AAC has the power to choose an award recipient if no one is nominated or if those nominated do not meet the specific criteria or packet needs. Based on the criteria and the nomination packet the AAC will give its selection to the Director of Membership to present to the board for approval. The COAI Board will vote to approve the AAC’s selection. If it is not approved the Director of Membership will present the AAC’s alternate choice. If the COAI Board cannot agree on a suitable candidate, the award will not be presented that year. Although the award is announced in most cases in the January/February issue of the New Calliope, the actual award is not presented until the annual COAI convention in the spring. The Director of Membership will notify all nominators and the selected COTY nominee of results.

Revised June 2017